We’re Back to School After Labour Day

June, my 5 year old, starts asking about her birthday as soon as summer is here. She’s an October baby, born a week before Halloween. Though we can’t turn up our noses at vacation and warm weather, Autumn is our favourite time of year. How could it not be?! Canadian Thanksgiving, October 10, is a turkey day. Then we have June’s birthday. I wonder what theme she will want this year? Next is Halloween. June is dressing as Harry Potter this year. November 1st is the anniversary of the day I met my husband. We’re getting remarried in the church around Christmas this year. Then, Christmas is another turkey day. Whew…the leftovers! I’m looking forward to sharing all the holiday things with you all this year. Today, I’m sharing one of my favourite fall recipes.

I’m getting organized for school since we’re starting up next Tuesday. This is my first year of actual school, as in June is registered for school and I’m teaching her. I feel a change in perspective as we transition from skipping preschool to learn at home to opting out of public school to be educated at home. Oversight does that. I think it’s unfortunate, because something of the purity of homeschooling without oversight is lost.

alphabooksI’ve been rearranging a bit to get ready for school. I’ll show you our school space on Thursday. Until then, I wanted to share the reading space that we set up for June at the bottom of the stairs.

It has a bench with shelves for her favourite books and a basket for toys. There is a makeshift bench for her animal friends which also doubles as storage. The indoor topiary is pretty when it’s lighted and we decorate it now and then with anything and everything. We’re still collecting for her wall collage. I won the poster at the Multicultural Kids blog last year. It was designed by A Crafty Arab.

I have a recipe to share with you. June is a very picky eater, but by some miracle she loves beans. When she was little I would make traditional chili and it was one of the few things she would eat, except I had to rinse the sauce off of each bean. The things we do for our children! This is another recipe that she enjoys. It’s somewhere between chicken soup and chili. After cooking up all those beans, be sure to check out aquafaba recipes.

Spicy Chicken and Bean Soup

Hot & Spicy Chicken Soup

1/3 cup canola oil, divided
5 cups of chicken thighs and/or breasts, cubed
3 medium onions, finely chopped
4 stalks of celery, finely chopped
2 tbsp minced garlic
5 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, finely chopped
2 tbsp chili powder
3 tsp cumin powder
3 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp cayenne powder
3 tbsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp salt
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
6 cups Great Northern Beans, prepared
2 cups canned or frozen corn

Place 3 tbsp canola coil into a large pot and brown the chicken cubes over medium high heat. Remove the chicken and set aside. Reduce the temperature to medium heat. Add the rest of the canola oil to the pot. Add the onions and celery and cook until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic, jalapeno, chili, cumin, oregano, and cayenne. Cook until fragrant. Return the chicken to the pot. Add the parsley, salt, broth, and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beans and corn. Bring to a boil. Serve with cornbread.

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