Thursday, February 22, 2007

Happy Chili Day!

Happy Chili Day folks! I had grand ideas and was going to whip up a batch o' chili to show off but sadly I am sick, so no sharing or showing off. Instead I will shout out some ideas I have about chili. Chili is the perfect food no matter what kind of weather you are experiencing! It is also the perfect food no matter what type of eater you are! So, in honor of National Chili Day why don't you whip up a batch o' beans for your family and get the kidlets involved!

If you decide to make your chili from scratch, you can have a bean fest with your kidlets. Have them measure out the beans and water for soaking. Allow them to set the timer or calculate how long the beans need to soak. While you're at it, have a bean sort, mix up a number of the dry beans into a large bowl and time yer kidlets on sorting them into separate bowls. Talk about their differences, make some collage art, plant a bean. There are all sorts of things you can do not just the usual giggle giggle bean jokes which I am sure some of yer kidlets will delight in! Here's a quick one for ya:

What kind of bean doesn't grow in the garden?
A human bean!

If making your chili from scratch isn't feasable you can go with canned beans and sauces and spices though I prefer the Fantastic Foods Vegetarian Chilli Mix. I never actually follow the directions on the box save for the amount of water...I add a LOT of beans though. Kidney beans are a favorite in this casa. Your kidlets can sort the cans you are using by size. They can measure the outside of the cans with a piece of string or ribbon and then using a ruler they can measure the piece to see what the circumference of each can is.
chili day: beans
Or if your kidlets are a little older, pull out that tape measure and let them have a go. Ask them which can they think is larger or heavier. What shape is the can? What shape is the box? Need some time to yourself? Send them on a shape treasure hunt around the house and ask them to count how many soup can shaped items they find. If you use the mix, your kidlets can help measure out the water needed. Are they old enough to operate a can opener? Let them have a go! Everyone can be involved when it is chili night! Save the box from the mix and your older kidlets can cut out pieces to make their very own robots and creatures.
chili day: bots
Wash out the cans and make tin can telephones or if you have giant cans, make tin can stilts.

You can even have a day of assembling chili in a jar gifts for friends and family! Fun!

But wait! One of the best things about chili is making cornbread to go with it! Kidelts can also help with this and I bet they will have a blast! Check out these recipes:

Southern Cornbread
skillet cornbread
vegan cornbread

I use the recipe on the back of the Albers box, cutting the sugar a little and using rice milk instead. It is soooo good with rice milk!
Happy Chili Day!

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