Wednesday, December 30, 2009

How to Make Your Own New Year's Celebration

Even though the New Year is just a few days away, you still have time to decorate your home and make the new year fun and festive for children and adults alike.

Here's a chance for you to recycle some of those holiday decorations.
Try a few of these ideas:

1. Have ribbons left over from wrapping? Or maybe you just like to save the pretty ones from your gifts. These ribbons can be strung around the room instead of using traditional streamers.

2. You can make paper chains or use the ones from the Christmas tree to hang around the room.

3. Wanna give your new year a big bang? Make Confetti Balloons.
Fill balloons, a quarter full, with confetti (pulling the balloon over a funnel is the simplest method). Then inflate the balloons with a hand pump. At midnight pop the balloons, a sharp pencil will work, and have your own new year's fireworks!

4. Make your own Confetti.
Using paper from your craft stash (pieces of construction paper left over from art projects, used wrapping paper, etc. ) , cut the paper into tiny pieces or you can use paper punches if you have them.

5. Every new year's party needs noise makers.
Toilet Paper Roll Kazoos are perfect for the new year.
Decorate a Toilet Paper roll with markers, paint or glue on paper from your craft stash. Cut a circle of wax paper at least an inch around bigger than the tube. Use a rubber band to attach the wax paper circle to one end of the tube. Now hum or sing a tune!

These are just a few of the fun thrifty and crafty activities you can use to make your New Year special.

Happy Crafting!

How to make paper chains

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Chubby Little Snowman

Here's a little poem/song that I've modified slightly.
There are hand movements for each line but you can make up your own.

A chubby little snowman (echo)
Had a carrot nose (echo)

Along came a bunny (echo)
And what do you suppose (echo)

The hungry little bunny (echo)
Looking for his lunch (echo)

Ate that carrot nose (echo)
With a crunch, crunch, crunch (echo)

(chorus...sing together)
All the little bunnies like
Carrots, carrots
All the little bunnies like to
Crunch, crunch, crunch

All the little bunnies like
Carrots, carrots
All the little bunnies like to
Munch, munch, munch

Friday, November 13, 2009

The King, the Maiden and the Pumpkin....a tale from the Phillipines

One day in a time long ago, King Adoveneis went out into the plains to hunt for deer, and he accidentally became separated from his companions.

Wandering about, the king saw a hut that was surrounded by a garden. Tending the garden was a beautiful young maiden.

The king spoke to the maiden and said, "Tell me, lass, what plants are you growing here?"

She replied, "I am raising pumpkins and melons."

Now, the king happened to be thirsty, and so he asked the maiden for a drink. "We were hunting in the heat of the day," he said, "and I felt a terrible thirst come over me."

The maiden replied, "O illustrious king! We have water to be sure, but only an old, crude jar in which to serve it. Surely it is not right or worthy that your Majesty should drink from such a crude jar! Now if we had a jar of pure gold, in which we could pour water from a crystal clear fountain, then that would be a proper offering for your Majesty."

The king replied to the girl, "Never mind the jar: I'm terribly thirsty! I care not if the jar is old, provided that the water is cool."

The maiden went into the house, fetched the jar, and filled it with clear cool water. Presently the king drank his fill.

After he had finished, the king handed her back the jar. Then, suddenly, the maiden struck the jar against the staircase. It was shattered to bits.

The king wondered at this strange act, and in his heart he thought that the maiden had no manners at all.

He cried, "You see that I am a noble king, and you know that I hold the crown. For what possible reason did you shatter that jar, received from my hands?"

The maiden replied, "The reason I broke the jar, which has been kept for many years by my mother, O king! is that I should not like to have it used by anyone else after you, your majesty, has touched it."

Upon hearing that, the king made no reply. In his heart, he marveled at the actions of the woman and determined that she was a good, virtuous maiden after all. As he returned toward the city, a thought began to grow on him. He wondered whether the maiden was as clever as she was virtuous.

After some time, the king one day ordered a soldier to carry to the maiden a new jar, one with an opening at the top not much more than one inch across. The soldier's orders were to tell the maiden that the jar was from the king, and that she was to put an entire pumpkin inside the jar. The soldier was also to tell the maiden that she should not break the jar under any circumstance. Both the jar with the small opening at the top and the pumpkin must remain whole.

The maiden returned a message to the king that she was certain she could do what his majesty ordered, but that such a task might take some time. Indeed, it was several months before the maiden arrived at the palace. In her hands she held the same jar, and sure enough, an entire pumpkin sat inside of it. When the king closely examined the jar, he confirmed that the jar was the same one that he had delivered. What's more, he saw that both the jar and the pumpkin were completely undamaged. He asked the maiden to marry him on the spot, as she was as clever as she was virtuous, and she gladly accepted.

Later, in their royal chambers, when his new wife revealed her secret, the king laughed long and hard.

How did she do it???

She had placed a pumpkin bud, one that was still attached to a vine in the ground, inside the jar through its small opening. Over time the pumpkin bud grew into a full-sized pumpkin. When the pumpkin filled the jar, she simply cut off the stem and delivered the jar with the pumpkin to the palace.

story found here at Whootie Owl's Stories

Pumpkin Cake in a Jar

Makes 8 cakes

2/3 cup vegetable shortening
2-2/3 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 cups canned pumpkin
2/3 cup water
3-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon each ground cloves, allspice, and cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
8 straight sided wide-mouth Pint Jars

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Grease 8 wide-mouth pint jars.

Cream the shortening and sugar together; beat in eggs, pumpkin, and water. Set aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and baking soda together; add to pumpkin mixture and stir well. Stir in nuts.

Pour into jars, filling 1/2 full.

Make sure to keep the rims of the jars clean. Place jars on a cookie sheet to keep from tipping over while baking.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until done, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven. While still warm, place waxed paper on top of each cake and place lid on jar.

Cakes will slide out easily when they have cooled.

recipe found at

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Humphrey the Blue-nosed Pumpkin....a very strange Halloween song

(to the tune of Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer)

Humphrey the blue-nosed pumpkin had a very obvious nose.
And if you ever saw it, you would surely say it shows.

All of the other pumpkins, used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Humphrey play in any pumpkin games.

Then one foggy Halloween Eve, the Great Pumpkin did say,
"Humphrey, with your nose so blue, you'll make all the ghosts say BOO!"

Then all the pumpkins loved him, and they shouted out with glee,
Humphrey, the blue-nosed pumpkin, You'll go down in history!

Friday, October 16, 2009

I Had A Little Overcoat...a Yiddish folksong and recycling activity

This Yiddish folksong is the original source for the Thrifty Tailor story in the previous blog (at my StorytellingCraftsAndKids.blogspot) .
(traditional Yiddish, English by Teddi Schwartz & Arthur Kevess)
(The midi for this song can be found at Mudcat MIDIs )

1.I had a little overcoat, as old as can be
Tralala lalalala lalala
What I'd ever do with it, I just couldn't see
Tralala lalalala lalala
So I thought a little while
And made myself a jacket in the very latest style
Tralalala lalala (2x)
Made a jacket in the very latest style

2. I had a little jacket, it was old as can be
Tralala lalalala lalala
What I'd ever do with it, I just couldn't see
Tralala lalalala lalala
So I thought a little while
And made myself a vest in the very latest style
Tralalala lalala (2x)
Made a vest in the very latest style

3. I had a little vest, as old as it could be
Tralala lalalala lalala
What I'd ever do with it, I just couldn't see
Tralala lalalala lalala
So I thought a little while
And I made myself a tie in the very lastest style
Tralalala lalala (2x)
Made a tie in the very latest style

4. tie / button

5. button / nothing

6. I had a little nothing, as old as it could be
Tralala lalalala lalala
What I'd ever do with it, I just couldn't see
Tralala lalalala lalala
So I thought a little while
And I made myself a song in the very lastest style
Tralalala lalala (2x)
Made a song in the very latest style

1. Hob ikh mir a mantl fun fartsaytikn shtof / Tralala...
Hot dos nit in zikh kayn gantsenem shtokh / Tralala...
Darum, hob ikh zikh batrakht
Un fun dem mantl a rekl gemakht
Tralala... / Fun dem mantl a rekl gemakht

2. Hob ikh mir a rekl... fun dem rekl a vestl gemakht
3. vestl / shnipsl
4. shnipsl / knepl
5. knepl / gornitl
6. gornit / dos lidele

(trad Yiddish, Eng words Teddi Schwartz & Arthur Kevess)

Mudcat MIDIs

Let's talk about Paper!
I love making paper with kids. They have a great time and you never know what you'll get. Making paper is great for using up the scraps of construction paper, wrapping paper or any kind of paper that is used in the class or at home.
I have included three different vids on papermaking....
The first is a teacher doing a papermaking demo in class.

The second vid is a very good low tech papermaking vid with kids.

The third vid is a very nicely done slide show about papermaking.

After the vids, I have included a link to papermaking directions.

A great site for directions is Learn2 Make Paper ... this site has good pics also.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Stories, Music and Math 1......"Over in the Meadow"

Stories and Music offer lots of opportunities to teach and learn.
The song "Over in the Meadow", which is also in book form (many many books), offers many chances to do simple math, everything from simply counting the animals to adding and/or subtracting animals. And, if you're really ambitious you can do a little science, studying the different animals and their habitats.

Be sure to check out the links at the end of the blog for worksheets and other fun stuff.

OVER IN THE MEADOW was written by Olive A. Wadsworth in the 1800s
Copyright Unknown

Over in the meadow,
In the sand in the sun
Lived an old mother toadie
And her little toadie one
"Wink!" said the mother;
"I wink!" said the one,
So they winked and they blinked
In the sand in the sun

Over in the meadow,
Where the stream runs blue
Lived an old mother fish
And her little fishes two
"Swim!" said the mother;
"We swim!" said the two,
So they swam and they leaped
Where the stream runs blue

Over in the meadow,
In a hole in a tree
Lived an old mother bluebird
And her little birdies three
"Sing!" said the mother;
"We sing!" said the three
So they sang and were glad
In a hole in the tree

Over in the meadow,
In the reeds on the shore
Lived an old mother muskrat
And her little ratties four
"Dive!" said the mother;
"We dive!" said the four
So they dived and they burrowed
In the reeds on the shore

Over in the meadow,
In a snug beehive
Lived a mother honey bee
And her little bees five
"Buzz!" said the mother;
"We buzz!" said the five
So they buzzed and they hummed
In the snug beehive

Over in the meadow,
In a nest built of sticks
Lived a black mother crow
And her little crows six
"Caw!" said the mother;
"We caw!" said the six
So they cawed and they called
In their nest built of sticks

Over in the meadow,
Where the grass is so even
Lived a gay mother cricket
And her little crickets seven
"Chirp!" said the mother;
"We chirp!" said the seven
So they chirped cheery notes
In the grass soft and even

Over in the meadow,
By the old mossy gate
Lived a brown mother lizard
And her little lizards eight
"Bask!" said the mother;
"We bask!" said the eight
So they basked in the sun
On the old mossy gate

Over in the meadow,
Where the quiet pools shine
Lived a green mother frog
And her little froggies nine
"Croak!" said the mother;
"We croak!" said the nine
So they croaked and they splashed
Where the quiet pools shine

Over in the meadow,
In a sly little den
Lived a gray mother spider
And her little spiders ten
"Spin!" said the mother;
"We spin!" said the ten
So they spun lacy webs
In their sly little den

This is a lovely version using John Langstaff's book illustrations.

There are many versions of this song, some in book form.

Here's another version to use or you can have fun making up your own version with animals your children may know.

Over in the meadow
In the sand in the sun, lived an
Old mother turtle and her
Little turtle one.
"Dig," said the mother,
"I dig," said the one, and they
Dug all day in the sand in the sun.

Over in the meadow where the
Stream runs blue, lived an
Old mother fish and her
Little fishies two.
"Swim," said the mother,
"We swim," said the two, and they
Swam all day where the stream runs blue.

Over in the meadow in a hole in the tree,
Lived an old mother owl and her
Little owls three.
"Whoo," said the mother,
"We whoo," said the three, and they
Whooed all day in the hole in the tree.

Over in the meadow by the old barn door,
Lived an old mother rat and her
Little ratties four.
"Gnaw," said the mother,
"We gnaw," said the four, and they
Gnawed all day on by the old barn door.

Over in the meadow in a snug beehive,
Lived an old mother bee and her
Little bees five.
"Buzz," said the mother,
"We buzz," said the five, and they
Buzzed all day in the snug beehive.

Over in the meadow in a nest built of sticks,
Lived an old mother crow and her
Little crows six.
"Caw," said the mother,
"We caw," said the six, and they
Cawed all day in the nest built of sticks.

Over in the meadow where the grass grows so even,
Lived an old mother frog and her
Little froggies seven.
"Jump," said the mother,
"We jump," said the seven, and they
Jumped all day where the grass grows so even.

Over in the meadow by the old mossy gate,
Lived an old mother lizard and her
Little lizards eight.
"Bask," said the mother,
"We bask," said the eight, and they
Basked all day by the old mossy gate.

Over in the meadow by the old scotch pine,
Lived an old mother duck and her
Little duckies nine.
"Quack," said the mother,
"We quack," said the nine, and they
Quacked all day by the old scotch pine.

Over in the meadow in a cozy, wee den,
Lived an old mother beaver and her
Little beavers ten.
"Beave," said the mother,
"We beave," said the ten, and they
Beaved all day in their cozy, wee den. has a wonderful book that you can print out. has a fabulous Rebus version o the song.

Crow and Owl illustrations are by Jan Thornhill from her version of Over in the Meadow

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sing! Canta! (and Sign, too)

This is why ya gotta love Sesame Street!

Here are 3 versions of Joe Raposo's signature song, the very popular "SING" in 1)sand art, 2)English and Spanish and 3)Sign Language.

This version is from 1971, sung in both english and spanish.

Okay and finally we have "Sing", sung and signed by Linda and Olivia.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Gooney Bird Song....a favorite camp tune

Although this is called The Gooney Bird Song, I have heard it sung using a different bird or person but it's still the same fun song!
And this is a great PBS kids show. Unfortunately it isn't avialable everywhere but you can find it at

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Singing a Round...the Redwood Tree

How to sing a round.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

National Poetry Month & Young Peoples Poetry Week

Yes!! April is National Poetry Month!!
So here is the perfect excuse to spout poetry to everyone you know!
And the third week of April is specifically Young People's Poetry Week.
Teach the kids some fun poems.
I'll be putting up great poems for kids throughout the month.
Here are a few faves....

"Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shel Silverstein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

"The Adventures of Isabel" by Ogden Nash

Isabel met an enormous bear,
Isabel, Isabel, didn't care;
The bear was hungry, the bear was ravenous,
The bear's big mouth was cruel and cavernous.
The bear said, Isabel, glad to meet you,
How do, Isabel, now I'll eat you!

Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry.
Isabel didn't scream or scurry.
She washed her hands and she straightened her hair up,
Then Isabel quietly ate the bear up.

Once in a night as black as pitch
Isabel met a wicked old witch.
the witch's face was cross and wrinkled,
The witch's gums with teeth were sprinkled.
Ho, ho, Isabel! the old witch crowed,
I'll turn you into an ugly toad!

Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry,
Isabel didn't scream or scurry,
She showed no rage and she showed no rancor,
But she turned the witch into milk and drank her.

Isabel met a hideous giant,
Isabel continued self reliant.
The giant was hairy, the giant was horrid,
He had one eye in the middle of his forhead.
Good morning, Isabel, the giant said,
I'll grind your bones to make my bread.

Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry,
Isabel didn't scream or scurry.
She nibled the zwieback that she always fed off,
And when it was gone, she cut the giant's head off.

Isabel met a troublesome doctor,
He punched and he poked till he really shocked her.
The doctor's talk was of coughs and chills
And the doctor's satchel bulged with pills.
The doctor said unto Isabel,
Swallow this, it will make you well.

Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry,
Isabel didn't scream or scurry.
She took those pills from the pill concocter,
And Isabel calmly cured the doctor.

JABBERWOCKY by Lewis Carroll
(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Everybody's Song

Do you hear that beat?
Makes you leave your seat?
Makes you move your feet?
Yeah, yeah, that's everybody's song!

Makes your fingers tap!
And your hands can clap!
And your feet can tap!

Doo-wop, come on and join along!
Well, your voice can hum!
And your heart's a drum!

Wherever you come from...
You just can't go wrong
With this pretty ditty!

Want to cheer...
Get an itchy ear...
Every time I hear...
Everybody's song!






Yeah, yeah, that's everybody's song!






Doo-wop, come on and join along!
Well, your voice can hum!
And your heart's a drum!

Wherever you come from...
You just can't go wrong...
You just can't go wrong...
With this pretty ditty!

Want to cheer!
Get an itchy ear...
Every time I hear...
Everybody's song!

Friday, February 20, 2009

International Pancake Day!!!

Yes! There really is a Pancake Day!
Exciting, isn't it?!
In honor of this day, which falls on Tuesday February 24th in 2009, I have collected bits of information on the history of Pancake Day and lots of links and a few fun pancake poems.
(Oh!and checkout my Pancake folktale and Recipe at )
Pancake Day is celebrated on Shrove Tuesday which is the day before Lent. Lent is a Christian holiday that was established in the 4th century as 40 days and is generally a period of fasting or other forms of self-denial. People generally eat a lot and have fun the day before Lent begins. Shrove Tuesday is often referred to as Pancake Day because fats, which were generally prohibited during Lent, had to be used up. People would take all the eggs and dairy products that they had left in their kitchens and use them to make delicious pancakes.

In the United Kingdom of Great Britian, Northern Ireland and several other countries around the world, Pancake Day is celebrated with fun, games, and of course a lot of eating. However, the most well known activity on this day is the Pancake Day race at Olney in Buckinghamshire, England which has been held since 1445. It all began when a woman was cooking pancakes on Shrove Tuesday to use up all of her perishables before Lent. While she was still cooking she heard the chiming of the bells summoning her to church. Not wanting to be late, the woman ran to church with her apron on and the frying pan still in her hand. Little did she know that this would start a tradition that would be around for over 500 years!

Only women are allowed to participate in this race. They must run a designated path with a frying pan and end up at the church. They must have a hot pancake in the frying pan which they must flip at least three times before they complete the race. The first woman to complete the race and arrive at church with the pancake is declared the winner. She then serves the pancake to the bellringer and is rewarded with a kiss from the bellringer called the “Kiss of peace”. This race still occurs in England and in several other cities.
Info found here

Here are a few poems about pancakes:

The Pancake Collector
by Jack Prelutsky

Come visit my pancake collection
It’s unique in the civilized world
I have pancakes in every description,
Pancakes flaky and fluffy and curled

I have pancakes of various sizes
Pancakes regular, heavy and light
Underdone pancakes and overdone pancakes
And pancakes so perfectly right

I have pancakes locked up in the closets
have pancakes on hangers and hooks
There are bags in boxes and bureaus
And pressed in the pages of books

There are pretty ones sewn to the cushions
And tastefully pinned to the drapes.
The ceilings are coated with pancakes
And pressed in the pages with crepes.

I have pancakes in most of my pockets
And concealed in the lining of suites
There are tiny ones stuffed in my mittens
And large one packed in my boots

I have extra of most of my pancakes,
I maintain them in rows on these shelves
And if you say nice things about them
You may take a few home for yourself

I see that you’ve got to be going
Won’t you let yourselves out by the door?
It is time that I pour out he batter
And bake up a few hundred more

Pancake Song
by Christina Rossetti

Mix a pancake,
Stir a pancake,
Pop it in the pan.
Fry the pancake,
Toss the pancake,
Catch it if you can.

Pancake Poem
by Shel Silverstein

Who wants a pancake,
Sweet and piping hot?
Good little Grace looks up and says,
"I'll take the one on top."
Who else wants a pancake,
Fresh off the griddle?
Terrible Teresa smiles and says,
"I'll take the one in the middle."

Of course, I found a vid on Youtube! This one is odd but kinda fun. Enjoy!!

....and FYI, here's some information on the Different Types of Pancakes

BAO BING, PO-PING: The thin Mandarin pancakes served with Peking duck and moo shu pork. The cakes are made of fine wheat flour and boiling water, rolled thin and cooked two at a time.

BIN-JA TUK: Korean pancakes made from soaked mung beans. While the pancakes cook, strips of pork and kimchi are placed on top, then the cake is flipped.

BLINI: The savory, ultra-light pancake of Russia made traditionally with buckwheat flour and cooked in a small cast-iron pan. Blini are eaten hot with butter, herring, smoked salmon, chopped egg or caviar and sour cream. They date back to the Middle Ages

BLINTZ: The traditional pancake of Jewish cuisine is fried and rolled with sweet or savory fillings, such as lox or cinnamon and sugar and sour cream.

CREIER DE RITEL PANE: A Romanian dish of pancakes filled with mashed calves brains, onion, parsley and eggs. Once filled, the pancake is dipped in eggs and breadcrumbs and deep fried.

CREPE: The French pancake is, of course, the thinnest of them all. Sweet or savory, crepes can be street food or served in a five-star restaurant. Crepes Suzette, once the epitome of luxury desserts, is doused with liqueur and set afire.

DADAR GUTUNG: This Indonesian pancake is wrapped around coconut meat cooked in water with brown sugar and flavored with lemon juice and cinnamon, with a little salt.

EIERKUCKAS: A rich pancake from the Alsace Lorraine region of Northeastern France. The batter is mixed with red currant jelly and cream.

FLENSJES: A thick Dutch pancake served for dessert with sugar, ginger, jam or marmalade.

FLAESKPANNKAKA: This Swedish pancake is cooked until nearly set, then pork or bacon is laid on top and cooked until completed.

INJERA: This spongy, yeasted pancake-like bread made from millet flour doubles as food and utensil in Ethiopia. One or two injera are placed on a large tray and then covered with various stews. Diners scoop the stew with torn pieces of extra injera. Lastly, the injera bread that lines the tray, soaked through with stew juices, is eaten.

LATKE: In Jewish cuisines, the crisp potato pancake is eaten with sour cream or applesauce.

PALASCINTA: A thin Hungarian pancake similar to and used like a French crepe. Also popular in Austria.

PANNEKOEKE: The basic Dutch pancake might be small, filled with custard and served as dessert, or large with bacon cooked into it and dressed with molasses as an entree.

PIKELETS: A yeasted pancake with a holey surface in England. In New Zealand and Australia, the term refers to tiny pancakes that are served cold with preserves, whipped cream or lemon butter.

PLOYES: French Canadian sweet or savory buckwheat pancakes cooked on one side only.

POH PIA: In Singapore, these pancakes are served with a variety of filling, such as chicken or fried garlic, and sauces for diners to choose from.

QATA-EF: In Egypt and Syria, these pancakes are cooked on one side, folded over a sweetened cheese or nut filling, then deep fried. Medieval Arabic cookbooks mention this dish.

TORTILLA: A thin pancake-like flatbread made of cornmeal or flour and water that dates back thousands of years in Mexico and Latin American cooking.

Finally, in case you need/want more information, here are a few good links:

The Pancake, an Appreciation

Holidays_Pancake Day

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Fox and the Aesop Fable

One hot summer's day a Fox was strolling through an orchard when he came to a bunch of Grapes just ripening on a vine.
"Just the thing to quench my thirst," thought the fox.
Drawing back a few paces, he took a run and a jump, and just missed the bunch. Turning round again with a One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but with no greater success.
Again and again he tried to reach the tempting morsel, but at last had to give it up.
Finally, the fox walked away with his nose in the air, saying: "I am sure they are sour."

Moral: It is easy to despise what you cannot get.

Picture from The Baby's Own Aesop (verse fables by W.J. Linton), 1887. Illustrations by Walter Crane

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

January 28th is National Kazoo Day!!!_Kazoo facts and How to make 3 different Kazoos

NATIONAL KAZOO DAY is Jan 28, 2009!

National Kazoo Day 2009 will be celebrated on Wed. Jan. 28th, because it is convenient to Your Chairperson. (Our rules designate the 4th Thursday in January or whenever convenient to the kazooist.)

May all of you have an eco-friendly and economically feasible HAPPY KAZOO YEAR!
This year we commemorate the 159th birthday of the Kazoo!

For Your Information:
The kazoo is a type of mirliton - a device which modifies the sound of a person's voice by way of a vibrating membrane.

On Playing the Kazoo:

Playing the kazoo is not actually "humming" it is more about "singing" in order for the kazoo to make any sound.
If you speak "do, do, do..." into the kazoo mouthpiece, the 'hard' vocalization makes a more effective sound.

History of the Kazoo
Such instruments have been used in Africa for hundreds of years, to disguise the sound of somebody's voice or to imitate animals, often for various ceremonial purposes. It was on such an instrument that the kazoo, invented by an African American named Alabama Vest in the 19th century in Macon, Georgia, is based. The first kazoo was manufactured to Vest's specifications by Thaddeus von Clegg, a German clockmaker in Macon. The kazoo was first publicized at the Georgia State Fair in 1852. The first metal kazoos were manufactured and patented in Eden, New York, where they are still made in the original factory.

The kazoo is played professionally in jug bands and comedy music, and by amateurs everywhere. It is one of the few acoustic instruments to be developed in the United States and one of the easiest melodic instruments to play well, requiring only the ability to vocalize in tune. In North East England and South Wales, kazoos play an important role in so-called juvenile jazz bands (really children's marching bands).

Leonard Bernstein included a segment for kazoo ensemble in the First Introit (Rondo) of his Mass_(theatre). The kazoos are played by the boy's choir.

One of the best known kazooists in recent times might be Barbara Stewart. She was a classically trained singer who has written a book on the kazoo, formed the "quartet" Kazoophony, and performed at Carnegie Hall. She appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.

Classical Kazoo Choir

Kazoos are not just for kids!!!


Comb Kazoo
You will need:
waxed paper

How to:
Fold the waxed paper in half over the comb with the teeth of the comb in the fold.
Tah Dah!!!
Play by placing your mouth over the toothed edge and humming (well more like singing).
You can also try moving the comb from side to side.

Cardboard Tube Kazoo
What you need:
Cardboard tubes (from toilet rolls, plastic or foil wrap, paper towel)
Waxed paper
Markers or crayons

How to:
1. Decorate your tube with markers or pencil crayons.
2. Cut a 5 inch square out of waxed paper.
3. Place the square of waxed paper on one end of tube and secure with an elastic.
4. To play your kazoo gently hum into the open end of the kazoo.

Straw Kazoo
What you need:
drinking straws

How to:
First, flatten out one end of a straw. The easiest way to do this is to bite on it.
With a pair of scissors, cut the flattened end of the straw in an upside-down "V" shape.
This will act as a reed just like in a clarinet.
Place the "V" end of the straw in your mouth so that the "V" end is just past the inside of you lips.
Press on the "V" with your lips while blowing.
This might take some practice. You may have to separate the "V" a bit.

You can also try cutting the straw and then blowing on it.
Do you hear how the pitch of your "kazoo" is higher?

Here is the only picturebook I could find that featured kazoo playing:

There once was a duck
who loved the kazoo.

He played:
La ditty, da ditty, zu zu.

some info I used was found at

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Tiger finds a Teacher

China - A Han Story

Once upon a time, in the depths of a mountain range, there lived a tiger. He was a very strong tiger, but, thanks to the fact that he was unusually clumsy, he could hardly ever catch any animals.

One day he went out from his cave to look for food. As he went along he saw a cat speeding towards him, coming down the mountainside. The cat's swift and easy movements were the envy of the tiger, who thought to himself, "Wouldn't it be fine if I were as clever as that cat!"

He went to the cat and said pleadingly, "Honored Teacher Cat, could you teach me how to climb the mountain as well as you do?"

Knowing that tigers are wicked at heart, the cat was afraid that if she taught him all she knew, then probably her own life would be in danger. She therefore shook her head and said, rather hesitatingly, "I don't think I'd better. If I do, how do I know you'll not use your knowledge against me?"

The tiger behaved fawningly, and kowtowed deeply to the cat.

"Honored Teacher Cat," he said, "I am a man of my word. If you will be so kind as to teach me, I will not betray your goodness. And afterwards, if anyone should bully you, I shall crush him to death."

Hoodwinked by these honeyed words, the cat began to be sympathetic. She put her head on one side and said, "All right. If you really promise that, and are sure you will not be ungrateful, I'll teach you."

The tiger was overjoyed. He waved his tail and knelt down in front of her, saying, "In future, when I have mastered all the skills of climbing hills and catching animals, I shall never forget you, my teacher. May I fall into the deepest gully and be crushed to death myself if I am ever unkind to you!"

He kept his word for some time, and behaved to the cat as one should behave to a teacher. Every day from dawn to dusk the cat did her best to teach her pupil. Very soon she had taught him all her tricks except one. The tiger was very pleased with himself, and highly satisfied with the cat as a teacher.

Then one day, when he came to his teacher for further instruction, he looked at the cat's plump body, and his mouth began to water. What a good meal she would make! But the cat was fully aware of his bad intentions. She decided to give him a test.

"I have taught you all I know," she said. "You need no further lessons."

The tiger thought his chance had come. "Aha!" he said to himself. "This fat little cat will not escape my claws now!" But he thought he had better make sure that he had not misunderstood her, so he asked again, "Honored Teacher Cat, are you certain you have taught me everything?"

"Yes, everything!" said the wily cat.

An idea flashed into the tiger's head, and his eyes sparkled. "Teacher," said he, "what is that there on the tree?"

As the cat turned her head to look, the tiger, his jaws wide open and his claws out, threw himself upon her. But as quickly the cat ran up the tree.

The cat sat up in the tree, and said indignantly, "Well! You ungrateful creature! Your word is worth nothing. It was lucky for me that I had been prudent enough not to teach you how to climb trees. If I had taught you that, I see, you would have eaten me by now."

The tiger flew into a rage and flung himself repeatedly at the tree. But he did not know how to climb it. He tried to gnaw it down, but the trunk was so thick that he could make no impression on it. The cat skipped about in the branches, now and then tantalizing him by sitting down to wash, or look at him. The tiger grew angrier and angrier, and raged about, but there was nothing he could do. Finally the cat jumped easily to another tree, and then another, until she had vanished.

All the tiger's wicked schemes came to naught, and all he could do was to make his way up the mountain again.

Source: Folk Tales from China, Second Series (Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1958), pp.078-81. No copyright notice.

story found here