BOOK REVIEW: Einkorn by Carla Bartolucci

Einkorn, the ancient wheat, has entered our lives a few months ago when my husband’s tests showed that his blood sugar is elevated. He started to look for alternatives to his beloved breads and pastries. He was buying einkorn pastas and cookies ever since. It seemed to help. Recently he brought home einkorn flour and I realized that I have no idea what to do with it. Or rather hesitant.  So I got the book.

Einkorn the cookbook is written especially for people like us, who want to bake with einkorn, but have trouble figuring out how to make it work for the best. This cookbook is written by Carla Bartolucci , the founder of Jovial, the brand that produces all einkorn products we came across so far. She came across this ancient grain while looking for a remedy for her daughter’s health issues and she is very passionate about einkorn’s benefits.

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The book starts with explaining what exactly einkorn is, and how is it different from the regular wheat that we all know and are used to. The introduction is followed by tips for working with einkorn, how to make bread starters, utensils’ specifics (no metal bowls!), times etc. The section on breads follows, then quick breads and breakfast items, after that cookies, cakes, pies and other sweet things, savory and street food sections are the last two in the book. The collection of recipes includes old favorites and international flavors. The photography is attractive and the food looks great.

Overall impression: Absolutely helpful. So far we tried making sandwich bread and pancakes. The bread was rather dense, but edible. The pancakes were lovely. I guess I probably need to adjust for altitude somehow, or just get a hang of things. I am glad to find useful tips in this book, it would have taken me a long time to figure it out on my own, and einkorn isn’t exactly a kind of product (pricewise) that can be wasted while one experiments.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

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Read and make: Dominic by William Steig

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D. just finished Dominic by William Steig  (published in 2007 by Square Fish (first published 1972)) , he enjoyed this book a lot.

[click on picture for a link to alibris store]

As always I asked him to write in his reading journal, since now that he’s an independent reader, I’m not always reading his books with him (and it’s fun for him).  Parts of his reading journal include description of where the story is set. He numbered quite a few spots where Dominic stopped on his way.

The idea popped up why not make a map of Dominic’s adventures, this will make re-telling much easier. D. of course jumped at the idea. He grabbed a large sheet of white construction paper and set to work. Unfortunately we were out of watercolor paper, so our map curled a little. After painting on forest scenery, D. made houses, cut them out and pasted them for additional “3D” effect. The final touch was to trace Dominic and alligator and with the help of paper clips we now have to figures that can move around the forest.

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Learning about Jane Goodall

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Wednesday, April 3 was Dr. Jane Goodall’s birthday. We took this as an opportunity to learn more about this amazing woman and her work.

Both kids are fascinated with animals and D. ,especially takes issue of endangered animals close to heart.

We read Me…Jane by  Patrick McDonnell (published in 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Caldecott Honor of 2012), which is probably kids’ favorite picture book so far, especially C.’s, she identifies a lot with little Jane. We read the book and talked a lot about wonders that surround us, listened to each other  heartbeats. We also talked about dreams that we have and how we should follow them the best way we can.

Then we read  The Watcher: Jane Goodall’s Life with the Chimps by Jeanette Winter ( published in 2011 by Schwartz & Wade) which gave more details on Jane’s life and included a few quotes by Jane. Kids were very impressed by the extent of Dr. Goodall’s work.

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Activities we did:

Kids were given a task to go and watch animals we have at home (cats and little shrimp D. is raising in a cup of water) and document their observations. C. tried few minutes but in the end she just wanted to play,  D. did a very good job, although he couldn’t help poking the cat to wake him up and see what happens. In the afternoon they also went out and observed horses at the farm near our house and some prairie dogs that run around.

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Second task was to think carefully about things they love and are interested in and create an art journal page. I separated a large sheet of paper into a few sections for C. and did the same in D.’s art journal. Kids then set to draw. D. used watercolor pencils for his art journal

D.'s art journal

D.’s art journal

C.'s work

C.’s work

A couple of days ago we watched  Chimpanzee (2012)a wonderful movie from Disneynature. The movie is very good, educational, touching and although sometimes sad, it was ultimately optimistic and life affirming.