MFW ECC - Weeks 31-32 in Review - Australia

Sunday, April 19, 2015

G'day! Welcome to our tour of Australia :) We had a lot of fun touring this part of the world. Mostly it made us want to visit our Aussie friends. What a beautiful place! I'm feeling a little sad for our year to end. Partly because what we have done has been so well received by Silas, but mostly because my little guy is getting older. Each year finished is one year closer to him growing into a young man. These days are long, but the years are short. I try to tell that to my friends who are moms of babies. I never thought those days would pass. These are precious days.

We did several Australian art projects these past few weeks. First we made an aboriginal dreamtime art. This took a lot of patience for little hands.

Next we made a cave drawing. Silas had fun looking at all the images and finding ones he would like to draw.

This looked a lot like the one he modeled it after.

We had tons of fun with this origami boomerang. It is complicated to fold, but actually works!

We are so sad we are wrapping up our travels around the world. Even though we got to visit so many places, there are still so many to learn about!

Silas has a great handle on world geography after this year. I'm curious to see how well he does on his year end geography test.

 Here are Silas's Australian notebook pages of the week.

We read many wonderful books in the book basket for Australia. This cookbook series has been the most dangerous. I wish I had found it for all the countries though. I love that each book is written by folks who actually lived and grew up in the places from which they share the recipes. I would highly recommend if you are going through ECC to find as many of these as you can find, or you can buy them used cheaply. The recipes are not super complicated, but have been so fun to sample. I love to cook and have for many years. There have been tons of recipes that I have never had the pleasure of trying. Plus, you will earn a lot of brownie points with your kids :)

Fish and shellfish are plentiful in Australia. Anytime we eat a food from a different place we pray for the people of that country. This is been such a sweet thing for us to together as a family.

Fish and chips is a common dish (or so the book says.) Silas was shocked that we had French fries. He thought that was amazing :)

This recipe in Cooking the Australian Way was called Crunchy Fish Fillets. I have never coated fish with oats before, but it was pretty good. I prefer a lighter coating, but it was fun to try something new. I'm wondering how common it is to use oats. They seem to be a recurring theme in some of the recipes I ran across for other things.

We read The Pumpkin Runner. This is a really fun book that is based on a true story. It is about a 61 year old man that breaks the countries record by 2 days for an Australian race. The man in the story fuels up by eating pumpkin slices and pumpkin soup.

Apparently Pumpkin soup is a very common dish in Australia. Every family has their own recipe. This recipe has a bit of curry and is topped with cinnamon sour cream and parsley. My family wasn't excited about it, but all ended up loving it. I served it with crusty bread and a salad. YUM!

Australians commonly combine fruits and vegetables in salads. This is Sunshine Salad with Vinaigrette.

Quiche or egg pie is something Aussies prepare ahead of time for picnics.

This is Egg and (Canadian) Bacon Pie. Silas thought this was fabulous!

We served it with fruit salad. Passion fruit would be a common ingredient, but our store didn't have any when I went.

Bread and Butter Custard is a comfort food in Australia. My boys are going to be so sad when I start cooking boring crock pot meals again!

These are Anzac Biscuits which were named after the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp. The recipe picture in the book has these looking flat like this. These turned out like lace cookies. I looked up pictures to see if I was close, and I think they are typically thicker than this. Either way they were really good. They have coconut and oats. They were light, buttery, crispy and chewy.

I'm obviously having a little too much fun in the kitchen. Don't worry, we do school around here too, but I wanted to make some memories as well. Silas has such a love of learning. I'm trying to keep that alive.

 Pavlova is the one of the most loved desserts in Australia. It is named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. There is a debate on the origin of the Pavlova - whether it is originally from Australia or New Zealand. Apparently New Zealand may be the original place the first Pavlova was made, but it is loved and made by both countries. Pavlova is basically a meringue that is slowly cooked. I had never made one so I wasn't sure what to expect. This is what it looked like before.

This is the after. Can I say yum? It's basically a great big crispy marshmallow with a soft inside. You then top it with whipped cream and the fruit of your choice. Please and thank you! I'm so making this again!

One more for the road? Yes, I really did make 400 deserts in the last few months! This one is called a Lamington. It is cake that is then dipped in chocolate icing (cocoa powder, sugar and butter) and then dredged in coconut. I'm not a huge fan of uncooked coconut, so I toasted it. The kids absolutely loved these. I was surprised. I wasn't sure how well the coconut would go over, but I suppose anything drowned in chocolate will float anyone's boat. They are a favorite of Australian children. These cakes were named after Baroness Lamington from Queensland.

 We also took a trip to the Australian part of our zoo. We have free roaming kangaroos. Sometimes if we go super early we can find them on the paths.

We read a story about a Kookaburra, so the kids were so happy to see this little guy. They laughed at how funny a kookaburra call is.

 We also saw this strange fellow. Emus are funny :)

This was a neat case that had lots of Australian goodies for us to see!

Oh look! School! Silas is really enjoying the change of pace in Singpaore math. We have been learning about metric measurements. This week we learned about liters and milliliters. I got this plastic beaker set from Amazon.

We made a lot of guesses about how many milliliters varying containers held.

 Silas made his own liter measurement by pouring in increments of 100ml. I jumped back into Singapore about mid-year, but we will be able to finish 3b during summer. I'm so glad we made the switch back. It has been just the challenge he needed. We are still enjoying Apologia Botany as well. I need to catch up on those posts. 

Next week we will hop over to Antarctica. I decided to condense that into 1 week rather than 2. How much can one talk about Antarctica anyway? We will instead row a final Five in a Row book. Boo hoo! So sad to be outgrowing those! It will be a really way to wrap up our travels around the world. Thanks so much for walking alongside us :)

This post is linked up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers <3


  1. I love your cultural immersion activities! I'm visiting from Weekly Wrap Up.

  2. Oh look! School! LOL! Look at all that yummy food! So fun and yes, good memories being made. I love Pavlova! We first made it for our row of Katy-No Pocket and then when I rowed it again with Bo. But when we studied Australia we just made a meat pie, not near as much fun! Love the art too, and that you read The Pumpkin Runner and made pumpkin soup! :)

  3. Thank you Nita!

    Katy No Pocket is such a cute book! I checked out all the Bfiar books and read them all to my boys even though I was too late to use the curriculum. All such wonderful books! Pavlova. Yuuuum. I might be dreaming about making another! Fiar taught me that one must make the food you read about. That pumpkin soup had to be experienced :)


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