tall tales tuesday – The Night Fairy – Laura Amy Schlitz

not a typical fairy book.  Flory looses her wings and has to change her fairy nature to survive, using some of her inborn fairy magic, but mostly determination, perseverance, and ingenuity. a nice quick read, beautifully illustrated, with some good life lessons tossed into the mix.

School Library Journal – Review of the Day – The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz

Fantasy Book Critic – The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz

Book Page – Laura Amy Schlitz

tall tales tuesday – The Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

another find from A Mighty Girl top read alouds pick.  another great story – and don’t let the title mislead you.  this is not a typical disney-fied princess book.  Hale follows themes of family, community, tradition, education (and the broadening of horizons through learning) set in a world with a little fantasy.  looking forward to the rest of the series.

wikipedia – The Princess Academy

Shannon Hale

Library of Congress Bookfest – Shannon Hale

tall tales tuesday – Mog and Bunny – Judith Kerr

new routine for the year includes signing out a book each day from class.  this was our first.  my favourite line:

He was her best thing.

beautiful.

we read this book 10 times between after lunch yesterday and before school this morning.

apparently there’s a whole series.  must find more!

Good Reads – Mog Series

spoiler – The Guardian – Why Mog Had to Die

tall tales tuesday – the girl who… fairyland – Catherynne M. Valente

follow September’s adventures through Fairyland with an intriguing cast of characters. we’ve just started the series. it seems obvious to relate this to Alice in Wonderland, but really, they’re similar only in the surrealism and “through the lookingglass”ishness. in some respects the girl who… series is more complex, relating more to the (adult) reader. an entertaining read aloud, but definitely not simple.  finished the second and have ordered the third.

Fairyland (series) wikipedia

The Guardian – review

thebooksmugglers – joint review

Vancouver Island Regional Library – record for Catherynne M. Valente

worldcat – recod for Catherynne M. Valente

tall tales tuesday – Waiting for the Magic by Patricia MacLachlan

simple, basic, very short. not up to our usual standards. it’s ok, blew through it in a couple of hours. not very interesting, not very bright to read, so meh from our ratings.  nice illustrations, although they basically fill up the spaces in an otherwise pretty thin story (physically and metaphysically)

Patricia MacLachlan – wikipedia

Q & A with Patricia MacLachlan

Author Revealed: Patricia MacLachlan

tall tales tuesday – Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

truly free range British kids in the 1930s adventure across the Lakes District & Norfolk and around the globe. characters are interesting, each contributing uniquely to the stories.  descriptive, wonderful, entertaining read-aloud books.  huge hit in our house.

stellabooks.com – Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

vintagenovels.com – The Swallows and Amazons Series by Arthur Ransome

Vancouver Island Regional Library record for Arthur Ransome

WorldCat – Ransome, Arthur 1884-1967

100% Rye

100% Rye - Shannon Stronger

100% Rye – Shannon Stronger – Nourishing Days

I recently purchased Nourishing Days’ Shannon Stronger’s 100% Rye sourdough recipe e-book, and have been super thrilled with the results.  I’m using my wild-wrangled-yeast whole rye sourdough starter for the sourdough called for in the recipes, and it seems to work just fine (it’s roughly a 1:1 by volume ratio of flour:water).  I just made the brownies and they are divine – rich, brownie texture, not too sweet (i.e. it’s not the only flavour), but really great chocolate fix.  Our favourites:

Chewy Molasses Snack Bread
No-Knead Multipurpose Dough (more on that in a moment)
No-Knead Sourdough Pizza Crust

I’ve made the above recipes so many times, I’ve almost got them memorized.  I’ve adjusted the multipurpose dough to a “bucket” dough, and find that leaving it in the refrigerator overnight (at least) really improves the resulting bread.  Using Shannon’s No-Knead Sourdough Loaf recipe (but the bucket-ed sourdough) I add 3 tsp cinnamon, and I use a smidge of olive oil before measuring the molasses (I think it’s 5 tbsp molasses that I add), and 3 tsp sea salt (I’m pulling this from the back of my brain, might not be right! check her original recipe, similar to her boule recipe).

I take out about 3 cups of the “bucket” dough and reserve it to start my next bucket – adding no further starter, just following Shannon’s directions for the rest of the multipurpose dough recipe.  I’ve made three loaves from the leftover “bucket” dough: two regular sourdough loaves, plus a raisin loaf, to which I add raisins and more cinnamon and a bit of raw sugar (maybe 2 tbsp) after I’ve removed enough prepared dough for the two regular loaves first.

Recently, I used my Pullman loaf pan (inherited via my aunt’s family who used to run a deli business and baked their bread in that loaf pan every morning) to make up all of the dough in one big loaf (minus the 3 cups removed for starting the next “bucket”), and it was magnificent.  It took longer to bake, but I let it rise first, and baked it at the same temp as Shannon’s regular loaf recipe calls for.

I believe this has been a very successful $6 (roughly!) spent.