Experimenting with dragons again. Using food this time. Created at speed, as so often happens when crafting with enthusiastic children.
Never one to be put off by not having the right cookie cutter, I devised my own. A dinosaur and the moon put together to make a dragon. Might tinker with this combination a bit more, which sounds like a darn good excuse to do a bit more baking. Like I needed one. I want something that is easy to replicate and the children can do. Whatever their age. Expect a few more welsh dragons ready for St David’s day.
Somehow we didn’t get round to a craft activity I’d planned for the weekend. Not sure why, but it did mean that everything was lined up for us to do it after school yesterday. It happens to have a St David’s day theme. We chose a folk tale from one of our welsh story books. As we had less time, I drew up some figures from the story on white paper and transferred them to black construction paper, before cutting them out.
BL and I taped a sheet of white tissue paper to a cardboard frame, we made. Not forgetting to tape on feet to help it stand upright.
By this stage it was dusk. TF ran upstairs to find his torch. I showed the children how to hold the figures up to the shadow theatre and shine the torch behind it.
It was lovely to see BL and TF working together, telling the story. They remembered all the details. It really was entertaining to listen to them.
Later, I lit the fire in the sitting room and they used that to light the stage. Looking through from the kitchen, I could see the effect was stunning. I couldn’t help smiling at the sight of teddies all lined up to watch the play. Once they had run through the play, they started to make up other tales between them. Always amazes me that even the most simple toy can stimulate so much. In fact, I think the simpler it is, the more imaginative play is inspired. Open ended play at its best.
I suspect that they will make more players for their shadow theatre and more tales will be performed by my little story tellers. One change I will make. Next time I’ll organize a mirror for the teddies to hold. Just so the stage hands can enjoy the play too.
Of course it doesn’t have to be just for St David’s Day, I’m tempted to make a dragon for St George’s day too. Any favourite story would be fun to make and perform. Which would you make?
I’m linking up with Karen’s #LetKidsBeKids. For simple play ideas for children, hop on over.
Also linking up with the wonderfully creative Sara at creative jewish mom and
to Tuesday Tutorials
With St David’s day just 2 days away, it was time to make welsh cakes, yesterday. BL loves to help me make these yummy cakes. She takes on the weighing out and cutting out.
Welsh cakes always remind me of visiting my welsh Grandma. She would have a batch ready in a tin for all the grandchildren. To me, these cakes still epitomize the perfect welsh cake. And always will. She used beef lard and fried them, which added the flavour. My adaption of her recipe exchanges butter for lard and I dry fry them. Flavour is less, but I hope the calorific value and fat content is less too.
It’s strange to think that my children’s idea of welsh cakes, will be my version and not hers. She died before they were old enough to sample the contents of her tin.
As promised, I am going to share my recipe for welsh cakes. In time for St David’s day.
1lb (450g) self raising flour
8oz (225g) softened butter
6oz (175g) caster sugar
3oz (80g) sultanas or currants
1 tsp of mixed spice
pinch of salt
splash of milk
makes about 30 cakes
- In a bowl, rub the butter into the flour and salt with fingertips (or throw into the food mixer) until it resembles breadcrumbs and no big lumps are left.
- Add the sugar, eggs, spice and dried fruit.
- Mix until it becomes a dough. If it is too dry, add a splash of milk. The dough should not be sticky, but easy to manage.
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface until the dough is about half a centremetre thick.
- Use a round cutter. I use an 8cm cutter.
- Pop them into a flat frying pan or, we use a bakestone griddle(see photo below). I line my griddle with a silicon baking sheet, so that I don’t need any extra fat to fry it in, but otherwise the pan will need a light greasing. They will rise slightly, but they don’t tend to spread.
- Cook over a medium heat. Too hot and they will burn before the inside cooks. Too slow and they will turn out dry. They should be a golden brown on both sides, so don’t forget to turn them.
- Once ready, remove from the pan, and cool the cakes on a wire tray, but they are even better warm.
Once the first batch is out of the pan, BL tends to grab a few and disappear. Soon after, her little brother will appear and help himself. Even the dogs queue up. Then I am left to cook the rest. That’s ok. BL knows how to make them and I’ve passed this recipe on to her.
Who knows. Maybe she will make my welsh cakes with her children. Maybe even talk about her welsh Great Grandma. I hope so.
The welsh cakes can be frozen. When needed, defrost. Pop in a tray and cover with tin foil. Warm them up in a medium oven, until sufficiently hot.