This is my lovely mother-in-law's recipe. As originally written it calls for a jelly roll pan, but I don't have one of those, so I did some math, changed up the quantities, and converted the recipe into one that works with the regular cookie sheets I (and you?) have on hand. Maybe you'll try it sometime.
Ice Cream Cake Roll
Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, and vanilla until very light and fluffy. Gently stir in dry ingredients. Combine well.
In a small bowl, mix melted chocolate with water and baking soda. Add to flour and egg mixture. Combine well.
Grease a 13" x 18" x 1" sheet pan. Line with parchment paper, leaving 3" of paper hanging on all 4 sides. Grease again. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Meanwhile, dust a clean, dry tea towel evenly with sifted cocoa. When cake is done, pull it out of the oven and immediately turn it over onto the towel. (The cocoa will prevent the cake from sticking to the towel.) Remove pan and let cake cool for 5 minutes.
Carefully peel away parchment paper. Roll cake gently in towel. Cool to room temperature.
Once cool, unroll the cake and spread evenly with ice cream that has been softened for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Re-roll cake with ice cream. Wrap securely in aluminum foil and freeze until firm.
When ready to serve, slice the cake into 1"-thick pieces and garnish with chocolate sauce, if desired.
aside from easter, we also celebrated a birthday over the weekend. as per the birthday boy's request, i made an old-fashioned ice cream roll (using his mother's recipe--no pressure or anything). i didn't have the right size pan so it took 2 tries and some pretty profuse sweating. in the end, it turned out not too shabby. will post the recipe tomorrow--with revised quantities and cooking times--in case anyone else in the family is up to the challenge.
say happy birthday to the engineer, hey?
i hope you had a great easter weekend.
we sort of stumbled upon what i hope will be a new tradition--sandals in the children's easter baskets. we had intended to buy them anyway, but presenting them as a gift at easter gave us the opportunity to talk about Jesus Christ and walking in his (sandaled) footsteps. k read a scripture and a short poem, and it was really very sweet and meaningful.
we also enjoyed k's annual easter egg hunt on saturday, making resurrection bread, and church on sunday.
do you celebrate easter? if so, what are your traditions?
well. the not-being-goofy-slash-self-conscious needs more practice. but i am working on it.
semi-related: these flat hair pins are a recent supermarket find. i recommend them if you have really heavy hair like mine and regular bobby pins won't cut it. they hold a lot of hair well without being obvious. i wear them for the braided 'do in the photos--one on each side to secure the thickest part of each braid (near the ears)--and they don't show at all.
[photos by olivia]
Obviously, reading chapter books aloud isn't just for homeschooling families! But it's a great way to foster literacy so I'm including it as part of this series. Getting started can seem daunting, so today I'm sharing 5 strategies for success:
At what age do I start? This varies of course for each child, but in my experience, around age 4 is a good time. You can certainly start earlier if you like, but in that case I recommend it as a secondary activity (I hate to call it background noise, but that's sort of what I mean) while the child is quietly engaged in doing something else. Don't expect the child to sit still for long periods of time in the beginning. Start with short reading sessions at first and work up to longer ones as the child's attention span grows over time.
What time of day is best? Again, this varies with each child. Currently our routine is to read aloud at bedtime as the children are winding down for sleep, but in the past we've also had success reading first thing in the morning (snuggled up in bed together), over breakfast, or during quiet time in the afternoon. Experiment with different times of day to see what works best for you and your child.
What should I start with--any suggestions? In the beginning I recommend books with short chapters and lots of illustrations. Books with a bit of humor are good too. To that end, I recommend works by Roald Dahl, Beverly Cleary, and E.B. White as first read-aloud chapter books, but any book/author that captures your child's attention will do.
Keep in mind when making your selections that it's okay to take into account your own preferences as well. Slogging through a book with a too-precious storyline or a writing style that makes you cringe just because your child liked the artwork on the cover isn't conducive to a successful long-term read-aloud experience.
What about reading aloud with older children? Reading aloud as a family can be a great experience with children of any age! I remember reading aloud on long car trips as a teenager, and my husband still enjoys being read to while he drives. Of course the trick is when you have multiple children of different ages and at varying comprehension levels--what then? In that case, just choose any book that is engaging and well-written, even if some of the language is beyond a younger child's understanding. He/she will still be able to follow most of the plot, and at the same time be exposed to complex speech and sentence structure that sets the stage for future literacy.
What if I fail? You probably will sometimes. We're all busy families. We don't always have time to read aloud. And even when we do, some reading sessions will inevitably go more smoothly than others. The important thing is to keep trying. Be consistent and persisent, and you will have success!
Now it's your turn. What suggestions do you have for reading chapter books aloud with children? Any experience, wisdom, and/or book recommendations to share? Please do!
this is how we've been spending our saturdays lately--and afternoons and evenings when we can. if the weather's nice and we have the time, we bike to the grocery store, the park, the library. or just explore the neighborhood. it's a bit of a parade, yes, but we have so much fun doing it.
sadly, we had a casualty last weekend. totally my fault. long (clumsy) story short--the front fork of asher's balance bike split in half. waaaaah. sadness. a moment of silence for the best $12 i ever spent. (it was a clearance item at target a few years ago.) the good news is we were able to source a piece of birch plywood--an exact match to the original material--at home depot last night and the engineer is confident the bike will be as good as new very soon. the plywood cost about $16, so i guess the bike will now be the best $28 i ever spent.
rule #1: you can't be too picky about stuff like people smiling or looking at the camera or keeping their tongues inside their mouths.
rule #2: there is no other rule.
so once a year, we move the furniture around, set the camera timer, and take about 20 of these. inevitably, by the third or fourth photo, there are tears, and, without fail, the first photo turns out to be the best of the bunch anyway, but still we continue the exercise.
and then we eat more donuts.