Category: Homeschooling/Unschooling

Bobotie and Green Bean Salad

In my Unschooling Cooking post at Leaping From The Box blog, I mentioned that David has been cooking the suppertime meal for the last couple of months. He has been doing an excellent job, although he liked making Japanese fried rice so much that Kat began to tire of it and hunted up some new recipes for him to try. Wednesday night we tried two South African recipes, Green Bean Salad and Bobotie (Beef Pie). They were very good; definitely keepers! Give them a try with your family!

Green Bean Salad

• 2 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
• ½ cup oil
• 4 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon pepper
• 1 cup sweet white onions, thinly sliced
• ¼ cup sliced stuffed green olives

Cook the beans in a large pot of boiling water until tender. Drain well.

In a large bowl, combine the oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir well. Add the onions, green olives, and hot beans and toss until coated. Serve immediately.

Fresh beans are wonderful. Possibly frozen beans would work as well. And we didn’t use the onions, as most in the family do not care for raw onions, even the sweet kind.

And leftovers cold aren’t too bad either!

Bobotie (Beef Pie)

• 2 ounces of butter
• 1 cup onions, thinly sliced
• 1 apple, peeled, diced
• 2 pounds chopped cooked beef (or ground beef)
• 2 bread slices soaked in milk
• 2 tablespoons curry powder
• ½ cup raisins
• 2 tablespoons slivered almonds
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 egg
• ½ teaspoon turmeric
• 6 bay leaves
• 1 egg
• ½ cup whole milk

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes, then add the apple dices and cook for another minute. Add the chopped beef and combine. Squeeze out the excess milk from the bread slices, then tear up and add to the pot. Add the curry powder, raisings, almonds, lemon juice, egg and turmeric, and stir well.

Place mixture in a greased 9 x 13” baking dish. Place bay leaves vertically in the casserole. Bake at 325 degrees F for 40 minutes, then remove from the oven. Mix together the egg and milk, then pour it over the Bobotie. Bake for 15 more minutes. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Don’t Miss Future Recipes!

Kat and David are working their way through the continents. Sunday’s meal plan is Crockpot Chicken Chow Mein. If you would like to follow how our cooking extravaganza goes and possibly gain some new recipes for your family, be sure to subscribe! At this end of this post is a Subscribe to this feed link. There is also one in the right sidebar, Subscribe in a reader. Or you can Subscribe and receive new posts via email, using the Subscribe to Musings, Mischief and Mayhem by Email link. Join today!

Where I Have Been Lately

My mom sent me an email today, wondering where I had been and what I had been doing that was causing me to be so quiet. So, this post is for those who have been wondering the same thing!


I have been devouring Barack Obama’s two books, The Audacity of Hope and Dreams From My Father. I began describing a bit about them in this post, but quickly saw that “a bit” was turning into full-fledged book reviews, so watch for reviews on both of those books in the very near future. I will just say that they are both excellent reads!

I also recently read Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Avatar, which was the third book in her Kushiel’s Trilogy. Avatar was better than the second in the trilogy, Kushiel’s Chosen, and equally as entertaining as the first, Kushiel’s Dart. As a reward for finishing my taxes last week, I purchased Kushiel’s Scion, which is the first in the next trilogy, following the character Imriel that was introduced in Avatar. I would have begun it right away, if I wasn’t finding Obama’s books so engrossing!


Two weeks ago on my LeapingFromTheBox blog, I put up a button so that readers could email me questions they might have about homeschooling or unschooling. That has proven to be popular, and so I have been crafting and posting response to the questions. Some are proving rather challenging to answer, as they deal with areas I do not necessarily feel quite so versed in, such as learning disabilities. But I did my best and thankfully have had a few other readers leave comments, readers who have a bit more experience in that area.


I have drooled over the Teaching Company Great Courses catalogue for years, wishing for this course or that course. After reading Timothy’s description of The Story of Human Language in his blog post A Brief Description of Why I’m Ignoring Y’all over at Sometimes I’m Actually Coherent, I knew it was time to bite the bullet and buy a course. I mean, my birthday is coming up and all, and I don’t want this old brain to turn to mush from disuse! This course is 18 hours long, broke down into 36 thirty minute lectures. By the time I was into lecture two, David was watching it with me, and Bill has watched the last three lectures (I will be watching #8 tonight). The presentation is very well done and the topic is most interesting! I wonder if Bill would like a course for his birthday? This one on Modern Economic Issues looks interesting! All their courses go on sale one month out of every year, so only buy them on sale! And, if you are willing to part with them after watching them once or twice, they seem to hold their resale value very well on E-bay.


I finished calculating our taxes last week and filed them this week. Again this year, as in year’s past while doing our taxes, I was reminded that I really should have a better way of keeping track of our expenses rather than just a spreadsheet. So I am trying to take the time this April to get Quicken set up. And also to tackle some of the odds and ends that have piled up on my desk. You know, things like bank accounts you cannot look at online because you do not have the proper pin numbers and it takes two weeks to receive them via snail mail when you request them. And when you do get the snail mail, you set it aside until it has passed its expiration date and then you must request a new pin number to be snail mailed to you. Fun things like that!

In addition to all that, there is the usual bills to pay, chauffeuring to be done (Charles got his learner’s permit yesterday, finally!), and LeapingFromTheBox website updates to keep up with and pages to expand. The stuff of life!