Sunday, November 28, 2010

Chicken Supreme

We raised our own meat birds this summer.
They had a pretty happy life with a grassy area to roam and a wheelbarrow of greens thrown in the munch on every day.
We took them in at 10.5 weeks and had an over 8 lb average on those babies. (Should have been processed the week before thanksgiving, not great plannning on our behalf!!!)
What to do with an 8 lb chicken let alone the 11.65 lb ones.......????

Value for money that's what.

I cooked one 8 lb chicken for the 5 of us. A $36 bird.

One gorge on roast chicken, stuffing, carrots, patooties, gravy etc.
Next night I made butter chicken curry (don't tell anyone but the sauce was from a jar and "tarted" up) and lucky me had leftovers for lunch the next day.....
Next night we had chicken quesadillas....
Then I made two deep dish pot pies with more than 2 cups of meat in each one. (Maybe even more than 3!)
Also 2 cups of homemade chicken stock in each one.

One we ate (and had leftovers for lunch the next day) and one I froze.

FIVE MEALS!!! (and 3 lunches!)

Now why would anyone pay $25/3 birds at the local grocery? 3 carcasses, not as much meat and who knows what kind of life they led??

Louisa's Deep Dish Chicken Pie (ideas from a bunch of different recipes on the net.....)

2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
2+ cups chopped chicken
1 med onion chopped
garlic cloves (I put about 4 or 5 in)
salt and pepper to taste
one pie I put cumin the other nutmeg/thyme
1+ cups chopped carrots
1+ cups chopped grean beans (I have an I chopped them the size of peas....)
chopped leftover potatoes
1 cup chopped chanterelle mushrooms

I cooked it all up on the stove while I made the crust and thickened with flour (about 1/3 cup)

2.5 cups white flour
1 cup butter
3/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup icy water + 1-4 Tablespoons

I made it in my kitchenaid with the flat beater.
until pea sized lumps....

Makes top and bottom crust.

I put them in deeper dishes that the crust fit......

Put in the oven at 425 for 30+ minutes. Crust looks ready and contents are bubbling
The one I froze I half cooked.

Shoulda taken a photo!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Education Paradigm

After taking last year off of homeschool swimming lessons (30 minute lesson and 1.5 hours in the pool....) we started again this fall. My youngest at just 5 was in his first lesson ever by himself and was put in quite a low group....a combination of baby looks, shyness and first timer I guess....
I had to accompany him to each lesson and sit with or near the lesson in the water each time. No biggie. But after the first two lessons I asked for him to be moved up....the kids were definitely not at his level of water happiness and even age. So he was moved up a group to a teacher we know is pretty great with the kids. (My middle son's favourite teacher) But Holdy was not happy. He told me "I don't want to do the seahorse back and forth mummy" (jumping with a foam snake between his legs across the pool, running forwards across then backwards, and other such pointless tasks) and "It's boring" - the activities were way below his water skills.....Tasks that helped kids to put their faces in water, float and be comfortable in the water. My guy swims under water and gets things from the bottom. I'm not saying he's anything special, just he wasn't put in the right group. The next group up that I can see is having tonnes of fun and are his age....But now he hates lessons, is bored, refuses to let me leave, refuses to do any of the activities, and is basically hating it. When he does do something (usually above and beyond the required task) the instructor can't really pay attention because he has other kids to deal with who *can't* do the different tasks. So now my kid, who won't do it and refuses to do it will get a report that says he can't and then won't be put up a group for the next cycle of lessons and the cycle will continue.
Today he was the only kid to show up. His instructor was off and there was a sub. OMG. First of all he got in the pool without me (I still had to change) I came along quickly and she had him diving to the bottom, swimming across the pool, all activities that he was challenged at and he was working SO HARD. And had such a BIG SMILE on his face. And I didn't really need to be there, although he did interact with me a bit and probably still needed me there. After the lesson he said "She was a better teacher than J** Mummy"
I hope J** gets to see that joy.
Sound familiar anyone?
Sound like school anyone?
Sound like bored belligerent boys anyone?
I know why I'm homeschooling even though I am constantly second guessing myself.