MARCH breACK! 2013: Illustrate-Your-Own-Books, Ahma, The Spirit Bear, Part IV: A Berry Picking Party & What Follows
Ahma, The Spirit Bear, Part IV (Conclusion): A Berry Picking Party & What Follows, A Precis:
Mr. Mansm’ hosts a berry-picking party on the extensive guardian-forest-grounds of Gyeksa-Yuup (Peaceful Earth) followed by a trip to a Amap’as (Good-Looking) Hill, for a view of the local salmon streams and a festive picnic. Things are clearly strained, however, among most of the Spirit Bears. During the picnic, Ahma makes a biting remark which nearly devastates the sensitive Miss Wax’l, and Mr. Mansm’ criticizes Ahma for her ill behaviour. Soon after, he announces his departure to Prince Rupert for a visit with his brother bear regarding a highly sensitive matter. During his absence, the spirit bears of Mayaa’ol receive news of the death of Mrs. Ts-ots’dii, Noosik’s aunt. Not much later, they have word of a secret, long-standing engagement between Mr. Churchill and one of their party. Who will it be? How will Mr. Mansm’, Ahma, Harriet and all of our other characters be affected by the revelation? Did you really thing we were going to tell you? No! No! Dear readers, it’s a family secret. Only those privvy to the actual manuscript of Ahma, The Spirit Bear will be able to find out! The illustations below, however, may shed a little light on these mysteries.
Today, the kids were going to use coloured pencils, crayons, and textured objects below their papers to create their illustrations. However, we opted to go back to their favourite oil pastels to complete the project.
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MARCH breACK! 2013: Spirit Bear S’mores: Honey Graham Cracker Cookie Cut-Outs and Honey Marshmallows From Scratch
Today, we’re making Spirit Bear S’mores from scratch, with Honey Marhsmallows and Easy-to-make Honey Graham Cracker Cookie Cut-Outs. Since the dough is egg-free, the kids can snack on it as they cut out their cookies! We would have made our own bear-shaped chocolates, too, I suppose, but the kids have this tendency not to actually eat “cute” chocolates such as bears and bunnies, because they find them too much like the real thing – and so we just opted for good old fashioned Hershey bars. The marshmallow recipe, by the way, may appear a little tedious, but it’s actually quite fun and easy to make. And it doesn’t really take that much time. We’ve made marshmallows at least four times now, over the years, and always with ease and success. You’ll need a good candy thermometer and a mixer…but that’s about it in terms of fancy kitchen gizmos. Best of luck! And Cheers!!!
2 eggs (whites only)
1+ c icing sugar
3.5 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 c cold water, divided into two half cups
1.5 c granulated sugar
.5 c honey
.5 c clear corn syrup
a pinch of salt
2 tsp vanilla
Additional honey for drizzling [optional]
Separate egg whites from yolks. (Save yolks for another recipe.)
In a cold mixing bowl and with cold beaters, beat egg whites into stiff peaks.
Transfer the stiff-peaked whites to another bowl, cover, and refrigerate.
Clean the mixing bowl and beaters (unless you have a spare!)
Liberally BUTTER a 9×13 pan (you can use the wrapper from the butter in the graham cracker recipe below) and liberally dust the greased pan with icing sugar.
Place 3.5 packets of gelatin and .5 cup of the cold water into the bottom of the mixing bowl of a stand mixer and let sit.
The kids will enjoy watching it become a gooey sticky alien shape.
Fill a thick-bottomed saucepan with that other .5 cup of cold water, the granulated sugar, honey, corn syrup and salt.
Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved.
Then, boil over medium heat without stirring for approximately 10 minutes.
Watch for the mixture to bubble, thicken, and clear. Be patient.
When a candy thermometer reaches 240F, remove from heat and pour on top of the thickened gelatin.
Mix the gelatin and sugar mixture on low for a few moments. It will be hot, so best have the adult take charge.
Gradually adjust the mixer to higher and higher speeds and let mix for 5-6 minutes.
Watch it circle round! The sugar will turn into a marshmallow fluff!
Add vanilla and stiffened egg whites, and mix for another minute.
Pour half of the fluff into the prepared dish. It usually spreads out evenly on its own, but use a spatula or icing spreader if you wish.
[Optional] Drizzle over the top of this layer of fluff with a very thin swirl-pattern of honey.
Pour the rest of the fluff into the prepared dish.
[Optional] Drizzle over the top of the fluff with a very thin swirl-pattern of honey.
Using a wire strainer or a mesh tea ball dust the top of the marshmallow wtih additional icing sugar.
Refrigerate for at least two hours, until stiffened.
Loosen the edges of the marshmallow with a butter knife.
Overturn the marshmallow onto a cutting board.
Use a mini- or small-sized bear-shaped cookie cutter to cut out of the marshmallows (you waste marshmallow this way)
OR, cut the marshmallows into cubes with a large knife.
Dredge the sticky sides of the individual marshmallows in a bowl of icing sugar if desired.
1.5 c all purpose flour
1 c whole wheat flour
[may also be evened out to 1.25 c of each type of flour]
.5 c brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
.5 tsp ginger
.25 tsp cloves
.5 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
.5 c unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
.25 c water
.3 c honey
Heat oven to 350.
Pulse the flours, sugar, spices, baking soda, and salt in a food processor until just combined.
Add the cold cubes of butter and pulse until the mixture becomes a coarse meal.
Add the water and the honey and process gently until a dough forms.
[If the dough is still super-sticky, form into balls and refrigerate for an hour.]
Divide into two balls.
Roll the balls of the dough between sheets of wax or parchment paper to .25-in thickness.
Cut the dough into bear shapes with cookie cutters.
Bake your grahams on parchment lined sheets for 12-14 minutes, until slightly brown on the edges.
[Note: if you are having a "sticky" time with the dough, just roll it into a large flat rectangle and underbake just slightly. IMMEDIATELY cut shapes into the crackers with the bear shaped cutter. WORK QUICKLY ! and BE CAREFUL! Wear a glove. The cutter will conduct heat from the grahams and the cookie sheet. Let the crackers cool right there in the pans for a while. Save the excess from around the cut-outs for graham cracker crumbs and ice-cream topping.]
Cool on pans for a few minutes, then cool completely on wire racks.
Spirit Bear S’mores!
You know the drill!!!
Place a square of chocolate on top of the Graham Cracker Cookie Cut-Out.
[Optional] Microwave for a few seconds.
Grill a Marshmallow or place the marshmallow on top of the chocolate topped cookie and microwave or broil for a few seconds.
Top with another graham cracker cookie.
Today, we’re playing another Kermode-bear-themed math dice game. The kids will each get a copy of the sheet and play this with a gummy bear as a game piece and their own pair of dice. When each of them finishes, they’ll get a prize [a few bear stickers]. The instructions: Help the Kermode Bear Fin His Way Back to His Mother Bear! Roll the dice and add the numbers. If you are wrong, move backward two squares. If you are right, move your gummy bear or game-piece ahead as many spaces as your correct answer. Bonus: If you can also multiply the two numbers on the dice, you can move your bear ahead an additional two squares.
Here’s a less crisp pdf version of our game: Kermode’s Path PDF
- in Ahma the Spirit Bear, Animals, Art Projects, Eco-System, Emma with Bears, Environment, Holidays, Illustrate-Your-Own-Books, Kermode Bears / Spirit Bears, MARCH breACK! 2013, March Break, March Break & St. Patrick's Day Crafts, Social Responsibility, Spirit Bear Drum Faces Inspired by Tsishmian Art
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MARCH breACK! 2013: Mooksgm’ol [Spirit Bear] Drum Faces Inspired by Tsishmian Art & the Four Tsishmian Clans
Today,we’re lucky to have papa at home. He and the kids are having a look at drum faces created by Tsishmian artists. A simple Google Image search for “Tsishmian drums” will serve their pupose well. I’m particularly taken with David Boxley’s work [pictured to the left]. The four Tsishmian Clans are represented by a quartet of sacred animals: Ganhada [Raven], Gispwudwada [Killer Whale], Laxsgiik [Eagle] and Laxgibuu [Wolf]. We also like the drum faces on the covers of the books, The Salmon Bear, and The Sea Wolf, both by Ian McAllister and Nicholas Read. The bear and wolf drums on those covers are the work of Heiltsuk artists Martin Campbell.
Today, the kids and their papa designed their own Mooksgm’ol [spirit bear] drum faces by using primarily red and black inks. Bea used inks on paper to create her lovely drum face. Tobes and Papa each designed a bear and then made stencils with printer paper & an exacto knife from their drawings. Then, they used brushes to apply ink through their stencils onto the back of a brown paper plate. Both techniques were lovely.
1&3: Tobes’ Bear Drum & Papa’s bear drum: Ink via stencil on a stiff paper plate; 2: Bea’s ink on paper.
MARCH breACK! 2013: Illustrate-Your-Own-Books, Ahma, The Spirit Bear, Part III: In Which Harriet is Saved and Jane Tries Not To Be
Ahma, The Spirit Bear, Part III: In Which Harriet Hooltga Gyemk is Saved and Jane Ha-Liimi Tries Not to Be, A Precis:
Hibernation season is over and the spring brings fresh faces to the village of Mayaa’ol, or Bear Berry. Miss Wax’l and her mother have word that their niece, Jane Ha-Liimi [Musical Instrument], is returning from Bella Bella to stay with them for a few weeks before she must search for employment as a cub-keeper. Mr. Haymaadm’s son, Noosik [Woolverine], who has been raised by his Aunt Ts’ots-dii [Churchill] in Prince Rupert, is also due to arrive. While Ahma is rather cold to Miss. Ha-Liimi, she is quite taken with Mr. Churchill, at least, at first. She and Noosik have a splendid time speculating upon the identity of the anonymous donor of the expensive drums and the case of music that were shipped to the talented Jane by a pack of Kermode-bear couriers. The two are positive that these gifts are love tokens from a married bear, the husband of one of Jane’s close friends. Meanwhile, Mr. W’Nax has returned from a vacation-hibernation trip to Alaska with a new, loud wife, who has decided to adopt and, therefore, “save” Jane Ha-Liimi by finding her a position as a cub-keeper in a dreadful, far-away school. At a ball in the village assembly dens, Mr. W’Nax announces his desire to step lively with just about anyone in the room. Yet, he refuses to dance with Harriet Hooltga Gyemk, who has no partner. The gentle-bear Mr. Mansm’ saves the day by asking Harriet to take a twirl around the room. If this act of heroism was not enough, the next morning, Harriet and Ahma are surrounded by a large pack of sea wolves, hungry for the salmon in their baskets, and Noosik Churchill comes to their rescue by dashing the wolves away. Ahma sees this as a sign of Mr. Churchill’s devotion to Harriet and begins to scheme anew to find her marry her friend to a “first rate gentle-bear.”
Today, the kids, supervised by papa, illustrated their chapter with permanent markers and watercolours.
Here are the results:
Bea: The Village of Maaya’ol, or Bear-Berry, with close ups of the Salmon Market and Spa-Haayk.
Bea: Jane Ha-Liimi is almost swept off by the waves of a wayward Oil Tanker when Mr. Gyibaaw comes to the rescue. His fiancé Miss. Ko’opnm Hoon runs for help.
Today’s High Tea? White Kermode Bear Paw Cookies
…and for an After-Dinner Treat? White Grape Gummy Bear Popsicles.
Butterscotch Icebox Cookie Dough for Kermode Bear Paw Cookies
1 c unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c brown sugar
.5 tsp salt
1 tbs vanilla
2.5 c all-purpose flour
In a mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and salt until fluffy.
Add the egg and vanilla until incorporated.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour until just incorporated.
Divide dough in half.
One half at a time, remove the cookie dough to a board lined with plastic wrap, wax paper or parchment.
Work the dough into a cylindrical log shape.
Use the wrapping to make the cylinder smooth and to wrap it for the refrigerator.
Refrigerate for at least two hours (and up to two days) before slicing.
Or double-wrap and freeze for up to two months.
Kermode Bear Paw Cookies
makes 3-4 dozen cookies
1 roll of Butterscotch Icebox Cookie Dough [Above]
Peanut Halves, Almond or Pecan Slivers for the Claws
Hershey’s Cookies and Cream Kisses, Hugs, or White, Beige, or Chocolate Rounds for the Paws
Heat oven to 375.
Slice the Butterscotch Icebox Cookie dough into .25-in thick circles.
Lay cookies on parchment lined sheets.
Place a Kiss or Chocolate Round into the center of each circle.
Place 5 nut halves (flat sides down) towards the top 1/2 circumference of each cookie.
Bake for about 7 minutes or until the edges are almost set
Remove cookies from the oven and place a Kiss or Chocolate Round into the center of each circle.
Bake for 1-2 more minutes.
If desired, use a spoon or butter knife to flatten the tip of the chocolate kiss a bit just after removing the cookies from the oven.
Cool on wire racks.
White Grape Gummy Bear Popsicles
White Grape Juice
Fill Popsicle Molds 2/3 full with White Grape Juice
Drop in a nice amount of gummy bears. We used 6.
If necessary, top up molds with juice, but do leave a bit of of room for expansion.
Insert popsicle sticks/bottoms.
It’s time for some Spirit Bear Math!
Today, the kids are going to have some numbers practice. I’ve created a Spirit Bear Dice Game. They’ll roll a pair of dice and either add or multiply the numbers. If they get the answer right, they’ll place a candy (gummy bears, m&m’s, or chocolate chips) in the honeycomb, colour it in, or both. When the bear is completely full, they’ll be able to clear his “belly” and eat the candies. This is meant to be a fun, non-competitive game. You can print one page out for each kid or complete a single page as a family. Also, the game is flexible in that the younger kids can add, while the older kids can multiply or even square the numbers before adding them together. If you’d like, however, you might easily make this a competitive game by counting x’s versus o’s, particular colours of m&m’s or gummy bears, etc. to find a winner. Today, the kids ended up getting out some of their multi-sided (14+) dice to increase the challenge.
Here’s a slightly less crisp-looking printable: PDF: Spirit Bear Dice Game.
What’s Inside of the Lunchbox?
- First Communion Fun
- Saying “Thank You”
- DIY Cookie Cutters: The Zeppelin Edition
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- The Vanities of the Leaked-Upon
- MARCH breACK! 2013: Spirit Bear Stick Puppets and Finger-Walking Bear Puppets
- MARCH breACK! 2013: Illustrate-Your-Own-Books, Ahma, The Spirit Bear, Part IV: A Berry Picking Party & What Follows
- MARCH breACK! 2013: Spirit Bear S’mores: Honey Graham Cracker Cookie Cut-Outs and Honey Marshmallows From Scratch
- MARCH breACK! 2013: Kermode’s Path Math Game
- MARCH breACK! 2013: Mooksgm’ol [Spirit Bear] Drum Faces Inspired by Tsishmian Art & the Four Tsishmian Clans
- MARCH breACK! 2013: Illustrate-Your-Own-Books, Ahma, The Spirit Bear, Part III: In Which Harriet is Saved and Jane Tries Not To Be
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