April 2021
Dear friends,
 
This month’s topic for our monthly email newsletter is food. We have lots of links, recipes and information for you as well as a short talk I made on food being the heart of family life.
         
First though, I did ask if anyone had any feedback from earlier newsletters they would like us to put in the newsletter. This was a submission we received:
 
I was absolutely shocked at how quickly the local Waldorf School (it is a Public Charter) has embraced (under the auspices of Covid) the Internet/computer for its instruction and learning methods. I thought that this was completely antithetical to the core beliefs of Anthroposophy, especially in relation to the educational nurturing of a child attending a Waldorf school! I’m very new to the teachings of Anthroposophy and the Waldorf way of schooling, so I don’t know everything, but I was saddened to see this method being forced on children at the local Waldorf school closest to where I live. I feel the only way around this is to homeschool. 
 
I wrote all that to basically say, I am extremely happy to know that the true uncompromising spirit and integrity of Waldorf learning is still present in the world today! 
DM, California
 
I would really love to have feedback from readers—if questions are asked, I would be happy to respond here, in the following newsletter!
 
May's newsletter topic is ‘music’ so if anyone has anything to share about their adventures with music lessons, singing or just how music is a part of their family homeschooling life, please send it to us!
 
On to food….
Food
Here is a short recording on the topic of food as the heart of the family. I talk about how shared meals become a place where children can learn what it means to be human—to cultivate gratitude, sharing, conversation, listening. The chaotic free-for-all is perhaps not the best picture—though of course, every family is different and what is most important is the spirit of love and gratitude—for the cook, for the plants and animals and farmers and for the spiritual worlds --which make the meal possible.
 
In the recording I read a verse which some of you might wish to use as a blessing before a meal:
 
The light has formed our food for earth,
And speech has formed the souls of human beings;
Eternal Light, Eternal Word
Within our hearts be seen, be heard.
 
By Adam Bittelston
 
Food and the kitchen are key parts of homeschooling from the kindergarten years right through the grades. Cooking itself, measurement, geography, eighth grade kitchen science, and lessons about growing/producing food and then eating it (from farm to table) are all an important part of the Christopherus curriculum.
Here is a wonderful book by a friend. She is a farmer and was once a Waldorf class teacher and before that a kindergarten teacher. If you are keen on the Weston Price/Sally Fallon approach to diet (sort of like macrobiotics but especially focused on fermented foods), you will like this book! Once upon a time we used to sell it. 
 
Here are two places where you can purchase this book. We are trying to not use Amazon and so recommend small companies like these:

Speaking of Weston Price, here is their website: https://www.westonaprice.org/
Highly recommended.

I am quite aware that many of you are vegan and that although you can be vegetarian to follow the Weston Price/ Sally Fallon method, you can’t be vegan. My vegan daughter-in-law recommends this site because she really likes the recipes. I looked and agree!




I asked people on our locals group (see below) for family friendly recipes. Here are three that have come in.

Fried rice

I started making fried rice as a quick and nourishing post partum meal and it’s stuck around.

It’s quick easy nutritious and delicious. Also plenty of opportunity for children to be involved with preparing various vegetables, cutting meat and cracking and whipping eggs! My 3 year old loves this. She won’t eat plain rice at the moment but always eats fried rice. She also enjoys cutting everything up!

Ingredients:
  • Bacon (as much as you like! Or sausage or chorizo)
  • garlic cloves
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger
  • Broccoli
  • Carrot
  • Peas
  • 4x eggs
  • 2 cups of jasmine rice
  • Sesame oil or olive oil

Method:
Precook jasmine rice and allow to cool.
Add sesame oil or olive oil to pan.
Chop up bacon and sauté for a few minutes.
Mince the garlic cloves and ginger and add to the pan until fragrant.
Mix in the vegetables and allow to cook for a few minutes before introducing the rice.
Add the rice and mix thoroughly before spreading the rice out and pressing it slightly into the pan. Leave for some minutes you want the rice to crisp up on the bottom. If it’s getting too dry or sticking add some more oil.
Then stir again and repeat process of pressing rice into the pan so that it gets all nice and crispy!
Whisk the eggs and mix it in and allow it to cook for a few more minutes.
Serve with fresh coriander (or cilantro for my American friends) spring onions and favorite Asian condiments.
Watermelon Popsicle

My children and I make this every summer.

Ingredients:
  • Popsicle mold
  • Watermelon
  • Berries ( we love strawberries, blueberries and blackberries)
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • any seasonal fruit works for this recipe

Instructions:
Blend or juice the watermelon (remove seeds)
Dice all the fruits evenly.
Add the watermelon juice to the popsicle mold half way through, add the diced fruits but leave enough room to finish with more watermelon juice.
Freeze and eat.
You’ll get to see all the fruits inside the popsicle and it’s a guilt free treat.
The children can help blend, chop and fill the molds.
Egg Custard

Here's a recipe for Egg Custard taken from The Nourishing Traditions Cookbook for Children by Sally Fallon. Our daughter made it as a 10yr old with minimal help. She needed supervision using the stove and oven. We enjoyed it so much as a family that we had her make it for a potluck with friends.

Ingredients:
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 cups cream
  • 1/4 syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • nutmeg or cinnamon

Tools: 6 ramekins (6-ounce), mixing bowl, wire whisk, baking pan
Serves: 6

"This dreamy dessert is baked in the oven in special dishes called ramekins. The ramekins are placed in a pan of water to keep the custard moist while it bakes."

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees
2. Mix the eggs, cream, maple syrup and vanilla in a mixing bowl with a wire whisk.
3. Pour an equal amount into each ramekin.
4. Place the ramekins in a baking pan and fill the pan with hot water until the water is about 1/2 inch deep.
5. Bake for 1 hour. Have an adult transfer the pan to and from the oven.
6. Sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon and drizzle more maple syrup on top. Chill in the refrigerator before serving.
Some of you might know about the practice of following the grains of the week in anthroposophical dietary advice and in some Waldorf kindergartens. Here is a very interesting resource for those of you interested in exploring this:
Last resource about food and how the poor quality of food is adversely affecting children across the globe. This is a link to the wonderful Children’s Defense group—they are most well known for being wary of too many vaccinations for children, but they also have an excellent if rather depressing section of their website called ‘too many sick children.’
 
Wondering why Bill Gates is buying up enormous tracts of farmland? Wondering what that has to do with a newsletter on food? Read on….
 
New curriculum materials!
Full year of language arts guidance for grade seven and for grade eight. Available this July. These product pages are still under construction. Eventually there will be further details including sample pages for you to view.
Want to deepen your experience of Christopherus, of Waldorf homeschooling, of artistic and inner work? Want guidance on self-development as a parent? Do consider purchasing our Self Study Course.
Til May,
Blessings on your homeschool journey,
Donna