School Holidays with Kids

Growing Adventure brought us 20 kids one Thursday morning! School holidays… too bored… yeah you get the idea! Blessed with a pleasant cloudy weather, they excitedly headed into our farm. Our usually protective dogs were drowning in love, after being pat by small and soft hands. A rare scene indeed! Walking in our farm had effectively killed the kids fear towards dirt and chicken manure. One step closer to nature 😀

They also harvest fresh from the garden, made fire in the mud oven, chopped vegetables and made pizza. Thanks to their training in school, nobody chopped their own fingers 🙂

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Damien, our French friend from Nikko Farm also showed the kids how to make pizza dough from scratch! It was a wild Thursday 😀 We enjoyed their company!

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Bringing our skills to Penang, we gave a two-day Woodwork & Cooking Class this school holidays at Wonder Wilder Farm with our dear friends Mei Shy & Alicia Koh. So the parents happily kissed their kids goodbye and left their precious for us. It was our first two-day baby sitting experience. I must say, it was challenging. Among them, you get sibling groups, cousins, school mates, but most of them first time meeting each other. Without their parents pampered love, there was no time for weakness 🙂

Started off with chopping board making, we used mangrove which was salvaged from the roadside as material. Sanding this hard wood by hand has nurtured their patience, which I noticed is a lack in most of the kids. To brought back some attention, they were introduced to power tools – grinder and drill, with very good safety measures. The boys certainly sat back to watch the girls do the trials, leaving the girls with good reputation in the end. Oiling the chopping board with RBD coconut oil is the last step.

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Mei Shy made us a nutritious and delicious lunch with organic ingredients – pumpkin soup, fried bihun with eggs, and stir fry sawi, with roselle drink. Very sustainable plates – banana leaf from the farm.

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Followed by the awesome lunch, Yoshi our Japanese friend, dragged by the kids to the nearby goat farm for a tour. Not sure if it was Yoshi or the kids who lead the tour. But that surely boost the dynamics and eased the next introduction of advanced woodwork techniques by Fred.

Splitting themselves into measuring team, pencil team, angle ruler team and sawing team, the ambitious mob transformed the reclaimed pellets into a beautiful outdoor table. They didn’t mind the afternoon heat and the day ended with a yes to coming back the next day. A big group photo at a contented sunset.

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Waking up to the next day, 2 more new kids joined the workshop. Focusing on cooking, we had masterchef Mei Shy showing the tapioca cake fried with coconut oil, Alicia guiding the soya milk processing with ancient stone mill technique, Yoshi teaching Japanese Mochi making and Xin demonstrating pizza making.

The kids proudly used the chopping board made by themselves to chop up ingredients. On top of that, working on the outdoor table that they have made. It was a big organic feast and the kids loved it, tasting food at their original flavour. Washing up the dishes has built up some responsibility and discipline.

The final session is the book crate making with Fred. With the prior woodwork skills, preparing pallets into workable form became easier than the day before. However, as the day gets longer, the kids had also grew a little tired. It was a slightly disastrous classroom with impatient kids yelling for help and noisy hammering. Nevertheless, everybody finished their project with the last creativity of the day. We hope they will welcome their new semester with own made book shelf. Today they made a book shelf, tomorrow they will be able to build themselves houses to live in. We all learned something this school holidays 🙂

Making Kefir Milk

One day, Xin’s mom went to visit her friend in Kuala Lumpur and discover the brand new Kefir Milk! With the grains given by her friend, she is now enjoying her new experiment! Instead of Kefir Milk, we call it Yogurt Kefir. It is to introduce this new fermented milk drink that has the yogurty texture and a slightly sour taste to the community here. This is how she makes it at home:

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  • This is kefir grains (doesn’t look so attractive on screen!) – the key to making yogurt kefir. Just imagine you are keeping a pet animal – you need to feed the grains daily. This is just a little bit more special, you feed them milk.

 

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  • So 1 tablespoon of grains to 4 cups of milk. Let it sit at room temperature for 10-12 hours

 

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  • Ta-da! Yogurt kefir wants to go into the bottle and stay refrigerated. Can last for a week or two.

Recommended Recipes / Tips:

  1. Mix with fruits as breakfast
  2. Alternative to coconut milk in green curry
  3. Topping in tacos
  4. Use it like how you would use sour cream

Making Roselle Jam

Have abundance of Roselle? Jam ’em up!

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  • Portion: 4 parts of fruits to 0.5 parts of water
  • Bring to boil (natural pectin is in the seed pods, so use the whole fruit)

 

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  • When calyxes have melted, strain out the remains

 

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  • Add 1 part of organic brown sugar and cook on medium heat till ready
  • Check readiness by pre-freezing a plate, pour a drop of jam on the plate; if not flowing too fast, its a good consistency

 

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  • Pour the jam into mason jars and cap them
  • To vacuum seal the bottles, boil the hot jars in hot water for 10 minutes
  • Remove and turn the jars upside down for 30 minutes
  • Turn again to let the jam sit overnight before consuming

 

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  • Voila! Enjoy your delicious roselle jam with bread or crackers!

Making Coconut Oil

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Coconut nut oil has been used since many generations ago for cooking and cosmetic purposes. It is good for skin, hair and so easy to make at home. This is the simplest way to make it:

Choose old coconut and get the fruit in the middle. Half the coconut. This is a traditional tool on the stool for shaving coconut. Usually 5 coconut will yield 1-2 cups of oil.

Place the shaved coconut onto a cloth. Add a little water and squeeze out the coconut milk. Older coconut will have more milk!

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Strain the milk into a wok

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Heat the milk on medium heat. Keep stirring for approx 1 hour.

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You will see the coconut oil slowly forming! Its magico experience 🙂

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At this state, it is ready. Dont cook it to brown color. Strain out the residue and voila your coconut oil is born! Let it cool and start using!

Making Ambra Pickle

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Ambra or Ambarella or Kedondong, is easy to grow and produce fruits in abundance. The leaves can also be eaten raw as salad. Ambra pickle is a way to preserve the fruits, good to eat as finger food or with salad.

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So easy to make it:

  1. Sterile jar/bottle with boiling water.
  2. Harvest ambra.
  3. If you would like to pickle with skin, scrub the fruit clean and cut into 4 halves. Otherwise, peel the skin and cut into 4 halves. Put them into a mixing bowl.
  4. Add a little bit of salt onto the fruits and rub evenly onto the fruits. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Wash off the salt with water and strain dry the fruits. Let dry for about 1 hour.
  6. When they are dry, put them back into mixing bowl and add brown sugar. Shake to mix well. (approx 1 jar of fruit to 4 tablespoons of sugar) Let sit for 15 minutes.
  7. When sugar is dissolved, bottle them into jar. Keep refrigerated all time.

Making Chilli Pickle

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Pickling chilli is one of the best ways to preserve the chilli. The main ingredient for chilli pickle is of course the organic chilli! Chilli pickle also contains garlic, rock salt, brown sugar and distilled vinegar. For your info, the conventional way of growing usually applies chemical pest spray 3 times a week!

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How to make pickle chili:

  1. Sterile jar/bottle with boiling water.
  2. Harvest chilli after dew has disappeared.
  3. If you wash them, make sure they are dry when pickling.
  4. Peel 2 cloves of garlic for each jar.
  5. Fill the jar full with chilli and garlic.
  6. Add a pinch of rock salt and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar for each jar.
  7. Pour the distilled vinegar until it covers all the chilli.
  8. Store in shade and refrigerate after opening.