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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Unschooling - Gardening

We've been enjoying a fun week as a family.  Monday we relaxed at home, Jon played with the kids while I tutored in the morning.  Yesterday the kids had gymnastics in the morning, I went to the doctor, and then we all went out to dinner at Red Lobster.  At things that I probably shouldn't have, but I figure every once in a while isn't going to kill me.  I get no side effects from eating wheat either.  This morning we went to the library and then the park.  This afternoon we broke ground on our garden.  Looking at the weather forecast, I think on Sunday we will spend some time splitting off the doubles/triples from the indoor seeds and try planting those.  Won't be too upset if they don't make it.  Likely start everything else the end of April.  Feels great to start the garden though!

Tried a new recipe for dinner tonight, from the Wheat Belly book.  It turned out okay, but the kids weren't big fans.
Three Cheese Eggplant Bake
1 eggplant, cut crosswise into ½” thick slices
1/2C olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3-4T sun-dried tomatoes
4-6C spinach leaves
2 tomatoes, wedges
2C tomato sauce
1C Ricotta cheese
1C shred mozzarella cheese
1/2C grated parmesan
4-5 basil leaves, chopped

Preheat oven 325.  Place the eggplant slices in a baking pan.  Brush both sides of the slices with most of the oil, reserving about 2T.  Bake for 20min.  Heat remaining 2T of oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach and cook until onion softens.  Scatter tomato wedges over eggplant.  Spread spinach mixture on top.  Top spinach with tomato sauce.  Mix together ricotta and mozzarella.  Spread cheese mixture over tomato sauce and sprinkle basil.  Sprinkle parmesan on top.  Bake uncovered until bubbling and cheese is melted, about 30 min.

Probably won't make it again, but got me thinking about using eggplant to make a dish similar to lasagna.  Might have to give it a shot sometime.  Thinking it might work if I cut the peel away and use the insides as a noodle layer.  Perhaps I will try it with some of the eggplants we grow.

Picked up some more homeschooling books today and got a chance to start one on Unschooling.  So far I feel like it's the way we already live.  I try to take advantage of any time my kids ask questions.  Carolyn has been loving counting the newly opened flowers every morning.  We found lots of worms in the graden area today as we were digging, so we looked up why worms are good for the soil.  The village is about to do some work on a sewer drain near the big pond at our neighborhood entrance, so we talked about drains and sewers while on our walk this afternoon.  So many easy ways to teach our kids, without even really thinking about it.  Some days (like today) I wish that I could get Jon on board with homeschooling.  I really do think that both of our kids could thrive at home.  But he's already firmly stated he's against it.  So I have the next year to work with Carolyn, and then hopefully we can continue to keep her interested in learning through unschooling at home even after she starts school.  The next few years are going to be interesting.

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