Well, we have ventured south of the equator once again, back to the West Coast, this time landing in the mountainous land of Peru.
After diving in to our geography lesson,
We used red pom-poms, tissue paper and stickers for the red stripes in the flag.
we began some of our new library books.
In this fun book we learned about the many “fiestas” celebrated in Peru each year, including the Festival of the Sun, The Star Snow Festival and Puno Day.
During our recent visit to the library I decided to find as many books as possible that were relevant to our study, particularly those I can read aloud. I was so excited to find this very appropriate “Newbery Award” winner.
We didn’t get too far into this book yet, but plan to in the next few days. Lastly, my sweet neighbor, Dyana, dropped off loads of books this weekend that her kids, now teenagers+, had outgrown. I haven’t had a chance to even go through all the books, but I came across one that is perfect for our learning journey.
This book contains multiple stories about children from other cultures, including Peru! Yay!
And since it is quite the dreary-rainy day (a far cry from the 100*+ that we had last week), we decided to try out some Peruvian Hot Chocolate. (I think that I will use any excuse to make hot chocolate, even if it’s barely sprinkling, but today it really does qualify as a “rainy” day, even in Southern California).
I blended two recipes I found online when I typed in “Peruvian Hot Chocolate” as I wanted to keep some of the spices of the first, but add three milks and more chocolate like the second. Typically this treat is served at Christmastime in Peru, but we couldn’t wait .
Here’s the recipe we came up with:
2 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks
1 can evaporated unsweetened milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
4 cups milk
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
First you simmer the cinnamon and cloves in the water for 15 minutes
Next, you add the three milks and bring back to a boil for 2 more minutes. In a small bowl, chop the chocolate and add the cocoa powder. Blend a little of the hot milk into the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Add the chocolate mixture to the milk and simmer for another five minutes. In another small bowl whisk the 1/4 cup water and cornstarch, then blend into hot chocolate simmering for another 2 minutes. Finally, add the vanilla, butter and salt. Top with whipped cream or serve as is for a delicious, mildly spicy Peruvian “Christmas” treat. (Serves a LOT! Maybe 12?)
Tallinn could have had four cups if I let him.
Addie sipped hers a bit more slowly and just enjoyed a few moments alone with her cup. (I can completely relate.)
Well Peru, we’re excited to learn more, cook more and create more Peruvian-related things, and we’ll be slowly sipping our hot chocolate throughout the afternoon and evening as our recipe made quite a lot.
This Week’s Verse (In honor of the beautiful Andes Mountains)
How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news.