Sweet September, golden sky, the acorns falling on to the ground, fresh winds, cooler mornings;
a lovely warmth inside my heart when I see all the leaves turning yellow, red and brown...
Autumn gardens, Apple trees, Pears and Plums, Grapes and Squashes...crumbles baking, sweet smelling home!
Grinding Flour, making dough, baking Bread, cooking Soup...The Harvest Time is a Happy Time.
Autumn in my Heart
Autumn Term- New Beginnings
Acorns Adult and Child group sessions
The apples are rosy red and the last summer sun rays are ripening the berries;
The miller is grinding the flour and the farmer gathering the harvest.
This is the new term, the big children back at school; all feels fresh and new.
This is a little guide full of resources for the sessions, compiled by me; I do it for myself, really, but I like to share with you.
Simplicity, simplicity and more simplicity!
It is so tempting to try something different and new...yet, we, at Adult and Child sessions on purpose keep the same old same: sequence, rhythm, times, snacks, style, toys, songs...everything...as almost time has not passed, yet, the children get older, and then the magic happens. The spark in their eyes as they 'remember'; that feeling is the same feeling we get when we go home on Sundays for our family roast dinner, or every Christmas, full of treasured memories.
The essence of Acorns is the 'home coming' feeling!
I remind myself each time to keep things simple, too, as often I forget what is like to be first time mum and caring for a little one, no time to read or talk, just keep to the basic and putting children first. This is why it is important for the parents to learn a nice craft and relax as it allows them to feel acknowledged. The children play better when the adults are working and learning and sharing. The children sense the community, feeling and play in this lovely space we are all creating together. This is the magic of the Parent and Child sessions. Usually, at some point in the middle of the session time stands still and everyone and everything is connected and there is a little silence…
Seasons and Festivals; Autumn Festivals
In this term we have two main themes: the harvest, and the days getting darker and colder.
Within these themes we have Michaelmas, Halloween and Martinmas.
For the meaning of each festival please refer to the Festivals book or go google info, I have also separate sheets and resource documents, I gathered info in the past years.
The ring time songs talk about squirrels gathering nuts, apples falling, leaves dancing and winds blowing, story time brings tales of animals gathering food and getting ready for the colder days; the activities suggested are below but please keep it simple if you are a new leader:
Grinding flour and making bread rolls
Leaf and seed/conker mobiles
Pressing leaves, tracing leaves – drawing and colouring on top- leaf crowns
Animals and people made of cones-sticks-conkers, etc…
Conker spider webs, with sticks and wool
Making apple juice, or apple sauce or apple tarts
Walnut cots with little wool baby
For Michaelmas, dragon bread or dragon wool- felted or knotted magic wool figures
Pumpkin carving, pumpkin soup
And for the St Martin or lantern Festival, making lanterns
Acorns adult and Child's soup recipe, which has been passed down from Kindergarten to Acorns, not quite modified or re-adapted, but rather changed and slightly distorted, as in a recipe Chinese Whisper!
It has never been written down, by us in Acorns, nor Greenwich Steiner School, as far as I know! I am sure there is a recipe in one of the Steiner books somewhere...
I am slightly reluctant writing this down, so I do it with the knowledge that you understand
two things: it will be similar but never exaclty the same as Susannah's soup, now, Gity's soup,
and for this reason, each soup is unique and the product of one or two or more kitchen fairies!
The second thing is that this is an ever changing and quite flexible recipe as it needs to change according to the season and ingredients available!
I have one rule of my own: I do not put nightshades in with the exception of an occasional potato or tomato, but for sure, never aubergines and mushrooms. I simply do not like them in a soup! Perhaps sauteed or grilled but not swimming in broth! It's a personal thing!
So, for the Acorns soup there are different options: with grains added at the beginning or at the end; this depends on how long the grain needs cooking.
As for quantities, this soup fills the pot and it is a sharing soup, I do not
measure anything and it should feed the whole group - avarage number of people, 15!
Barley and vegetable
Sautee 1 onion in sunflower oil
Add pearl barley - about one cup
add 2 chopped carrots,
add a bit of water and a bay leaf
add root vegetables such as half a swede, cubed
a parsnip, sliced/chopped or cubed
add some golden beetroot
or some butternut squash
and/or some sweet potato
all root vegetables cut small
add more water
cook for 15 minutes
add some more water
add leeks, sliced
maybe add greens such as kale, cabbage cut or shredded small
marigold boullion, I like the orange top one or the purple-reduced salt-
about one large tablespoon
switch off and cover with lid
serve after about 10 minutes, so is cooler for little mouths!
Acorns: a gentle nurturing environment for babies and young children.