The Unplugged Family Activity Book by Rachel Jepson Wolf
This is a beautiful book filled with simple to more involved activities to enjoy together as a family rather than spending time together yet alone by having ones face glued to a screen. The book is broken into 4 sections based on the seasons, spring, summer, fall & winter. The fall activities are my favorite which really isn't surprising as fall is everyone's favorite time of year in my household.
There are a surprisingly decent amount of food recipes starting with making soda syrup from lilac blossoms in the spring. The best is Bonfire Bread (also known as Danish snobrod). This is a yeast bread dough that is wrapped around clean sticks & "baked" over a bonfire or open flame.
There is one area of concern & this is the freshly infused items such as balms & honeys. The author is clear about making sure fresh herbs are not wet, but doesn't stress the reason why. The why behind this is when water is mixed with these items, it can create potentially toxic molds which obviously ruins the product. This is why for things like salves & balms, I prefer essential oils, but to go with the natural world around you, herbs are used in this book which makes sense. Should you choose to make any of the herbal recipes of this nature, do not omit or change anything that the author tells you to do. Too many times folks love to take a recipe & tweak it. Just follow the directions okay?
Being a Tree Hugging Dirt Worshiper who runs their own eco farm full time, this is the kind of book I love. Kids are so removed from the natural world & it is just awful. They & often times their parents, are clueless about how the natural world works around them. Whenever we have folks on the farm for the first time, the kids pretty much loose their minds (in a delightfully joyous way) & cry real tears when they have to leave. Kids belong outside getting dirty & using their imagination. Adults could use some outside time too. As the book suggests, how about doing all this dirty outside time together, kids & adults alike? Sounds like a win to me.
The overall feel of the book reminds me of our forgotten pagan aka heathen ways. I'm sure it doesn't help that I'm reading the series The Last Kingdom by Bernard Cornwell. It is such a simple & beautiful way of life. Respecting & enjoying nature rather than being trussed up by rules & meeting the expectations of others rather than respecting oneself, your family & the world around you.
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