Monday, October 24, 2011


Every Halloween, my mom makes a bunch of doughnuts and all her neighbors flock to her house. She has candy for the kids (silly kids, choosing candy over spudnuts!) but the adults get a warm doughnut. I made them this past weekend and thought I'd share the recipe.

This makes over 100 doughnuts but you can half or even quarter it.


  • 4 1/2 C Water
  • 1 1/2 t Salt
  • 1 C Margarine (or butter)
  • 5 Eggs (if halfing, my mom suggests using 3 eggs)
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 2 C Mashed Potatoes (left overs are fine as long as you didn't add garlic or ranch to them)
  • 2 t Nutmeg
  • 14 C Flour
  1. In small bowl, mix 1/2 C water, 2 T yeast, and 1 t sugar. Let brew.
  2. In large bowl (as in HUGE) mix 4 C water, salt, margarine, eggs, sugar, mashed potatoes, nutmeg.
  3. Add yeast mixture and mix with a wire wisp. Add flour and mix with a wooden spoon until all flour is moist.
  4. Let rise in bowl until double (approx. 1 1/2 hours)
  5. Roll our and cut into doughnuts or bars and let rise again until double (approx. 1 1/2 hours)
  6. Deep fry in very hot oil. Place the side that was up while rising in the oil first, then turn..
  7. Glaze, eat!
Glaze Recipe
  1. Mix 4 C powdered sugar with enough milk to make a glaze (not frosting), mix with a wire wisp.
Plan on starting these about 4-5 hours before you want to eat them. While they are time intensive, most of that time is rising so you aren't actually working on them.

We made ours pumpkin shaped. They didn't keep their shape too well in the rising/frying process.
Deep frying - be careful!
We added orange food dye to our glaze since we made "pumpkins"
These were yummy. We're glad we had the Voice Male gang here to help us eat them!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

H is for Halloween (of course!)

Today in preschool we worked on the letter H. Whereas Monday was a science day, today was definitely an arts and crafts day.

We painted sugar cookie pumpkins. (Recipes below)

We read this book and each child got a set of 10 Timid Ghosts

We read this story and then they drew something from the story. Left to right: The mailman, Marley, the pumpkin. Not bad for 4 year olds!

We made foot print ghosts. They didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped (their arches were too high, I guess). Next time I think I'll use the bottom of a flip flop to stamp out the ghost shape (heel is the head).

We talked about shapes and then they got to design their own Jack-o-lanterns.

See how cute!

We sewed these hand puppets. This one is a witch in the making.

This one is a kitty. (These were from a kit I bought at the HobLob.)

Maybe my favorite project is one we didn't even get to. So, Eden and I did them after preschool. These are inkblot monsters. We painted one side, folded it over, rubbed it, opened it up, then put on eyes, etc. Aren't these hilarious? We have about five more that Eden did this afternoon. Truly fun and funny.

I love teaching preschool once a month. I get so excited to prepare for the week I get to teach, but let me tell you, I'm also so excited when my week is done and I know I won't be teaching again for a month! This is definitely a nice set up we have, it suits me just perfectly.

Recipe for sugar cookies found here.
The glaze is just powdered sugar and milk to a paint-like consistency then add your food coloring. Using the paint brushes is ingenious and so fun. Every fall when we do these I think of my friend Natalie back in Alabama. She is the painted sugar cookie queen.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

G is for Glass and that rhymes with Grass

Yesterday for preschool we talked about the letter G. I wanted the focus to be on science and so we did some chemistry and biology. Specifically, we learned about how Glass is made and we learned about Grass.

I showed them this video:

I wondered if they'd be able to follow it but with some running commentary/explanation by me they were and seemed to think it was fascinating!

Then we made glass for ourselves (with a few substitutions).

Sand - Sugar
Soda Ash - Water (lowers the melting temperature)
Lime - Corn Syrup (stabilizes and makes less soluble)
2400 degrees - 350 degrees
8 hours - 20 minutes

Yup, we made suckers. It was a great parallel to glass making and the kids watched with great interest and enthusiasm.

See how it balls up just like the real glass?

They each got to take home a "glass" sucker and they were pretty excited.

Yesterday was our last day of summer weather (I know, we've been spoiled) so I wanted to get the kids outside as much as possible before today's fall-like rain began. So, we also learned about Grass.

We planted and watered grass seeds and talked about the life cycle of grass. I had a puzzle for each of them to correctly assemble the life cycle from seed to grass blades. 
We went outside and used our magnifying glass to look at the grass and all that was in it: bugs, dirt, etc. Then they drew pictures in their notebooks.