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Month: October 2010

Apparently I’ve read a lot of children’s books

Posted in Informative

Aimee on A Book Dork posted a list of the top 100 children’s novels, bolding the ones she’s read.  I went through the list myself and it looks like I’ve read 66!  Holy cow.
100. The Egypt Game – Snyder (1967)
99. The Indian in the Cupboard – Banks (1980)
98. Children of Green Knowe – Boston (1954)
97. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane – DiCamillo (2006)
96. The Witches – Dahl (1983)
95. Pippi Longstocking – Lindgren (1950)
94. Swallows and Amazons – Ransome (1930)
93. Caddie Woodlawn – Brink (1935)
92. Ella Enchanted – Levine (1997)
91. Sideways Stories from Wayside School – Sachar (1978)
90. Sarah, Plain and Tall – MacLachlan (1985)
89. Ramona and Her Father – Cleary (1977)
88. The High King – Alexander (1968)
87. The View from Saturday – Konigsburg (1996)
86. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Rowling (1999)
85. On the Banks of Plum Creek – Wilder (1937)
84. The Little White Horse – Goudge (1946)
83. The Thief – Turner (1997)
82. The Book of Three – Alexander (1964)
81. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon – Lin (2009)
80. The Graveyard Book – Gaiman (2008)
79. All-of-a-Kind-Family – Taylor (1951)
78. Johnny Tremain – Forbes (1943)
77. The City of Ember – DuPrau (2003)
76. Out of the Dust – Hesse (1997)
75. Love That Dog – Creech (2001)
74. The Borrowers – Norton (1953)
73. My Side of the Mountain – George (1959)
72. My Father’s Dragon – Gannett (1948)
71. The Bad Beginning – Snicket (1999)
70. Betsy-Tacy – Lovelae (1940)
69. The Mysterious Benedict Society – Stewart ( 2007)
68. Walk Two Moons – Creech (1994)
67. Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher – Coville (1991)
66. Henry Huggins – Cleary (1950)
65. Ballet Shoes – Stratfeild (1936)
64. A Long Way from Chicago – Peck (1998)
63. Gone-Away Lake – Enright (1957)
62. The Secret of the Old Clock – Keene (1959)
61. Stargirl – Spinelli (2000)
60. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle – Avi (1990)
59. Inkheart – Funke (2003)
58. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase – Aiken (1962)
57. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 – Cleary (1981)
56. Number the Stars – Lowry (1989)
55. The Great Gilly Hopkins – Paterson (1978)
54. The BFG – Dahl (1982)
53. Wind in the Willows – Grahame (1908)
52. The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007)
51. The Saturdays – Enright (1941)
50. Island of the Blue Dolphins – O’Dell (1960)
49. Frindle – Clements (1996)
48. The Penderwicks – Birdsall (2005)
47. Bud, Not Buddy – Curtis (1999)
46. Where the Red Fern Grows – Rawls (1961)
45. The Golden Compass – Pullman (1995)
44. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing – Blume (1972)
43. Ramona the Pest – Cleary (1968)
42. Little House on the Prairie – Wilder (1935)
41. The Witch of Blackbird Pond – Speare (1958)
40. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – Baum (1900)
39. When You Reach Me – Stead (2009)
38. HP and the Order of the Phoenix – Rowling (2003)
37. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry – Taylor (1976)
36. Are You there, God? It’s Me, Margaret – Blume (1970)
35. HP and the Goblet of Fire – Rowling (2000)
34. The Watson’s Go to Birmingham – Curtis (1995)
33. James and the Giant Peach – Dahl (1961)
32. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH – O’Brian (1971)
31. Half Magic – Eager (1954)
30. Winnie-the-Pooh – Milne (1926)
29. The Dark Is Rising – Cooper (1973)
28. A Little Princess – Burnett (1905)
27. Alice I and II – Carroll (1865/72)
26. Hatchet – Paulsen (1989)
25. Little Women – Alcott (1868/9)
24. HP and the Deathly Hallows – Rowling (2007)
23. Little House in the Big Woods – Wilder (1932)
22. The Tale of Despereaux – DiCamillo (2003)
21. The Lightening Thief – Riordan (2005)
20. Tuck Everlasting – Babbitt (1975)
19. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Dahl (1964)
18. Matilda – Dahl (1988)
17. Maniac Magee – Spinelli (1990)
16. Harriet the Spy – Fitzhugh (1964)
15. Because of Winn-Dixie – DiCamillo (2000)
14. HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban – Rowling (1999)
13. Bridge to Terabithia – Paterson (1977)
12. The Hobbit – Tolkien (1938)
11. The Westing Game – Raskin (1978)
10. The Phantom Tollbooth – Juster (1961)
9. Anne of Green Gables – Montgomery (1908)
8. The Secret Garden – Burnett (1911)
7. The Giver -Lowry (1993)
6. Holes – Sachar (1998)
5. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – Koningsburg (1967)
4. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – Lewis (1950)
3. Harry Potter #1 – Rowling (1997)
2. A Wrinkle in Time – L’Engle (1962)
1. Charlotte’s Web – White (1952)

Food Night 06 October 2010

Posted in Informative

I hosted food night at my house this evening.  Turnout was a bit sparse, but we knew that it would be ahead of time, so we just decided to make hand foods/finger foods.  As always, everything was delicious.  We ate pretty quickly, so I have some pictures of my food that I took previously, and then a couple quick shots that I took after-the-fact.

I decided to try making savory scones.  I had never made scones of any type before, but this recipe really caught my eye, so I tried it out.  I didn’t use fresh dill because I couldn’t find any (I used some dried dill weed), but I otherwise stuck pretty close to the recipe.

Brandon brought cucumbers stuffed with cheese, sour cream, walnuts, and paprika.  Crisp, refreshing, and delicious.

Drew brought a few things: some lemon curd from a previous dinner party, fruit skewers, and polenta.  The texture of the polenta was fantastic.  I think he said it was from local yellow and green corn that had been milled nearby.  Yum!

After eating, we watched Hot Fuzz, which is always awesome!  Overall an enjoyable night.

Blueberry and Apple “Caviar” Bubbles

Posted in Informative

A couple weeks ago, I saw this site in one of my Kansas friends’ gtalk statuses.  I thought “hey, that seems pretty and cool,” so I forwarded it on to most of my local friends.  Much to my surprise, people were really excited about the idea of juice “caviar” beads and were interested in turning it into a project.  Maggie ordered the chemicals we needed to get the juices to gel, and Saturday we got together to experiment.

Maggie had found two different recipes to try; one by weight and one by volume.  We used blueberry juice cocktail for our experimentations with the by weight recipe and pure apple cider from the Apple Festival for our by volume recipe.

While we succeeded in making juice beads from both recipes, we had to use a lot more sodium alginate and calcium lactate in addition to what was listed in the by weight recipe.  We had much more success with the by volume recipe.

The apple cider beads were both less fragile and more flavorful.  The main change I would want to make is getting beads with brighter colors.  I think orange soda beads around Halloween would be a lot of fun.  It sounds like our next attempt might be olive beads, though, so this may be a frequent ongoing project.

I tried eating the beads both plain and with plain yogurt.  Because the blueberry ones were less flavorful in the first place, they became even more bland with the edition of yogurt.  I found the apple ones to be so refreshing on their own, I ate them plain and on a cracker (like caviar!  haha, I wish I had taken a picture of that).

None of the sites we looked at discussed the storage and longevity of the “caviar” bubbles.  We had the following experience:

We drained and stored the bubbles in glass bowls and glasses in the refrigerator.  The apple beads kept well through the next day, until they were eaten.  The blueberry ones turned into a mass of goo in solution after several hours in spite of refrigeration.   Again, this difference seems to be a product of the difference in recipes (and possibly a difference in juice content since the apple had no added water, while the blueberry juice cocktail was mostly water and sugar).

Future experimentation will involve different juices/liquids as well as different sizes.

Recipes:

By Weight (via video linked from parfait site):
2g sodium alginate dissolved in 200ml juice
5g calcium lactate dissolved in 500ml water
Bring juice mixture to 183F on stove, whisk until there are no flakes and/or bubbles
Cool (do not go below 50F)
Drip beads into calcium lactate solution and let soak for 3 minutes to create gel skin
Drain and store in a cool environment or serve immediately

By Volume (via Wikipedia spherification entry, modified slightly, using calcium lactate instead of calcium chloride):
1 teaspoon of sodium alginate dissolved in 1 cup juice
2 teaspoons calcium lactate dissolved in 2 cups water
Bring juice mixture to 183F on stove, whisk until there are no flakes and/or bubbles
Cool (do not go below 50F)
Drip beads into calcium lactate solution and let soak for 3 minutes to create gel skin
Drain and store in a cool environment or serve immediately