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Cooking Up Fun with Our Friends

What a beautiful week! It officially feels like Fall here at Skill It, a season that calls for lots of cooking!

At our Farmer’s Market there is still an abundance of green things like bok choy, kale, lettuce, broccoli, and now Brussels sprouts. It seems that the stove and oven are going non-stop every evening with roasted vegetables, simmering soups, and hearty pasta dishes. It is a glorious time to play in your kitchen while chopping, peeling, talking, and eating.

Celebrating the flavors of Fall is what we’ll be doing in Season’s Eatings, starting on November 5th!

Here at Skill It we are happy to have so many friends with like-minded businesses, blogs, and outlooks on food and family.  Like any good neighbor, we’ve been sharing our recipes with them.

So today, I am inviting you to read a little bit more about Skill It and Season’s Eatings over at their houses!

The beautiful photographs and rich information that FIMBY (Fun In My Back Yard) shares is always inspiring.  From homeschooling to soap-making, there is something for everyone to learn from this wonderful blog. We wrote a guest post about what food & family dinner can look and feel like. And we shared a recipe for our delicious, and bright pink, borscht.

There is limitless creative inspiration at the Crafty Crow and we love gazing at their photos and tutorials. We created a printable PDF recipe for a heart & house warming Fall Harvest Vegetable Soup just for them. Be sure to download & print it out for yourself and share a copy with your friends, too.

Are you thinking of registering for Season’s Eatings?  Kara Fleck at Rockin’ Granola is hosting a giveaway for several spots in the class!  Be sure to head over to her blog before Wednesday, Oct. 24 before midnight, so you can enter to win {if you are already registered, you can still enter the contest and gift your spot to a friend!}

Thank you for pulling up a chair and saying hello, I am delighted that you are here!
xo
Leah


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Poetry for Dinner: Food Haiku

We’re hooked on food haiku here at Skill It.

Ever since I read the post about Haiku Window art over at MamaScout, these elegant poems have been on my mind.  Now when we go to the Farmers Market I am writing lines in my head for each fruit and vegetable I see!

Skill It has always linked cooking with reading and writing.  From knowing how to read a recipe to writing down our observations of the cooking process, these skills are an important part of any chef’s work.

This link between the language in books and the language of food will be happening this Saturday when we teach a children’s cooking class at the Providence Athenaeum.  Connecting books and cooks offers limitless possibilities for delicious creativity!

Reflecting on our experiences with words, especially through writing or journaling, creates a deep connection to our memories.

This absolutely applies to the experiences of cooking and eating.  When we take a little time to describe a meal we’ve eaten, noting the colors, flavors, textures, and scents, it makes that memory vibrant and lasting.

Expanding our vocabulary to describe how things taste, smell, and feel is an important part of any food education.  We learn basics early on – sweet, hot, sour, crunchy, smooth – to describe our experience of basic foods.

As we taste new foods, we expand our palate and our vocabulary, too.

Juicy, bright, zesty, toothsome, moist, dense, and sharp – these words evoke even more emotion, a more specific culinary experience.

Taking the time to talk about food in ways that are imaginative, colorful, and creative, can be fun for the whole family.  I know that I prefer eating “zesty sweet potatoes topped with sauteed kale and toasted pumpkins seeds for pizazz” instead of “cooked sweet potatoes, greens, and seeds.”

Here are a few ideas from the Skill It kitchen on how to incorporate creative language at the dinner table or snack time:

1 – Write a Food Haiku before or after meal time
2 – Family Culinary Thesaurus – create a notebook or chalkboard listing creative food adjectives
3 – Taste Around the Table – during dinner time, have each person at the table come up with 1 or 2 adjectives to describe what they’re tasting {keep it positive and no repeats!}

With food and nature as your subject, you and your family will never, ever run out of ideas to feed your culinary haikus!

How do you write a Haiku?
Haikus are made up of 3 lines.
Line 1 is 5 syllables
Line 2 is 7 syllables
Line 3 is 5 syllables again

The lines do not need to rhyme but you will likely notice yourself creating a rhythm that is pleasant to the ear. Haiku is an excellent way for children to become more aware of how to pronounce longer words as they sound out and count the syllables as they write.

Haikus look lovely when paired with art or photographs as we’ve done here!

Leave your haiku here in the comments below, or share with us on the Skill It Facebook page!


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Joy at the Table

At heart, Season’s Eatings was inspired by a desire to bring joy to the kitchens and dinner tables of families near and far.

Family dinner can be a sacred, restorative time in our day.  It’s a chance to slow down, connect, and nourish both our bodies and our relationships with one another.

How we get that food on the table can be simple and fun.  It can make everyone in the house feel useful, valuable, and empowered.  There is always a way to suggest a task for an extra set of hands that find themselves in the kitchen.

With children, it is amazing how early on they can focus and are eager to make a meaningful contribution to the family dinner.

In September I stayed with my best friend in Northern California and her family.  After our delicious dinner, their two year old daughter delighted in pulling out her step stool, grabbing a scrub brush and soap, and doing her best to tackle the sink of dirty dinner dishes.

Does it take more convincing than this to know that children are interested in learning to be capable human beings?

Our journey in the kitchen is focused on how you can nurture that desire to work in your little ones.  Whether they are washing salad greens, chopping up vegetables, or setting the table, little hands thrive when they have a job to do. {Big hands do, too!}

In the Skill It kitchen, we believe in simple, seasonal foods.  We like to prepare them in a way that honors their naturally delicious flavors. In our thinking, the goal is not necessarily to be a gourmet, it is to model a healthy approach to food to the young souls who are learning from our actions. 

And yes, it is possible to put a meal on the table made from healthy, delicious foods even if you only have half an hour to make that happen!

With Season’s Eatings, we are creating a community that encourages and applauds one another for bringing joy and magic to the noble work of feeding our families.

Together, we’re gathering at one big table, laughing, talking, and celebrating over bowls of steaming soup and plates of roasted vegetables.

Having fun with food, ourselves, and our families.

Bringing joy to dinnertime, one dish, and one day, at a time.

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