Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving thanks: full circle (cut into parts)

Who said a little rain could cancel pizza day, after more than a year of preparation by these kids?  And by midday the sun came out after all, and the kids said this blessing before they sat to eat:

The silver rain,
The shining sun,
The fields where scarlet poppies run

And all the ripples of the wheat
Are in the pizza that I do eat

And when I sit for every meal
And say a grace
I always feel

That I am eating rain and sun
And fields where scarlet poppies run.

 We ask all good blessings on our meal and on everyone.

How to Make Pizza
In the spring, collect a bunch of manure to spread over the plot you have double dug.  Layer the manure, then cardboard, then straw, and water the whole pile weekly for four months.

In the fall, remove the straw and cardboard and add them to your compost pile, then dig in what's left of the manure.

Make some rockin' scarecrows out of old clothes and trashed CDs.  Have fun with it.  Try not to fight too much over the best accessories.

Scatter heirloom wheatberries passed down to you from the previous year's class over the prepped plot.  Mark the field so people will know it's not just grass.

Watch it grow.  Notice how much it shoots up when it rains.  Check it at least weekly for 7 months.  In the spring, see the slow toll of gophers, and the impression of the deer that thinks the wheatfield is a great place to sleep.

In the summertime, come by to learn to use a scythe and harvest the wheat.

In the fall (yes, the second fall), thresh (the doing-the-twist-on-a-pillowcase method is always popular) and winnow the wheat.  Get a visceral sense of the phrase "separating the wheat from the chaff."

Grind the wheatberries.  Make dough from the resulting flour (Mix 3 cups flour with 1.5 tsp salt. Mix separately: 1 package active dry yeast, 1/2 cup tepid water, a pinch of sugar, wait 5 minutes, then add 3/4 cup cold milk.  Mix the dry and wet ingredients, add 2 Tbsp olive oil, and once it masses, let it rest 5 minutes.  Then knead 50 strokes, rest 2 minutes, knead 20 strokes, cover and let rise for 1.5 hours or until you have the outdoor oven ready.)

Form into pizza rounds, load up with toppings...


and share.

Bless the food, and enjoy.  Then go back to your classroom for a fractions lesson.

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