Weekly Wrap-Up: The One with the Menu Math

Man, it’s been one of those weeks…  I’m still working out the kinks in our routine, but I have to say, it’s coming along rather nicely.  It is becoming very apparent, very quickly, that I need to let go of the perfectionism and just accept the fact that things will not always {ever} be perfect, things will come up that completely derail the routine, and sometimes {for the sanity of all involved} I just need a nap.  The good news is that I feel more focused and hopeful for a great year going forward.  {Oh, and I walked on the treadmill five times this week!}

The big, super-fun, OMG-I-can’t-wait-to-do-it item starting Babydoll’s week off was Menu Math.  This is one of the few things I’ve actually paid for from CurrClick {they have tons of free resources} and I’m glad I did.  You’re given about 12 fictional menus with silly names {Sloppy Stans} and two sheets of questions per menu.  Questions range from “Which items are $.30?” to “Lisa bought a burger and milkshake.  She paid with a $10 bill, what was her change?”  While some of it was a challenge for her, Babydoll thoroughly enjoyed the concept.  At the end of the lessons, there is a blank menu, place setting, and order form so we can have our own restaurant.

Another fun aspect of the week was our unit on magnets.  Daddy joined us for the day and helped with things like reading What Makes a Magnet? and making a compass.  We’re now working on sounds and next will be the human body.

We continued our study of blogging with a second lesson, focusing on what a blog is.  We reviewed the ABC Blook on Blogging and Blogging:  It’s Elementary.  The first lesson was a brainstorming session on naming Babydoll’s blog.  The next lesson will focus on internet safety, and we’ll continue to tweak the design of her blog in preparation for it’s unveiling.

In addition, there were doctor’s appointments, two forgotten dentist appointments, a soccer practice, and a cranky mommy that needed {and got} a nap.  I also did more planning for the year and worked on my binders {more to come later}.

How was your week?  Be sure to check out other weekly wrap-ups at Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers!

Foodie Friday: Summer Corn Chowder

I recently thumbed through a “Parents” magazine while waiting for my oil to be changed.  I remember when so much more of that magazine applied to me.  Now that Babydoll is almost eight, though, much of it was just pretty fluff.  However, I still like many of the recipes.  I found this recipe for summer corn chowder {by Mark Bittman} in that issue and decided to try it.

I’m not much of a soup/chowder {food as a liquid} type person, but this has bacon in it.  I mean really, how can you go wrong with bacon?  That’s right, you can’t.  This chowder is quick, easy, and very rich with a great flavor.  I was amazed at the fact that no cream or butter is used in the recipe to achieve the creamy richness.  I for one am always up for some cream and butter, but if I can achieve a similar result without it, why not?  A true food connoisseur can tell that it’s not a true cream and butter chowder, but I really didn’t miss it at all.  The first time around we made it as is; next we’ll add chicken.

Summer Corn Chowder

6 ears fresh corn
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 slices bacon (preferably thick-cut), cut into 1/4 inch pieces {I may have used more than four…just sayin’}
1 onion, chopped
4 cups low-fat milk {I used two percent; low-fat milk is banned in my house}
1 tablespoon cornstarch {I used three tablespoons cornstarch to four tablespoons water}

Shuck the corn, then stand each ear up in a bowl and use a knife to scrape off the kernels; set aside. Put the cobs, 1 cup water, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper in a 4-qt. pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the water bubbles gently, cover, and cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Leave the cobs in the pot until you are ready to make the soup, then discard them, reserving the corncob stock

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until it begins to render its fat and turn golden-brown, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, another 5 minutes or so.

Add the milk, reserved corn kernels, and bacon and onion to the stock, and bring to a boil; lower the heat so that the soup bubbles gently. Cook, uncovered, stirring frequently to prevent scorching, until the corn is tender, about 10 minutes

Whisk the cornstarch in a small bowl with 2 Tbs. water until smooth. Add to the soup, stirring until the soup thickens, about a minute. Taste, adjust the seasoning, garnish with parsley, and serve.

Let me know how you like it!