Daily Archives: September 8, 2011

S for Strawberry Jam

Taking advantage of the summer season, S had to be for strawberries.

We started off by examining the actual fruit. Ilyaas(4) was just so cute when he grabbed his magnifying glass to examine the strawberry.

Observation: “It’s red!” . . . “It has leaves on the top!” . . . “It has seeds on the outside!”

I thought he is getting a good hang of these type of observations.

These were our jam making process . . .

Weighing strawberries

Removing leaves (hulling done by me!)








Chopping strawberries

Adding sugar








I do not own a hand chopper. Instead I gave Ilyaas a pastry knife to “chop” the strawberries. The recipe for this jam was from here. After adding all the ingredients, we just left the pot on low heat until the jam was at a consistency we wanted. Waiting was probably the hardest part of this recipe for Ilyaas!

Alhamdulillah it was nice to have homemade jam . . . for the very first time that is. As soon as the jam cooled down, Ilyaas wanted to have it with toast Masha-Allah.

Our homemade strawberry jam.

Every summer I try to plant a few strawberry plants in deck planter box for the children to get excited about. Alhamdulillah, this was our plants for this summer.

Our strawberry plants

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Posted by on September 8, 2011 in AlphaFood Venture, Cooking/Baking



R for Rice

I decided on rice for letter R. Rice is a staple in our home and Ilyaas(4) often measures the rice for me.

He started of by measuring the rice. He tried his hand at rinsing the rice as well. I used a strainer . . . I did not want the rice to end up in the drain!

Rinsing rice

Rice dumped into strainer








For this activity we added raisin (another R ingredient). I got golden raisin, sultanas and regular SunMaid raisins. We talked about mainly the different colours. I had some fresh grapes at home. When I  showed him the grapes and told him that they dry into raisins, Subhanallah he just could not believe it.

I was hoping to dry some grapes over summer to demonstrate this to him. Unfortunately that just did not happen.

Frying raisins in ghee

I did the frying part as Ilyaas watched the raisins balloon up. He was amused. After this step, he dumped the strained rice into the pot. He helped measure the water and poured it into the pot. We then just put it into a rice cooker. The end results . . .

Raisin rice

To be honest Ilyaas was a little disappointed. This is like what he has so often for dinner. I had to make it a little special for him. So I threw in a sensory activity.

I gave him a little cup of a clear liquid. He observed, dipped his finger. Then the smell caught his attention. Rose water! Another R ingredient. He absolutely loved it. He sprinkled the rose water over the rice and then asked more to rub on himself 🙂

Rose water. Available at Middle Eastern or East Indian grocery stores.

We found this book at the library. It is a non-fiction title. The pictures were really great to talk about how rice is grown and rice in different cultures.

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Posted by on September 8, 2011 in AlphaFood Venture, Cooking/Baking



Q isn’t quitting!

Our quail egg project was a smelly disaster, Innalillah. This made it even harder to make a recipe for letter Q. I would have bought another case of quail egg and retried the whole thing. However I was grossed out and I had a plea from my husband. In his words, “Can you please stop experimenting food on me.” Granted he is not as diverse in his palette as I am, but so far he has tugged along and I was compelled to show mercy.

So were we quitting on letter Q ???????

Alhamdulillah I figured out something with what I had on hand. We made cheesy letter Qs using crescent rolls.

Sprinkling cheese on crescent roll dough

Putting egg wash on letter Qs

Baked crescent roll letter Qs

Together with the cheese we did sprinkle some herbs into the dough. This turned out to be cheesy chewy recipe that could be used to form any shape Insha-Allah. My one idea did not realize, but Alhamdulillah I discovered a versatile use for crescent roll dough.


Posted by on September 8, 2011 in AlphaFood Venture, Cooking/Baking