April 14, 2017

Change of Scenery Ahead.... & Finishing School & A Recipe

Life & School

Every two years we head back to Canada's west coast for a couple of months. This will be our third trip back as a family, and the anticipation of the months ahead are in full force.

We are approximately 1 month away from making this big trip--

this time 4 airplanes and about 35 hours

At the beginning of this school year, I had planned to finish up in May so as not to bring any school with us to Canada. But it seems to happen that whenever I am about a month away from "finishing school," my brain has already checked out. In my head, we are already finished school. In fact, I'm already thinking and planning next year.

My oldest has finished grade five math already, and she completed her online Social Studies course just yesterday. I'm having to slow down my Kindergartener--who is already flying through the Level 1A Singapore Math book. His reading is also well at a grade one level. My middle two kids are also ahead in their maths and reading anything that interests them.

Upon my completion of the book Teaching From Rest, I was reminded again that it doesn't matter if we are checking off all our boxes, or completing every.... single..... worksheet or assignment. What matters is, that my kids' sense of wonder and curiosity is engaged, and I see them seeking after projects and subjects on their own. Which, Praise God, it is.

So for the next little bit here, until we depart, they will be on a "lighter" schedule. We will fill the day with plenty of piano practice, listening to memory verses we've learned this year, reading lots, and doing some copywork of their choice.

In the Kitchen

Spice Cake &
Cooked Buttercream Icing

I especially love this icing because of how smooth and creamy it is. The confectioner's (icing) sugar that I can buy here, isn't very fine and doesn't dissolve completely when I make icing. This method ensures a smooth finish, plus it uses regular white sugar---which I always have on hand anyways.

For the Spice Cake
(All spices are ground)

1/2 Cup Butter
2 Eggs
2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp ginger
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 1/4 Cups Buttermilk or Sour Milk

Bring butter and eggs to room temperature before using.

Grease a 13x9x2 glass baking pan and lightly flour.

In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients except sugar.

In a mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer and add sugar and vanilla. Beat until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, making sure they are well mixed in. Alternately, add dry ingredients with buttermilk, ensuring to mix thoroughly after each addition.

Pour into prepared pan.

Bake in a 350 C degree oven for 35 to 45 minutes.

Cool completely before icing.

For the Cooked Icing

Be sure to follow this method so your icing comes together. Allow yourself at least 45 minutes for this icing.
4 1/2 Tablespoons Flour
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Butter, softened but not melted
1/2 tsp Vanilla
pinch of Salt

Beat softened butter with an electric mixer until basically whipped--a couple of minutes.

In a small saucepan, whisk flour and sugar together. Put on medium heat and add milk. Once it begins to thicken, cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Pour pudding into a heatsafe bowl and cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic covers the surface of the pudding. Cool completely.

Add pudding mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, to the whipped butter, beating after each addition. Once combined, add vanilla and salt and beat for about another 2 or 3 minutes. The icing should be thick and creamy and ready to frost cakes or cupcakes.

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