Monday, December 2, 2013

Stone Soup Rocks!

New development. Starting in August, we have been homeschooling around here. My newest hat is first grade teacher. There are many reasons why this made sense for us right now. I'm sure I will bore you with all of them soon enough. It is more demanding, but also more rewarding then I ever thought possible. So, a ladle of some of what I am enjoying the most? Those impromptu lessons that you can savor right out of books. Those connections from fresh food to fork. Using dangerous appliances and sharp objects. And watching some little boys cooking and taking ownership over that domain.

A few days ago the boys were begging me to read our antique copy of Stone Soup. Many versions of this story exist, but the one we have with the most comical illustrations is by William Furstenberg and Hans Wilhelm.

If you have never heard of this story it is a morality tale all about how all the people in the town are too greedy to share their surplus of food with some unexpected traveling guests because they fear those which they do not know. (Where else do we begin making peace then around our own tables?) The guests outsmart and guilt the greedy and piggish (pun intended) townspeople into bringing out all their stores of food from the ridiculous places they have hidden them, inside the cupboards, in the well, under the bed. . So one by one the concealed items are brought forward and plopped into the water and the cooperative effort ends up making, of course, soup.

My kids love this story. And it's a punchy lesson for grownups too. So on that day, THE KIDS decided to make up their own recipe for Stone Soup. (Mama helped, a wee bit). And it just so happens to be quite frugal, so we thought we'd include it here.

In a large crock pot add:
A handful of smooth well washed rocks (a crazy paranoid science mom, who checks those things, says don't include any of these... because I am sure that you keep piles of asbestos in your kitchen).
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • Pepper to taste, but leave out the pepper if you are seven 
  • 3 Tbsp of rosemary ~ $0.50
  • 4 Tbsp of oregano ~ $0.50
  • half a cabbage ~ $1.00
  • 4 diced carrots ~$1.50
  • 1/2 a white onion ~ $0.75
  • 5 diced potatoes ~ $1.75
  • 1 lb of cured ham ~ $5.50
  • 2 cups of whole milk or cream ~$0.74

Enough water to just cover all the ingredients. Set to cook on lowest temperature. When 30 minutes to hour is left add the milk or cream.

We just cooked our rocks in our soup. If you are sneaky or paranoid you can "magically" take the rocks out while the kids aren't looking and use a separate pot. My kids were really convinced they would, and rather disappointed when they didn't, melt. But, nevertheless, they still cooked and ate with atypical zeal!

For a yummy addition check out these honey breadsticks.
  • water
  • 3 Tbsp honey ~ $0.66
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil ~$0.20
  • 3/4 tsp of salt
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour$2.56
  • 3 tsp of yeast ~ $0.50
Fresh homemade butter for serving: $2.25
Serves 8. Total = $18.41
or  $2.30/ person

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