Poetry and tea time is starting to become a favorite event in our house. So far, I think the kids love it because we have special drinks and treats–they are slower to appreciate the poetry. I am loving it because the poetry is fun, we’re getting in a special sort of experience together, and I’ll admit it, I love the treats, too.
This summer I’ve found a few new fun books and poems, as well as recipes. I’m hoping you’ll enjoy them, too.
The first book of poems, “Science Verse“, I stumbled upon at the library and checked it out for fun. I figured poetry and science was a double-wammy and I’m always up for multi-tasking, cross-curricular learning. It also happened to be a book/CD combo. We first listened to the audio CD on a long trip (because what better way to listen to a story or music or poems than in the car when no one can run off to do something else!). I was completely surprised with how fun the poems were! Many of them are similar in verse to classic poems, such as “Casey at Bat” and “The Raven”, so when it came time for tea and poetry, I read the original poems first and followed up with the silly, clever Science Verse poems.
Another beautiful and fun book of poems is “Hailstones and Halibut Bones”. It was recommended on Everyday Snapshots, for the summer reading series. When I read the title, I assumed it would be a book full of funny and silly poems, only it’s not. Some parts of the poems are silly, but mostly I found them to be whimsical and beautiful ways to describe color. It was a delight to read.
Now for the kids’ favorite part: food!
Sometimes we don’t drink tea with our tea time. Once we had hot cocoa and pudding popsicles.
Last week we had an old-west themed poetry and tea time, to go along with our Colorado history study. There was a recipe for “ranch punch” in an activity book (fun drink, but I’m not sure of how authentic a recipe it is!), and we also baked an old-fashioned custard pie.
There is a very wacky ingredient in this pie: vinegar. I kid you not. At some point, I’d seen a recipe on Pinterest for vinegar pie, and being the person I am (the sort of person who loves to try new things, even as wacky as vinegar pie), I saved the pin. Wouldn’t you know, all sorts of things in our lazy summer schooling lined up for us to read a part in our current read-aloud (“Little Britches” by Ralph Moody) about custard pie, moving the West, as well as a reference to a poem. It was obvious to me that tea-time would be old-west themed with vinegar custard pie, ranch punch, and reading the poem referenced in “Little Britches”.
Don’t go running away screaming that I’ve lost my mind and there is no way vinegar pie can possibly be worth your time. After tea time was over, we had only one piece of pie left. Uno. It was a tasty pie, and crazy cheap (minus the gluten-free crust…but hey. Gluten-free ain’t cheap.)
Here is our version.
- 3 c water
- 2 large eggs
- 1 c sugar
- 3 T gluten-free all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 3 T cold white vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or almond, lemon, maple, or coconut. Also, try combining! We did lemon and vanilla)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
- Prepare crust ahead of time, bake, and let cool.
- Bring water to a boil in a medium pan.
- While water is coming to a boil, combine eggs, sugar, flour, salt and vinegar in a medium bowl.
- Once water is boiling, pour the filling mixture into the water, keeping the heat on, whisking until the mixture begins to thicken.
- When filling leaves a thick coating the back of a spoon, remove from heat.
- Stir in extract.
- Pour the custard through a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps, and spread into prepared pie crust.
- Refrigerate before serving.
adapted from http://moneysavingmom.com/2014/01/old-fashioned-vinegar-pies.html
The best crust we have tried is found here: Gluten Free Crust. Tip: you can mix up the ingredients for the traditional crust with the whole grain crust. I have made it twice substituting sweet rice flour with millet and sorghum flour, because I was out of sweet rice flour but had the other two.
This week we’re trying out another new recipe and reading a few poems from The Harp and Laurel Wreath for the first time, which we’ll learn together through the rest of the year. I’m always up for a new recipe for tea time. Any faves to share with me?