waldorf in the ny times.

October 24, 2011

{this looks very much like our children's nursery and kindergarten classrooms: photo © Sarah Baldwin, Bella Luna Toys}

Did anyone catch the article about Waldorf Education on the front page (!) of the NY Times on Sunday? It was an interesting take on the subject....apparently lots of high-tech types working at companies like Google, Apple and Yahoo are sending their kids to a Waldorf school in Silicon Valley. This would be of interest, of course, because Waldorf schools have a pretty strict no-screen policy. I loved the quote by one father (an executive at Google) in response to the argument that kids need computer time to compete in the modern world: "It's super easy. It's like learning to use toothpaste....we make technology as brain-dead easy to use as possible. There's no reason why kids can't figure it out as they get older." Also: "If I worked at Miramax and made good, artsy rated R movies, I wouldn't want my kids to see them until they were 17."

I personally have been surprised by how many parents with science and technology backgrounds send their kids to our school. You sort of expect the artsy, hippie, educator types to be there (and they definitely are!), but there are many of the other that I didn't expect.

The part of the article I found a little disappointing is that it didn't highlight the curriculum of a Waldorf School and the things it does offer....only what it doesn't. The curriculum is very rich and dynamic....and purposeful. (Here is a super brief overview.) This is what keeps us coming back (well, that and the wonderful community of families). I guess the article served its purpose however: to highlight the education and challenge the idea that our children need to be taught through technology. As Alice said this morning: "I wonder if this will lead to an explosion of interest in Waldorf Education. One NY Times article can change the world!" Preach it, Alice Q. Foodie!

So, did you read it? Thoughts? (This subject is probably the one that I get the most comments and emails about so I am curious... There is definitely a lot of strong feelings on the subject from both sides!)

p.s. Another NY Times article on Waldorf Education.

photo credit: bella luna toys blog (a new favorite....by a waldorf early education teacher!)

some good eats.

October 12, 2011

Here are a few things I've been making that have been tasting just right.  No pictures this time, so you'll just have to take my word for it!

These peanut butter cookies.  My friend Melissa first made these about a month ago and we shared them out of a ziploc baggie one night during a parent meeting at school.  They were sooo good that I texted her for the recipe that night.  I have made them twice already.  They are really peanut-buttery and nice and chewy (I'm not crazy about the thinner, crispier ones).  Try them and tell me what you think!

Kale Bruschetta.  This is what you need to do.  (Need.  And soon.)  Stem and coarsely chop a bunch of Lacinato kale.  Boil in salted water till tender (7 minutes or so?)  Drain and squeeze out water.  Grill some slices of caramelized onion bread from Bread and Cie (if you're local....otherwise just use a nice European-style country loaf).  Rub with garlic and drizzle with olive oil.  Spread bruschetta with some good ricotta (I was lucky enough to get some Gioia from the farmer's market recently.)  Top with kale, sprinkle with crunchy sea salt (I like Maldon) and drizzle generously with olive oil.  You can sprinkle some chile flakes too if you want some heat.  I always do.  This dish is insane.  I ate it for dinner twice this week (with a fat glass of red wine, which I also highly recommend).

Bastardized Zuni Chicken.  I love Zuni Chicken (who doesn't? I mean, besides vegetarians?), but on a weeknight I really can't be bothered with all the steps and fussiness.  Here's what I do and I think it's pretty darn near perfect.  Get yourself a nice organic chicken (3-4 pounds or so) from Trader Joe's.  Rinse and dry it very well.  Sprinkle generously with kosher salt.  Place on a plate and put in in the fridge uncovered.  Leave it there at least 6 hours (I like to do it in the morning before I plan to serve it).  About an hour before you want to serve it, roast the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan for 45 minutes at 450 degrees (or until done).  Meanwhile, take about a half cup of currants and soak in boiling water for a few minutes to plump them up.  Drain and then cover the currants with red wine vinegar.  Then, take a loaf of the same caramelized onion bread mentioned above and cut most of the crusts off.  Tear the bread into bite size (or a bit bigger) pieces and place on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil.  After the chicken comes out and is resting, put the bread under the broiler for a few minutes until some pieces are browning nicely.  Drain the currants and use the vinegar (add more if you need to in order to make 1/2 cup.  Add about 1/2 cup olive oil to the vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.  Toss the hot croutons with the currants, vinaigrette and a bunch of spicy greens (I love arugula and other strong flavored greens).  The greens will wilt slightly.  Serve the bread salad with the roast chicken.  DIVINE.

There you go!  Some fall-ish food for y'all.  :-)

my baby is two!

October 10, 2011

I can't believe it but my baby turned two years old yesterday!  Please don't tell me she isn't a baby anymore.  Look at those chubby cheeks.  Look at the big, brown give-me eyes.  And her little baby voice.  Don't get me started.  She will always be a baby to me, methinks.  :-) Thank you little girl for rocking my world in the best possible way.  

I was going to give you a big update on everything she's doing (I might still) and a re-cap of her birth, but you can just read about that here and here.  (And belly shots are here!)  But I will give you a few Instagram photos of her over the last month or so. 
{my constant companion}
{at a tea party with sister}
{hanging with her friend Dash and sister}
{she loves her some in-n-out}
{picking blackberries....also: "following her bliss"}
{checking out the flowers at bi-rite}
{baby mama baby}
{baby bikinis aren't just for the toddler and tiara crowd...are they?}
And a little video too (because it's been way too long).  This was from right after we got back from our trip in July FYI.  Terrible quality and I had a to cut a bunch out cuz she's naked and I'm a little worried about creepies.  Not that anyone who reads my blog would be creepy!


October 4, 2011

1.  I continue to dislike family dinner very much.  There is complaining about the food (C-Man and Juju), arguing/pestering (between the same two), spills (usually Little E) and other huge messes.  B is usually still working when the kids need to eat (5 p.m.) so it's usually just me overseeing the chaos.  I don't like it one bit.  Someone please tell me why the experts have decided Family Dinner Together Always and Forever is the single biggest indicator of a child's health, happiness and professional success.  I mean really.  We are together all the time.  We eat breakfast and other meals together.  Isn't that enough??  Sorry.  I guess I needed to get it off my chest.

2.  I feel a little guilty about how much I am enjoying Little E.  She can do no wrong in my book.  It is true she is an easy baby/toddler, but I know it has a lot to do with her being #3 and my last baby.  I wasn't able to enjoy and relax the others as babies like I am her and I feel a bit bad about it.

3.  When I get a break from the kids (by either having a sitter or B watch them), I come back and am just as easily frustrated by them.  It seems I would have more patience, a renewed energy, fresh perspective, but really it feels like I was never away.

4.  I am scared to take a Bikram Yoga class (pouring sweating and getting yelled at?), but a friend of mine is begging me to do so and swears by them.  Anyone?  Thoughts?

5.  I'm having trouble finding the desire and time to blog when there is Pinterest and Instagram to entertain me.  If you're looking for me, I am probably over here or hanging out as "missjora" on IG.  (Let's follow each other!)

Anything to get off your chest, or am I the only one?

Other confessions here.  

apple and pear picking.

October 2, 2011

On Friday, after C-Man got out of school, we went up to our local mountains and did a little apple and pear picking.  I have come to accept that (at this point anyway) B and I enjoy the experience way more than our kids do.  They aren't super duper excited to pick fruit, but they were very happy when we found a pear farm that had a friendly farmer ("Mr. Carl"), goats, chickens and horses.
{taste tester}
{c-man helping with the pears}
{on a mission...with big brother leading the way}
{pear tree}
{a girl, not a baby?}
{why you don't see many photos of this guy lately....I always get the "funny man" face}
{ju-ju wasn't feeling well, but she did try the apples}
{bags of pears}

things to cook this week.

spinach quiche
green salad with apples and walnuts

chicken enchiladas
pot beans

spicy squash salad with lentils and goat cheese

texas red chili (I am still on the hunt for a good recipe.....this sounds interesting)

pear and frisee salad with bacon and blue cheese (recipe from this month's everyday food)
homemade bread

pear and chocolate brioche bread pudding (also from everyday food)

oatmeal clafoutis (breakfast)

What do you have cooking?  Do tell.
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