Friday, September 19, 2008

Our week with "When I Was Young In the Mountains"

This week, the book we've been focusing on has been When I Was Young In the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant. The story takes place in the Appalachian Mountains and is a sweet story of a simpler time. We've enjoyed so much about this book and have learned alot at the same time!

Some of the things we've discussed include:
  • where the Appalachian Mountains are located
  • the importance of being content in whatever circumstances we find ourselves
  • the literary device of repetition
  • the use of details in illustrations to help tell the story
  • the differences between life in the story and our lives today -- things like having to pump your water, use an outhouse, cook on a woodstove or take a bath in a tin tub
  • what coal is, where it comes from and how it is used

A highlight of the week was making a meal from the book. We made baked pinto beans and cornbread. (The family in the book ate pinto beans, cornbread and fried okra, but I'm not an okra expert, so we left that out.) I forgot to get the camera out while we were making the baked beans, but here we are making cornbread . . .

Our cornbread recipe came from Titi Ramonita and it's so yummy! It starts with two boxes of corn muffin mix (we used Jiffy brand) . . .

. . . and one can of cream-style corn.

Other ingredients include: 3/4 c. sour cream (or plain yogurt), 1/4 oil and 2 eggs

Once you mix all ingredients together . . .

you spread it in an ungreased 13x9 pan and bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Then you poke it all over with a fork and pour 1 stick of melted butter all over the top and let it soak into the cornbread (told you it was the yummiest)!

And here are my little chefs with the meal they prepared: baked pinto beans, cornbread and fluffy lemonade salad. They are great cooks -- it was a fantastic meal and a fun culmination to our week of learning!

Now, don't you wish you could have been here for dinner? :)

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