Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Direct From France: Beef Bourguignon!

Hey, très cool! A viewer in Normandy, France, has made beef bourguignon for me, inspired by the recent Food For Thought series (click here to win the book). He even included the shopping trip so that I could see that hospitality starts with our daily interactions with each other.

I hope you enjoy the video as much as I did. Mmmm...bacon...mmm...beef...

Great YouTube Moments of 2014

Monday, December 15, 2014

Homeschooling Memorization: Full Fathom Five

The two older kids' memorization this week is Shakespeare's "Full Fathom Five", one of Ariel's songs from The Tempest. This has always been one of my absolute favorites. The first line is oh so strong because of both the alliteration and the cross-rhyme within the line itself (five, lies). "Full" and "fathom" are also particularly strong because of the short, rounded vowels. When I read the first line I feel as if the first half is standing on solid rock, while the second half is falling off, falling into the sea.

Yep, I love it.

Then at the very end to have the onomatopoeic thing happening with "ding-dong" - the first ding-dong being to the reader the actual sound, the second being Ariel saying the words "ding-dong". You can read them both differently, and by the time you get to the word "bell", its very name seems like the sound it makes. As in, what does a bell say? Bell says "bell", daddy.

Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes;
Nothing of him that does fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark! Now I hear them -- Ding-dong, bell.

When The Tempest is performed this piece is usually sung.

Game Review: Timeline by Asmodee

One of our favorite family games is a simple tabletop card game called Timeline, in which, you guessed it, players form a timeline. It's really that simple. You have a bunch of cards and you have to place them in the correct place relative to each other, one by one. You know that Discovery of Greenland by Europeans came before The Microscope, but does the discovery of 1st Tyrannosaurus Skeleton happen before or after Monet painted Impression, Sunrise? Get rid of your cards first, win the game.

That simple, that fun.

If you're a homeschooler, this is a great way to encourage that organic learning we love so well. Knowing dates is important, but not as important as learning when things happened relative to each other. This is historical knowledge well worth having.

Before you watch a video review starring my oldest lad, let me urge you to pick this game up from a local game shop, if at all possible. If you haven't visited a local shop, you're missing out. Freaks and geeks, my friend. You'll fit right in.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Book Review & Giveaway: Food For Thought (w/ sweet bonus prize for homeschoolers)

Okay, so I lied. I said I was going to do the giveaway and review on Sunday. I'm doing it now.

Food For Thought: Reflections & RecipesHere, ladies and gentlemen, is an eminently practical book. And an eminently wise book.

Francis Foucachon is a classically trained French chef from Lyon, and a veteran of both the restaurant wars and the church planting wars. He has endured the slings and arrows of food and hospitality, and has emerged on the other side with gifts to give us.

I highly recommend his book; even if you buy it for yourself and never lend it out, if taken to heart it will be a gift to others.

I recommend it because it is full of joy and gratitude. It is difficult to find a book that talks about what food is for, and what people are for, that doesn't become either pedantic or shrill. Joy and gratitude are the solution to that. There is such a thing as good food, what food ought to be. And thinking on that can help you be what you ought to be.

The book is divided into three parts, the first dealing with what food is for, the second dealing with hospitality and Sabbath, and the third with food itself.

Foucachon is a church planter and pastor. His is a very Christian book. He first explores the place and purpose of man and food. Man is to be grateful to God, and creation is part of what he should be grateful for. Creation was made for our joy, and even after the Fall this is so. Therefore we are commanded to eat and drink.

Once we know our place, we see how vital hospitality is. This is where Food For Thought really comes into its own. Feasting, and especially Sunday feasting, should be a central part of the Christian life. And you can't have no feast by your lonesome. Hospitality is hard work, but it's worthy work. Foucachon is full of practical, simple advice on how to make hospitality happen. The book is worth the purchase for this section alone.
Francis Foucachon

The last part makes up fully half of the book, my friends. Recipes! Yes, half the book is recipes. And wonderful recipes too. Not for nothing have the French ascended to the top of the foodly heavens. And if you think French cuisine is over-complicated food prepared by and for snobs, you have another thing coming. I hope you like butter, cream, and wine. Buy the book here.

Hospitality is about giving. So I welcome you to my blog. Make yourself at home. Let me get you a beer. And oh, yeah, I have gifts. Giveaway time!

Roman Roads Media has offered not only to give away a copy of the book accompanied by Chef Foucachon's instructional video on French cuisine, but is also including a very very sweet prize for homeschoolers. a copy of The Aeneid portion of their Old Western Culture: The Romans video curriculum. I have viewed it and it is fantabulous.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest ends Wednesday the 17th at 11:59pm EST. A few of the ways of entering can be done once a day. Go to town!

Alas, contest is only open to those in the U.S. and Canada.


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