Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Poison Berries?

The past few weeks, we have been learning about the birthday of our country and all the great people and things that made the United States of America what it is today: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence, and the 13 Colonies...just to name a few.

The kids learned the Yankee Doodle song and what the words really meant (I learned what they really meant too ;) Of course, they thought the 'macaroni' part was hilarious, as most kids do, until they learned that they really didn't stick pasta noodles in their hats.

I wanted them to make Hasty Pudding to try, but when the kids saw me getting out all the ingredients, they wanted to know where the rest of them were. When I told them milk and cornmeal with just a touch of butter and salt were all the ingredients, they decided they did not want to make it after all. And I didn't push...I saved 2 cups of milk...add a little cereal and we've got breakfast in the morning.

They did, however, want to make quill pens and berry ink. So, we went on a hunt around the yard. Sadly, we did not come across any feathers to use for our quill pens. We did come across what we think were the remains of a stray kitten that had been hiding out in our carport the past several days though. Nothing gross, just lots and lots and lots of black fur just like that kitten had. (Pause with me for a moment while I chase a rabbit). We think whatever got the kitten must have been the same thing that tried to get our cat the other night.  Whatever it was, it was stong enough to bite through our cat's (his name is Hot Shot) leg and sever his tendons. So, on top of everything else I have going on I have to nurse our cat back to health, he will always walk with a bad limp, and will most likely not be an 'outside cat' anymore due to his injury. He'd be a sitting duck for whatever is out there. Jason is going to set up a trap this weekend and see what we can catch though. (Now back to what I was saying...)    

J said we couldn't find any feathers because it wasn't 'bird feather shedding season'. We did find some "berries" though, very pretty purpley pink ones. I told the kids not to eat them because we didn't know what they were. We brought them in and put them in cups to be crushed later and went to wash our hands.  When Big J got home, he looked up the berries and found out they were poison berries and could make you sick if you ate them. Well, we didn't eat them, so we were all ok, but decided not to continue with the crushing part. So, plan B was to head to Wal-mart for more berries. Big J brought home fresh Cranberries. Here's a hint for anyone who ever wants to do this in the not use cranberries, they don't really work. So, plan C...a handful of blueberries and rasberries we had left in the freezer. (I should have gone straight to plan C to begin with, but where's the fun in that?)  Voila! Worked great and the kids drew the pictures you saw in the video using their quill feather pens and berry ink.

1 comment:

  1. Pauline, you do know that Colonial Americans went to Wal-Mart to buy blueberries for their blueberry ink, right? ;) That's exactly what we did, too. I'm impressed that you just attempted to do it the authentic way!!!


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