Monday, March 30, 2020

Isolation Opportunity for Creating a Richer Family Culture Idea #10: Chocolate chip muffins

Chocolate chip muffins are a good breakfast or snack when you want something special, that everyone loves (including me), but also easy to make and one bowl. 

Sometimes I make it when I don't have bread. Once I substituted bananas when I didn't have butter and it still turned out good. 

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chocolate chips if you live in the US, or a chopped up dark chocolate bar (100g) if you live in Portugal

Blend ingredients with electric mixer adding in one at a time. Are more milk if too thick. Scoop into a muffin tins with liners. 

Bake at 220°C/410°F for 7min (to puff up the tops) and at 180°C/375°F for 15min more, or until golden. 



Master list here: https://martajuliemaria.blogspot.com/p/isolation-reflections-and-ideas.html?m=1

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Isolation Opportunity for Creating a Richer Family Culture Idea #9: Sunday poetry teatime

We started irregularly having poetry teatimes on Sundays about a year and a half ago. I still remember the first time our oldest was four and Davy was two and my husband did not think it was a good idea: you're going to serve a hot beverage in a breakable teacup, the nicest ones we have? But one poetry teatime later and he was convinced. They were so good. (For about ten minutes of course) They were so careful with the delicate china. They felt so important. 

I got the idea from a mix of three sources: a post from Auntie Leila about a mother whose kids were grown up and what she thought had been most worthwhile in their education was memorizing a poem a week and reciting it for the family once a week, Sally Clarkson describing their family tradition of "Sunday tea" where they reserve time on Sunday afternoon to be together just parents and children without other social engagements, and finally all the homeschooling Instagrams with poetry teatimes. 

The idea is to bake something nice (today was mocha walnut torte from Jeanne Lemlin's cookbook "Simply Satisfying") or just open a bag of store bought cookies. Serve tea or hot chocolate in the winter in fancy cups. Each family member gets up, recites a poem and takes a bow. We pick one to memorize for the next week. 

This is something we have been trying to be more consistent about during this time. 

Master list here: https://martajuliemaria.blogspot.com/p/isolation-reflections-and-ideas.html?m=1

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Isolation Opportunity for Creating a Richer Family Culture Idea #8: Work on chores

I am still figuring out this "getting kids to do chores thing" and I don't have lots of answers, but I know now is a good time to devote extra time to it. 

From what I've learned from Charlotte Mason and Maria Montessori, I try not to use bribes or threats (external motivation) but by repetition 9f the same thing at the same time everyday I hope a habit will form. 

This is kind of (KIND OF) working for morning and bedtime routines, but I haven't picked a time for toy cleanup or had success with it. 

As for other things (ironing, as pictured, unloading dishwasher, helping with cooking), they do it when it's new and they are interested, but not consistently.

Any tips or successes on your part?


Friday, March 27, 2020

Isolation Opportunity for Creating a Richer Family Culture Idea #7: Video calls

I have realized during this social distancing bonanza that I don't call people enough. Mainly because it takes up valuable time and also because my kids seem to hit each other and break things more if I'm on the phone. Video calls make them feel more involved. 
We also had a tragic death of a friend this week that left us heartbroken and thinking about the last time we had talked to that friend. 
Life is so short. Make time for people. 

Master list here: https://martajuliemaria.blogspot.com/p/isolation-reflections-and-ideas.html?m=1

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Isolation Opportunity for Creating a Richer Family Culture Idea #6: Chocolate Chip Muffins

This is a recipe I use for breakfast when I don't have bread and not much time but want something special. You don't have to flip them like pancakes: you pour the batter in the muffin tins and can do something else. Everyone likes them, including me. Once I didn't have eggs and substituted bananas and they still turned out nice. Enjoy!

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup milk 
1 cup chocolate chips
(Or, if you live in Portugal and are sadly deprived of cheap, readily-available chocolate chips, 100g dark chocolate bar chopped up.)

Mix in each ingredient one by one with electric blender. If too solid, add more milk. Pour in muffin tins with liners (makes 12). 

7 minutes at 220°C / 400°F
15 minutes more at 180°C / 350°F

Master list here: https://martajuliemaria.blogspot.com/p/isolation-reflections-and-ideas.html?m=1