This book is #32 in The American Adventure Series. Set in 1906, the main characters live in St. Paul, Minnesota, but they take a vacation riding the railroad out west to San Francisco, California. Some historical events discussed included not only the massive earthquake in San Francisco which measured 7.8 on the Richter scale, but also Enrico Caruso singing in the opera Carmen, the fires that spread following the earthquake and the general disdain some individuals held for the Chinese at that time. Some character issues addressed included adjusting to the addition of a step-parent following the loss of a parent, discrimination based on race, and how working together in a stressful circumstance can build bonds between individuals.
"Nourishing Meals: Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Soy Free Dishes" (Many Recipes are also Egg Free): Book Review
We don't eat dairy during family meals due to allergies and I've been wanting more ways to incorporate foods with calcium into our kids' meals. I'm just not sure how much of the supplements or the added calcium in their nut-based milk is actually abosorbable for them, so I thought why not add more broccoli into our diets?
Maybe because we don't really like broccoli?
We tolerate broccoli in dishes, but we don't enjoy it. The best way for me to tolerate cauliflower is roasted, so I figured, let's give it a try.
And I'm so glad we did!
I found a recipe here which roasts cut broccoli with minced garlic, but the garlic falls right off when baking it. Here's what we did instead:
1. Wash broccoli, cut off florets and slice them in halves or thirds depending on size.
2. Drizzle grapeseed, olive, coconut or oil of choice over them and toss them.
3. Spread on a baking sheet, cut side down when possible (they get a nice brown that way).
4. Sprinkle heavily with salt and then garlic powder, then lightly with onion powder and pepper.
5. Bake at 450 degrees F for 20 minutes or until stalks are tender. Stirring them once at the 10 minute mark is a good idea and keep an eye on them because your oven may cook faster or the florets may be chopped smaller, etc.
6. Serve immediately (well, as soon as they are cool enough you won't burn your mouth!)
In this book, the children have been expressly told not to spend time with, or even be around newsboys, or other children of the 'rougher' sort that ran around without their parents and perhaps with disregard to social standards for behavior. When a newsboy helps Esther get home after she sprains her foot/ankle, she's unsure how her parents will react. She and her cousin, Ted, slowly become friends with him and discover he only works as a newsboy because his father was injured at the railroad and then lost his job. Humor keeps the book from being too serious or negative because Esther is forever finding herself in situations where she's scolded for unladylike behavior. She's a clumsy girl with good intentions and as the book wears on, she does discover a need to be more mindful of her behavior around others. She also demonstrates humility when being corrected or embarrassed.
The children travel with family to the Chicago World's Fair and discussion of the exhibits they viewed could lead to fascinating research or unit studies about the time period. From farming, to women's rights, to a towering Ferris Wheel, there is much to see during their visit. Returning home from the fair, the gravity of the unemployment situation bothers the children and Esther comes up with a way to help families who are having a hard time getting enough food. Eventually, the city takes more notice and begins to tally the number of unemployed and plans are made to help assist these families.
We use these books as part of our homeschool history to give the children a broad overview and spark their interest in American History. I've been very pleased with them and have only discovered a few books which had plots or content a bit too intense for my 6 and 4 year olds. All have been very appropriate for my 4th grader and enjoyable for me to read as an adult. I've learned a lot through this series that I hadn't learned in school and it's much more pleasurable than memorizing dates or watching a dry documentary.
This book had several quotes which would be excellent conversation starters. I'll share some of the ones I gleaned here:
The most creative acts in history are God-generated acts. It shouldn't surprise us that creative people are often chronic procrastinators. Creatives generate more ideas than they can pursue, which is one reason they are not the risk takers they are often made out to be. They tend to be cautious about the ideas on which they expend their energy. (pg. 18)
I would recommend this to anyone wanting to take a fresh look at Jesus as the Bible portrays Him. It can be easy to get caught up in what we think a Christian "walk" should look like or bogged down in guilt for areas we feel we don't measure up. This book opens the door for freedom to be who God called you to be rather than to try fit some type of cookie cutter mold created by the current church, the current culture, or perhaps most accurately, the current church culture.
In the interest of full-disclosure, I received a copy of this book courtesy of Tyndale House Publishers for the purpose of reviewing. I was not required to give a positive review, my opinions are genuine.
I usually run from recipes with vinegar based dressings. I tried this at my sister's house and loved it. When she generously sent me home with some of her garden fresh cucumbers this summer, I asked her for the recipe. She used THIS recipe on Betty Crocker's website.
I changed it up a tiny bit (I wanted to tone down the vinegar a bit more and also reduce the sugar) hoping a milder flavor would appeal to my kiddos. They tried it and didn't balk, but they really love plain or salted cucumber slices and prefer those. That's okay- more for my husband and I to enjoy!
Slice 2 cucumbers extremely thin. Take your time with this and make them thinner than some of the ones you see near the top of my picture. I was in a hurry, but the thinner ones (aim for as thin as you can without them breaking) had SUCH better taste and delicate texture. Thicker slices don't absorb the flavors as well.
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar (white or apple cider vinegar, I prefer ACV)
1 1/2 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
just under 1/8 tsp. pepper
Dump the mixture over the cucumbers.
Here's where my directions differ greatly from the website. I cover these and do not taste them for at least 24 hours, and I think they taste best after 48 hours. I do NOT drain the liquid from them, but allow them to stay in it since we eat them slowly. If I were serving to adults and expecting the whole plate of it to be consumed in one day, I might drain off some of the excess juice and reserve it in the fridge in case leftovers needed to be returned to it. The longer the recipe sits, the more the flavors mingle together and the vinegar mellows. Since I've never liked vinaigrette's I was surprised at how often I kept sneaking into these after they'd set! Yum!
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I am not much of a blog reader. There's only a couple I check on occasion:
Love this girl's writing... feels like she's a long distance friend. Well, her sister is my long-distance friend, so that probably helps. Either way, what an inspiration and encouragement- you just need to check out some of the places life has taken Leah and be strengthened and inspired by the love that oozes (yes, oooozes) from her heart for Jesus, His people and His creation!
If you like nummy recipes, or have special dietary needs (or both!) check it out. ALL of her recipes are Vegan, and many can be made gluten-free. I stumbled upon it when searching for dairy/egg free treats to make for my kiddo and have gotten hooked on several recipes. Okay, "hooked on" doesn't portray it well enough. How about "addicted to"? That's more fitting. Will definitely be going back for more!