Tuesday, December 22, 2015

CSA: Month Seven

For our final weeks of CSA experimentation, we went all in. We challenged ourselves a little bit, but were richly rewarded with some fun new foods and recipes.

Carrots
Roasted Carrot and Black Bean Tacos
Chicken Pot Pie (substituting as many CSA vegetables as possible)

Lettuce
Green Salad

Tomatoes
Green Salad
Rice-Stuffed Tomatoes

Kohlrabi
Sauteed Kohlrabi with Onions and Cream
Chicken Pot Pie (substituting as many CSA vegetables as possible)

Swiss Chard
Sauteed Swiss Chard

Peppers
Chicken Stir Fry

Cucumbers
Refrigerator Pickles

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potato Wedges
Leek and Sweet Potato Soup
Shared

Green Beans
Steamed Green Beans
Chicken Stir Fry

Bok Choy
Sauteed Bok Choy

Cilantro
Roasted Carrot and Black Bean Tacos

Kale
Chicken and Kale Casserole

Leeks
Leek and Sweet Potato Soup

Hakurei Turnips
Chicken Pot Pie (substituting as many CSA vegetables as possible)

Celery
Chicken Pot Pie (substituting as many CSA vegetables as possible)

Turnip Greens
Compost (went out of town and just couldn't use all our greens)

Arugula
Green Salad

Parsley
Garnish

Beets
Penne Pasta in Roasted Beet Sauce (did not use vermouth, poppy seeds, or mint leaves)

Pie Pumpkin
Decoration


Done and done. We had a great CSA experience, and we will definitely do it again, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't ready for a break. I'm only a little ashamed that we slipped back into convenience-food mode, but with busy schedules at the end of the year, we consider it a victory to eat together most nights. After some rest and rejuvenation, I'm confident we'll get right back into experimenting in the kitchen. It is crock pot season after all...


CSA: Month Six

What should have been the end of our CSA adventure was merely just a segue into our second CSA experience. When another local group started a fall share that we could pick up at Elsa's school once a week, we couldn't resist.

Kale
Chicken Stir Fry
Kale Puttanesca

Lettuce
Green Salad
Chicken Stir Fry Lettuce Wraps

Carrots
Carrot Top Pesto (served with steak)

Bell Peppers
Mini Stuffed Peppers

Hakurei Turnips
Grilled Turnips

Parsley
Seasoning (added to a variety of dishes--when I remembered)

Arkansas Black Apples
Plain/Raw Apples

Pie Pumpkin
Decoration (Jon doesn't like pumpkin pie, so baking with a real pumpkin is way too much work for just me)

Basil
Pesto

Bok Choy
Sauteed with Garlic

Garlic
Seasoning (added to just about every dish we cook)

Swiss Chard
Chicken Stir Fry; Chicken Stir Fry Lettuce Wraps

Heirloom Tomatoes
Green Salad
Tomato Soup

Pears
Plain/Raw Pears

Argula
Green Salad

Turnip Greens
White Bean, Sausage, Potato and Turnip Green Stew
2 tsp plus 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 large bunch fresh chopped turnip greens
2 cups diced smoked sausage
2 tbsp olive oil
3 medium potatoes (about 1 lb.), medium dice
2 leeks, tender part, diced (did not use)
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 (15-oz.) cans white beans, drained and rinsed
1 (32-oz.) container reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tsp ground black pepper

Bring 2 qt. water and 2 tsp kosher salt to a boil in a large stockpot over high heat. Add turnip greens, and blanch 3 minutes or until tender. Drain.

 Cook sausage in hot oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring often, 5 minutes or until browned. Stir in potatoes, and cook 5 minutes. Add leeks and next 3 ingredients, and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes or until leeks are tender.

 Increase heat to high. Add turnip greens and chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, black pepper, and remaining 1 tsp. salt.  *adapted from a recipe from Southern Living

Celery
Added to White Bean, Sausage, Potato, and Turnip Green Stew

Radishes
Garnish
With Ketchup (one of Elsa's favorites--who knew?)


As you can see, we stepped it up with our new CSA. Certainly not in creativity, but definitely in quantity.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

CSA: Month Five

Thai basil is the new kale. At the beginning of our CSA adventure, we felt overwhelmed by all the kale we were receiving. That pales in comparison with the amount of Thai basil that has appeared in our weekly bag.

Each market day has been like Groundhog Day. More Thai basil, more malabar spinach. While we contemplated taking the basil to our favorite Thai restaurant, leaving it on the doorstep with a note that read, "You can provide a better home for this than we can," I confess that the actual destination for it has been our compost pile.

Thai Basil
Dried Basil (that I snuck into meatloaf to everyone's dismay)
Compost

Malabar Spinach
Salad
Pasta Salad (substituted monterrey jack cheese for paneer and pine nuts for pistachios)
Stir Fry (with eggplant, sunflower sprouts, onions, peppers, broccoli, and chicken)

Mini Eggplant
Stir Fry (with spinach, sunflower sprouts, onions, peppers, broccoli, and chicken)
Eggplant Fries

Radishes
Steak Tacos (used as a garnish)
Pulled Pork Tacos (used as a garnish)

Sunflower Sprouts
Stir Fry (with spinach, eggplant, onions, peppers, broccoli, and chicken)

Squash Blossoms
Squash Blossom Quesadillas

Oyster Mushrooms
Fettuccini with King Oyster Mushrooms

While we should be nearing the end of our CSA season, we've joined a fall share, so while the two overlap, we are up to our ears in fresh produce. Not a bad problem to have at all.

Tour de Coop, aka "The Chicken Ride"

Last fall while I was attending a training, Jon and Elsa took part in a neighborhood bike tour of chicken coops, beehives, and gardens. They had such a great time and talked about it so much that I was excited to be able to join them this year.

On an unseasonably cool fall morning (for Memphis), we joined several other families to embark on our tour. Elsa loves a good bike ride from her perch on the front of Jon's bike, so she was thrilled even before we reached our first destination.

One of our first stops was a house with very impressive gardens in both the front and back yards. Jon and I were extremely impressed with the way the back yard was so functional. The raised beds were made from reclaimed roofing material and featured built-in benches so that caring for the various vegetables (planting, weeding, etc.) would be more comfortable. This set-up also allowed for great entertaining potential. We also really liked the screened-in deck, which is something we've discussed doing at our house. Someday, our yard will be more than just weeds...

Continuing along our tour, we saw some more gardens and beehives (Grandpa Walstrom would be so proud of Elsa's interest in honeybees) before finally getting to see what the day had promised: chickens. There was great variation in the chicken operations we visited, but all of them proved that it is possible to raise chickens in an urban neighborhood. We are far from ready to keep chickens in our own backyard, but it is pretty fun to know that they're out there.

It should come as no surprise to learn that Elsa took an epic nap after our grand adventure. A fun morning was definitely had by all.

Elsa wants to show you some chickens


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

CSA: Month Four

Month #4 of our adventures with a CSA began with us still being out of town, so this menu may be a little brief as well since we missed a couple of pick-ups. Combine that with the advent of school and a seemingly weekly repeat of fruits and vegetables, and it should come as no surprise that there will be few new recipes.

Regardless of any and all excuses, the following is what we've been having for dinner lately:

Thai Basil
Basil Pesto
Dried Basil (that I try to sneak in whenever I can)
Stir Fry (with spinach, sprouts, peppers, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, and stew meat)

Eggplant
Grilled Eggplant (sliced and covered in olive oil and spices)

Malabar Spinach (spinach leaves on a big reddish-purple vine)
Stir Fry (with basil, sprouts, peppers, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, and stew meat)
Tortellini Soup (the actual recipe we used was from the grocery store magazine, but this one from the website is pretty close; we used fresh spinach instead of frozen and diced tomatoes with garlic instead of stewed)
Spinach Quesadillas (with refried beans and cheese)

Sunflower Sprouts
Stir Fry (with spinach, basil, peppers, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, and stew meat)

Asian Pears
Sliced (and eaten like an apple...or a pear)

While this month was merely a continuation of the Thai basil trend, it was when we realized we're not big Thai basil fans (it tastes a little like black licorice). So, either the basil in our fridge is going to end up in our compost pile or we're going to have to learn how to cook Thai food. Stay tuned...

CSA: Month Three

With each passing month, picking up our vegetables each Saturday has become more and more of a routine. This is great, but I will confess, it has also resulted in a declining rate of creativity.

Nonetheless, here's what's been for dinner:

Basil
Basil Pesto
Margherita Pizza

Tomatoes
BLTs
Marinara Sauce (for spaghetti & meatballs and meatball subs)

Braising Vegetables (random greens)
Braised Greens

And that is the rather paltry extent of our CSA-inspired recipes for the month of July. (We, of course, did eat the rest of the month, but we also did some traveling so we had to share some of our vegetables.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

CSA: Month Two

With our second month of our CSA has come kale. Lots and lots of kale. While I guaranteed Jon that we wouldn't get five pounds of kale each week, I never promised that we wouldn't get five pounds of kale cumulatively.

Evidently, many of the other fruits and vegetables have succumbed to the weather or the pesky deer, but thankfully(?), the kale has resisted all such setbacks. Kale is good, but we're certainly ready to move past the spring greens.

Here's what we've been cooking this month (yes, we've been less creative as there are some repeats):

Basil
Caprese Salad (basil, tomatoes, and mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil)
Tortellini Pesto Salad (basil pesto over cheese tortellini mixed with tomato and cucumber)

Sunflower Sprouts
Sunflower Sprout Spread

Kale
Potato Skillet (potatoes, green peppers, onions, kale, kielbasa topped with cheese, sour cream, and/or salsa)
Panfried Kale
Chicken and Kale Casserole
Penne with Sauteed Sausage and Kale

Cucumber
"Pickled" Cucumbers (sliced cucumbers soaked in vinegar, salt, and pepper)
Tortellini Pesto Salad (basil pesto over cheese tortellini mixed with tomato and cucumber)

Green Tomatoes
BLGTs (bacon, lettuce, and green tomatoes with avocado for Elsa)

Oregano
Oregano Chicken

Tomatillos
Chicken Enchiladas

Braising Vegetables (random greens)
Braised Greens

Tomatoes
Tortellini Pesto Salad (basil pesto over cheese tortellini mixed with tomato and cucumber)

On to month three!

"Yay, Shakes-beard!"

I had been looking forward to the performance for months. As soon as I heard that Tennessee Shakespeare Company (TSC) was going to produce a condensed "family matinee" version of my all-time favorite Shakespearean comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream, I knew it was the perfect way to introduce Elsa to the Bard AND get my Shakespeare fix.

Of course, I didn't bother to get tickets to one of the two Wednesday morning shows in advance--I've learned not to plan too far ahead when dealing with a toddler--so when I checked the TSC website the night before and didn't see the morning matinee, I figured that tickets were only available at showtime.

I'd gotten Elsa all excited to see "Shakes-beard" (and convinced her that no, we weren't going to see "Fancy, Fancy" again), so we gamely set off to the theater at the University of Memphis. My excitement level was just as high...until I tried to open the door and discovered that it was locked. We tried a couple of different entrances until I found a kind woman in one of the theater building offices who explained that the family matinees had been cancelled. Disappointed, I blurted out that that unfortunately the evening performances were past a certain someone's bedtime to which the woman replied with a sympathetic tilt of her head and cluck of her tongue, "No Shakespeare this year." No surprise that she works in a drama department.

Dressed and ready with no place to go, we settled on the Children's Museum (which was probably more fun to Elsa anyway), but before we went in, I decided to contact TSC via Facebook to ask them to at least update their website so that no one else mistakenly went to a show that wasn't.

Within a day, the founder and producing artistic director of TSC replied to apologize for the cancellation. He also reminded me of the 3pm Sunday matinees--well before bedtime--and said that if I emailed him the date of one of the remaining performances, we could attend as his guests.

Well. Complimentary tickets to my favorite Shakespeare play? Don't mind if I do.

The performance that fit our schedule happened to fall on one of Jon's drill weekends, so after early church and an early nap, the girls returned to the theater. I was apprehensive--yet, optimistic--about taking a two-year-old to a two-hour plus performance. Yes, she was a bit wiggly, but since the show was on a Sunday afternoon and Father's Day at that (don't worry, we celebrated Father's Day early so Jon could enjoy it), there was plenty of space for Elsa to move.

Ready for the show!
Sure, there were parts that were less than exciting for Elsa, but overall, she liked it, I think. She was captivated by the music, lights, and dancing; she spent considerable time after the show twirling in circles like the fairies. And on some level, I think she got what was happening, or at least is starting to understand how live theater works...even if she turned to me after the actors exited the stage at the conclusion of the first scene to inform me that, "They are going to the big potty." (Any guesses what we talk a lot about at our house?)

I think my favorite part occurred during Act III. Those familiar with the play might recall the scene where the four young lovers are lost in the woods and all mixed-up over who loves whom. Featuring a lot of physical comedy from four very talented actors, to me, this scene stole the show. Evidently Elsa thought so, too. By this point, she was standing in front of her seat, peering over the chairs in front of her, mesmerized. Every so often, she would turn to me to utter, "Whoa." Yes, baby girl, whoa.

All in all, our afternoon at the theater and Elsa's introduction to Shakespeare was a success, thanks in large part to TSC. Not only was I able to enjoy a good show, but I also witnessed my daughter exclaim--independent of any prompting from me--"Yay, Shakes-beard!"


Sunday, June 7, 2015

CSA: Month One

This spring I was able to talk Jon into subscribing to a local CSA. A CSA, which stands for community supported agriculture, is basically like belonging to a "vegetable of the week" club. It is also like a box of chocolates...(all together now) you never know what you're going to get. Each week we receive a random bag of produce from a local farm. Everything is extremely fresh, extremely seasonal, and extremely local. Plus, it is good for the farmers because they have a guaranteed buyer for whatever they are growing and harvesting.

So far, we've been up to the challenge. We've received plenty of things we've never tried before, but thanks to Google and the weekly newsletter we receive with recipes, we've managed to figure out what to do with all this stuff. In case you're also feeling adventurous, you can find links and recipes from our first month below:

Radishes (which the Internet really only considers a garnish)
Grilled Steak with Cilantro Sauce

Bok Choy
Sauteed Bok Choy

Sunflower Sprouts
Sunflower Sprout Spread

Kale
Panfried Kale
Kale Puttanesca

Green Garlic
Asparagus and Green Garlic Soup

Oregano
Sunflower Oregano Pesto
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups mixed herbs (winter savory, chives, oregano, tarragon, thyme)
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds (soaked or roasted if preferred)
  • 1 large clove of garlic, peeled (2 small)
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil + 1 -2 tsp to cover the top when jarred
  • Pinch of salt
Recipe from Food Matters!

Swiss Chard

Collard Greens
Low(er) Fat Collard Greens

As you can see, spring is prime growing time for greens, and lots of them.


We've missed a couple of weeks by being out of town, but I'm pretty proud of all the new things we've tried. Let the culinary adventure continue!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Elsa is TWO!

If Elsa's first year was all about surviving, then her second was about settling in.

We've spent the past twelve months settling into our roles as mother, father, and human being. While there have certainly been a lot of frustrating moments, there have been far more enjoyable ones. Please remind me that I said this when Elsa is in the midst of a terrible two-year-old tantrum, but she is so much fun right now.

What she has learned so far is astonishing and often hilarious (but probably only to us). Many a night, Jon and I have lain awake in bed recounting one of Elsa's ridiculous antics. She is talking quite a bit, and just as I had hoped, this new skill has increased her personality exponentially. I love being able to interact with her in this way.

In addition to talking, this year has brought a much more mobile toddler. Elsa is actually quite fast, which is great...except when she wants to run around an airport, for example. She's also mastered jumping and is getting pretty good at somersaults. Oh, and she's a dancing fool.

We've had a pretty regular routine this year, which has been good for everyone. In addition to attending Kindermusik class and a weekly playgroup, Elsa spent two days a week at Parents Day Out while I taught some classes at the community college. She loved it! Even though "school" has been out for a couple of weeks, she continues to talk about her teachers and most nights will say during prayer time, "Thank you Elsa all the friends" (we'll work on the proper syntax later).

Elsa also seemed to understand the birthday concept this year. Every time she sees a candle, she connects it to birthdays, and it's a pretty common occurrence at our house to randomly sing "Happy Birthday" to any number of people (and sometimes inanimate objects). I love birthdays, so I certainly encourage this. When I asked Elsa what she would like for her birthday, she was quick to say that she wanted a birthday cake--chocolate--and a birthday hat. Done and done.


We also had a birthday party at the house with some of her friends (we got rained out at the park), which was a blast...even if it was a little overwhelming with a bunch of two(ish)-year-olds running around. My mom and little brother were able to come down for the festivities, too, which made it extra-special.

On Elsa's actual birthday, Jon made us all a big breakfast of his specialty--biscuits and gravy--before going to church. Afterward, we were able to Skype/FaceTime with family in both Kansas City and Seattle, all of whom spoiled our darling daughter with way too many (awesome) gifts. After a much-needed nap, we had the infamous sheep photo shoot.

The sheep has shrunk!
To cap off the birthday celebration, we visited the new Bass Pro Shop at the Memphis Pyramid before going out for dinner. Not too shabby for a second birthday. I think--hope--Elsa enjoyed it.

We're excited for what the next year will hold...only about 11 more months before we celebrate all over again!

Shiny Dinah

"Here is a shiny choo-choo train. Shiny Dinah is her name.

Choo-choo! Choo-choo!
Dinah, Dinah, Dinah, Dinah.
Shoo! Shoo! Shoo! Shoo!
Shine-a, shine-a, shine-a."

It should not surprise you at all to know that by this point in our parenting journey, Jon and I have become quite the experts on (or critics of) children's literature. (In fact, Jon has been known to hide books from Elsa that he just doesn't want to read any more.) So, when it came time to prepare for our train trip to Chicago, it was a natural step to tie it to one of Elsa's books, Shiny Dinah.

As implied by the excerpt above, Shiny Dinah is a story about a shiny passenger train...that happens to feature a lot of onomatopoeia. Fortunately, Elsa is a fan of this story, so it was easy to sneak it into the rotation leading up to the trip and provided a way to talk up our adventure. And it worked. Elsa was excited and did really well on her first overnight train trip.

Jon and I have made this trip a couple of times before to visit friends who had been living in South Bend, Indiana. The schedule is great for efficiency: board the train in Memphis at night, go to sleep, wake up in Chicago, and do the whole thing in reverse on the return trip. Typically, we would get a roomette with twin bunk beds, although once we had to sit in the coach seats. However, since this was Elsa's first Amtrak trip in general--overnight specifically--we opted to get a family room, which consists of one double bed with a twin bunk above and two child-size beds that could fold down from the side if needed. Quite spacious, really.

Plenty of room to take our obligatory travel auto-photo

Elsa and I shared the bigger bottom bunk while Jon slept above us. This arrangement was fair, considering I've been told that when I was much younger, I used to move around a lot when I slept (sorry to anyone I shared a bed with when I was a kid). Evidently, Elsa inherited this trait from me. She flopped around quite a bit. Multiple times, I had to grab her and pull her down from a standing position. She definitely had the hair to show for crazy night, but all in all she slept well (better than Jon or me).


The adventure continued once we arrived in Chicago. Our friends (and point of the trip) met us at the train station, and the girls headed to the theater for Fancy Nancy. It was Elsa's first show, and she was mesmerized.

                                 
                                          By "mesmerized," I also mean "tired"
 


After enjoying some Chicago-style deep-dish pizza for lunch, we went to the Kids & Kites festival. It was a beautiful spring day, the kind that makes one feel glad to be alive. The festival lived up to its title as the park was full of kids and kites.

A great day to be alive
As an added bonus, I got to see another friend from college, whom I haven't seen in years. Our group consisted of just about everyone I know who lives in Chicago, which was splendid.

We loaded up some tired kiddos (and tired parents) and returned to our friends' house in Naperville to begin the mad dash toward bedtime. Once the kids were tucked in, we had some lovely dinner/wine/catching up time.

Sunday morning was fairly leisurely, so the kids had time to play outside and also get fancy again while we were making breakfast.

Anyone can be fancy
We went to church and lunch, and since our hosts were gracious enough to insist that they drive us to the train station rather than letting us take an early commuter train, I even had to time to attend the Dailey Method class my friend teaches. (For those unacquainted with the Dailey Method--like I was--it is sort of a cross between ballet, pilates, and yoga and features many small movements to stretch and tone the body.) She is a great instructor...I was definitely sore for several days afterward.

And then it was time to get back on the train. Elsa was excited to ride "Shiny Dinah" one more time.

Tray tables do NOT need to be returned to their upright positions
Unfortunately, there were no family rooms available for this leg of the trip, so we had to squeeze into a roomette. We were all so tired from our adventure, though, it didn't really matter that our accommodations were a bit smaller. We had a nice dinner with some interesting folks (meals are included for sleeper car passengers), and then it was time for bed.

Story time on the train
All too soon--literally; the train arrived at 5:30am, ahead of schedule--our train adventure came to a close. Thanks, Shiny Dinah (and Amtrak), for a great trip!



Monday, April 6, 2015

The Sounds of Change

I am proud to announce that my other "baby," a unit of lessons I helped develop for Facing History & Ourselves and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, has seen the light of day...or rather found its way into the hands of educators across the city.

Not that I had anything to do with the publishing side, but it looks pretty professional, if I do say so myself:

The Sounds of Change web resources
The Sounds of Change pdf


Writing these lessons took a lot of effort  and required a journey into the unknown, similar to motherhood; however, I have another reason to think of them as my child: I began the work very shortly after Elsa was born. While it may have been foolish to take on such a project so soon after welcoming a newborn into our home, there is a very real possibility that this work helped keep me sane. At the very least, it helped maintain a tenuous grasp on what I used to consider normal.

I'm not intentionally trying to be hyperbolic here; becoming a mother is like stepping off a diving board into the deep end, with arms and legs flailing about in the water and lungs gasping for air. Perhaps a calmer metaphor is one I read that described motherhood as putting on a pair of jeans just out of the wash. At first, they're tight and uncomfortable, and you have to do all of these self-conscious embarrassing moves to get them to fit. But then after a while, they get soft and fit so comfortably. You don't mind wiping dirty hands on them, and you can't imagine wearing anything else.

So, that's where I was when I began this writing project. Having something more mentally stimulating than nursing a baby and changing diapers gave me an intellectual sense of purpose. Plus, it helped my ego to be asked to do it.

I begrudgingly admit that there was a reason I had to endure my miserable stint teaching 8th grade when we first moved to Memphis. I don't know that I would give Jon the satisfaction of knowing he was right when he wouldn't "let" me quit all those years ago, but I suppose, in a roundabout way, that I'm glad I stuck it out.

That job introduced me to Facing History & Ourselves, an organization that "provides ideas, methods, and tools that support the practical needs, and the spirits of educators worldwide who share the goal of creating a better, more informed, and more thoughtful society" (https://www.facinghistory.org/). Our representatives from Facing History provided us with resources to work on a year-long project on bullying, incorporating historical information from the Little Rock Nine, the brave group of high school students chosen to integrate Little Rock Central High School.

Inspired by that partnership, I wrote an article that was published in English Journal (see my post all about it), which is a pretty big deal if you're an English teacher. And as a result of that work, I was asked to write lessons for a new curriculum Facing History was pursuing with the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. So, really, there would be no lessons without that crappy job.

While it took many phone calls, meetings, and drafts to figure out what exactly the lessons would look like, it was an exciting project. Jon and I fell in love with the gritty soul music of Stax when we moved to Memphis, and our (limited) knowledge of its history made it easy to see a natural connection between the racially integrated record company and the message Facing History promotes.

The unit proved to be more research project than lesson planning, and all that I learned was fascinating. There were many days that I had a book propped up next to a nursing pillow and nights that we stayed up (when we should have been "sleeping when the baby sleeps") to watch concert videos and documentaries. Elsa listened to more soul music in her early days than nursery rhymes. I even got to go to the house of one of the original Stax musicians to interview him.

The entire project turned out to be much more in-depth and time-consuming than any of us dreamed. My part of it was actually finished over a year ago, but there was still a lot to do regarding publication, including securing the rights to music, video, and photos (all things I wouldn't have to worry about if writing lessons for only my own classroom). And of course, there were additional changes and edits to my writing...but fortunately, since it's been so long and since there were so many drafts along the way, I'm not too hung up on that minor detail.

As it is surely obvious by now, I am extremely proud of this project and am so excited that students are going to be working with this material. It was really cool to attend an educators' workshop and realize that students and teachers are going to be having the important conversations we'd envisioned from the beginning. (That's more or less what I told the reporter from the local newspaper, anyway; I'd post a link to that, too, but they have a pay wall on their website.)

Followers