Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Original Nilla Banana Pudding

I have not had this since I was a child and at Omie and Papa's house. Omie made it a lot! Grandpa called it "Chitlins." The kids and I call it "Opossum Stew" ( From the Berenstein Bear's Love Their Neighbors). I put this on here for Dana because I was telling her how yummy it was. Licking the bowl from the custard alone was such a treat! They don't have Nilla wafers in France but I am sure Dana will find a yummy substitute. The trouble for me is I am having a hard time making the meringue and I know it would taste all the better if I could get it to whip up. Let me know if you know any tricks to making good meringue!

3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/3 cup flour
dash salt
3 eggs, separated
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
45 Nilla wafers (Being Gluten-free I had to substitute with Gluten-free graham crackers and it was really yummy!)
5 medium ripe bananas, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix 1/2 cup of the sugar,flour, and salt in top of double broiler. Blend in 3 egg yolks and milk. Cook, uncovered, over boiling water 10-12 min. or until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.

Reserve 12 wafers for garnish. Spread small amount of custard on bottom of 1-1/2 qt. baking dish; cover with layer of 1/3 each of the remaining wafers and sliced bananas. Pour about 1/3 of the remaining custard over bananas. Continue to layer wafers, bananas and custard to make a total of 3 layers of each, ending with custard.

Beat egg whites on high with electric mixer until soft peaks from. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks from. Spoon over custard; spread evenly to cover entire surface of custard and sealing well to edge.

Bake 15-20 min. or until lightly browned. Cool slightly. Top with reserved 12 wafers just before serving.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A loooong 6 months!

So here we were; it was just us for the loooongest time! Derrick was on a 6 month deployment to Cuba. There were so many happenings! The first 3 months were really hard. An ice storm caused a lot of damage and we had to have our wall and kitchen floor ripped out and redone. I've written a little about that already. Oh, how much more I appreciate Derrick and all the things he does. I had no idea how hard he worked outside of work taking care of things for us. He didn't say anything about certain things he does and I had to take care of a lot of things so I got to see it.
We skyped with Derrick a lot. He came home at the end of July, the day after Bailey's birthday. We were so thankful to have him back and had such a great time with him as he had over a month off from work. That was SO much fun! Now Derrick is back at work and the kids and I back to our lessons. We are planning and preparing to go visit "The Cousins" in France in December and are really excited about that! The plan is to go on a double date with Ryan and Dana to the Eiffel Tower!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Teaching Roman Numerals

I'm just cutting and pasting this here so I don't forget...

Okay - here is a great little way to teach Roman Numerals, my kids got it in one lesson with just minor review.

(this idea comes from Waldorf stories - and from Serendipity site)
Tell whatever story you want - Waldorf uses gnomes, but you could use animals, children whatever.

The gnomes wanted to count their gems - (squirrels/acorns, birds/seeds, etc). To keep track, they lined sticks up. One gem - one stick, two gems, two sticks, 3 gems, 3 sticks - but then they realized they were going to need a lot of sticks. So one of the gnomes took two sticks and formed a V - this will stand for 5 - see when I hold out my hand and 5 fingers, I make a V (thumb and pointer finger make a V). And one before 5 is four (one stick before a V). Then they continue counting - adding sticks to the five until they get to 8. Again they decide this is too many sticks, so one of the gnomes says - hey, let's cross two sticks to make an X - when I cross my hands across my chest, I have 10 fingers. and of course, one before 10 is nine.

This is a very brief way to introduce the basic concept of Roman Numerals, and to get you started. If you introduce the numbers this way, they love it, and it really is easy to learn quickly. I think it is a necessary skill, but not one you need to spend lots of lessons on. Teach it and move on - it will come up again in other situations (outlining, studying the Romans etc.)

Serendipity Gnomes and Gnumbers lessons (