School Days… School Days… Dear Old…

 School days, school days
Dear old golden rule days
Readin’ and ‘ritin’ and ‘rithmetic
Taught to the tune of the hickory stick
You were my queen in calico
I was your bashful barefoot beau
And you wrote on my slate
“I love you, so”
Will D. Cobb, 1907


Two years ago, those words pierced my heart.  I have very fond memories of school, learning, and the various schools I attended.  Would my children have the same fond memories?  Was I building great memories of learning or was school going to be just another part of life that they didn’t necessarily dislike but just wasn’t all that memorable. 


I decided to make it memorable.  I instituted me reading aloud their history and science.  This is huge.  HUGE.  I do not like to read aloud and I do think that reading it yourself is extra beneficial.  There is something about your eyes seeing those letters that seems to burn the information into your brain just a little clearer.


Oh, I know, that means I’m a “visual learner.”  Actually, I’m not.  I’m an auditory learner if anything. 


In addition to that, I do not like to read aloud.  I’m actually a very good reader when I put my mind to it but it it torture for my brain to keep my eyes on the sentence that I’m reading when it is dying to skip along much faster than my tongue or my  children’s ears can follow.


It was a success.  My children loved it.  Shame on me.  There is no reason I shoudln’t have done it years earlier.  Now they’re clamoring for History, Science, Geography, and projects, assignment sheets, and more accountability than ever. 

This year, I’m adding them all.  In addition, I’m adding quite a few new things to the mixture.  It’ll mean new responsibilities for me and a change in schedules around here but it’ll work I think and work well.


What are you doing to make school run smoother and more interesting for everyone involved?

Kringler: The nearly sugar free pastry


Pastry base:

1 c. all-purpose or unbleached flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 c. butter
1 tbsp. water


1 c. water
1/2 c. butter
1 c. all-purpose flour or unbleached flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
3 eggs


1 c. powdered sugar
1 tbsp. half and half
1 tbsp. butter
2 to 3 tsp. almond extract

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In medium bowl, combine 1 cup flour and 1 tablespoon sugar. Using pastry blender or fork, cut in 1/2 cup butter until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle flour mixture with 1 tablespoon water while tossing and mixing lightly with fork.

On ungreased cookie sheet, form dough into 2 (14 x 3-inch) rectangles. (or spread out on a pizza stone.)

In medium saucepan, heat 1 cup water and 1/2 cup butter to boiling; remove from heat. Add 1 cup flour; stir until smooth. Beat in 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Spread topping mixture over base. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned.

In small bowl, combine glaze ingredients. Drizzle glaze over slightly cooled Kringler. (also is really good with sliced or slivered almonds on top)

Yield: 20 servings. (Tiny ones anyway)