Blog Post #2 Reforming time!

Dear Mr. Baldwin,

I am pleased to have the opportunity to work with you. As you know, we have similar motives to reform the government of Canada. Because of this, I hope we can work together to achieve our common goal. Although our common goals are a priority, one of my main goals is still to bring back the French language so that it is recognized as an official language of Canada again so I hope that you can respect the actions I will take to try to make this a reality. I have to thank you for letting me run in the place of your father in the 1941 election. The reason I wasn’t elected was because my polling office was placed at the entrance to a village that was mostly English. When my followers and I showed up to vote, a mob was waiting for me and I had to withdraw to avoid bloodshed. Due to this, I feel that we are strongest together and we will do extremely good things in this new government to chance Canada for the better.

With many Thanks,
Louis Lafontaine

In-Depth Post #6 Spring break special!

So…many things happened during spring break. The good news is I baked 4 times total, but the bad news is that I went on vacation over the weekend so I didn’t bake a new recipe one weekend. First, I will start by posting the repeat recipes that I did: (only the result, as I used the exact same method as the first time I posted it)

The muffins from my In-depth post #5 here: http://kevinf.talons43.ca/2015/03/07/in-depth-post-5/ (This time the muffins turned out PERFECT. They rose perfectly because I used brand new baking powder and I baked them for the right amount of time this time so they didn’t stick to the wrapper like last time.)

and:

The date squares also from In-depth post #5 here: http://kevinf.talons43.ca/2015/03/07/in-depth-post-5/ These tasted about the same as the last time I made them but I did make one huge change: I followed Joyce’s suggestion and used dried mangoes as the filling! I have to say it turned out quite well.

Now to the new recipes that I made, starting with coconut cookies!
Recipe: http://www.theglutenfreevegan.com/2013/12/gluten-free-vegan-coconut-cookies/

My collection of my ingredients. (The powder in the blender is brown rice flour that I made from blending brown rice at high speeds in my blender)
All the flour.
The coconut oil sugar and vanilla extract mixed. (This took me longer that expected because after I mixed it the first time and went to do something else, the oil and sugar noticeably separated)
Mixing everything together
After everything is fully mixed. The mixture was soft and held its own shape quite well, making it easy to shape into cookies.
Right as the cookies are going into the oven.
After coming out of the oven. Looks good! Too bad they have to cool for hours before eaten.

Review:

This was one of the only times that what I made looks and tastes exactly the same as the recipe maker’s version. Unfortunately, these cookies weren’t a hit for me. However, my family loved them! A drawback for baking was mentioned earlier in one of my pictures: because I used coconut oil (which turns to liquid at about 24 degrees Celsius), I had to wait multiple hours for the cookies to harden to a point where they wouldn’t fall apart when touched. This recipe is definitely one I would make again, mainly for my family.

Now onto the second recipe, this one is a quick chocolate pudding you can make in a couple minutes using a blender:
Here is the recipe: http://ohsheglows.com/2015/02/02/raw-chocolate-pudding-vegan-no-added-sugar/

The ingredients. I substituted the almond butter for peanut butter (in the end, you couldn’t taste the peanut butter at all) and used more fruit because I had small avocados and bananas instead of medium.
Everything in the blender. See anything wrong? I do now…I put the cacao powder on the top, so as soon as the blade started spinning it sprayed the powder everywhere inside the jar and on the lid.
The finished product! With pomegranate frills and coconut shavings to top it off.

Review: I made this pudding twice, making changes to the second one to make it better. When I made the first batch, I followed the instructions step by step. The result tasted extremely bananaee and chocolatee (meaning banana and chocolate were the strong flavors that stood out). The second time I made the pudding, I added 1/4 of a cup of sugar and used 4 tbsp of cacao powder instead of 5. The result was much sweeter and less bitter. My family was split on which one they liked, half of us liked the 1st batch, and half of us liked the 2nd batch. Its up to you to decide which one is better when you make it for yourself!

Now that the progress report is done, time to talk about De Bono, this week: Concepts (9) and alternatives (10)

Lets start with concepts. As stated earlier, I experienced a mishap when I put the cacao powder in last when making pudding and the result was having it go everywhere inside the blender. When my mom saw this, she started talking to me about the importance of putting my ingredients in a better order to prevent stuff like this. After she had been speaking for a while, I asked her if I had the concept right by telling her the way I would put the ingredients the next time I made the pudding. Sure enough, I put the ingredients in that order (with the lightest and most powdery at the bottom) and it worked out perfectly. Another instance of this happening was a couple weeks ago when I recorded a section of our conversation for this post. During the recording, Joyce and I talked about substituting the dates in my date squares for dried mangoes. As the recording was only a short snippet of our conversation, there was much more to our discussion than that. After the recording was over, I proceeded to ask Joyce to explain in more detail why she though dried mangoes would work. She said that she thought it would work because of the properties of the dried mangoes. I tried to check if I got the concept of what she was saying by stating that the mangoes’ stickiness made it similar to dates. Joyce said it was spot on to what she was explaining. And as you can see in the picture of my new date squares earlier which I used dried mangoes instead of dates, it turned out really well.

Now lets talk about alternatives:
I just mentioned an example of an alternative a mentor has offered me when I talked about concepts. Yes, I’m talking about the mangoes and the dates. Other than that, I can’t currently think about more situations where alternatives were suggested, but I’m sure as I dive deeper into this project, more situations like this are bound to occur!

Well thanks for reading this weeks blog post, and I hope to see you again in 2 weeks for my next post!

In-depth post #5

I’m back to my usual 2 recipes every post now! This week you will be seeing oatmeal apple muffins (recipe here), and date squares (recipe here). My muffins turned out sub par as I under baked them by a little bit so the bottom kind of stuck to the pan. I also used some older baking powder so they didn’t rise as much as I would have liked. But, they tasted exactly like the real thing, so I’m quite happy with the result. The date squares were a success, the only thing that I would change is to use less sugar. I could tell that to some people the sweetness would be perfect, but to me it was a little bit over sweet. I plan on re-making both these recipes over spring break (next post) as well as 2 new recipes.

Here are my muffins:

WOW, what a huge bunch of ingredients! I almost ran out of room on my counter.
All the flour and dry ingredients (minus the sugar)
In the front: All the wet ingredients (the sugar was supposed to go in here, but I accidentally dumped based on reflex, ops) In the back: All the dry ingredients + the sugar
The mixture before it gets poured into the muffin tins.
Going into the oven!
The finished product, I would have liked it to rise more, which is why I bought some brand new baking powder to try this recipe again during spring break.

Now for the date squares:

The ingredients (much more manageable than the muffin ingredients)
All the dry ingredients + the coconut oil. I had to put this bowl into a pot full of hot water to melt the coconut oil because solid coconut oil is extremely hard.
The mixed crumbly mixture. I took this picture after I put half of the mixture into the pan, that’s why it doesn’t look like a lot.
Chopping the dates for the date paste.
Boiling/simmering the dates to make paste.
The final paste.
The date squares (or square since its not cut) before it goes into the oven.
Mmmmmm, nice and golden brown. These came right out of the oven, I had to wait a couple of hours until they were cool to cut them.

BONUS (I guess, even though I don’t have pictures): I baked another batch for the Slam Jam event. This time I used my experience with the previous batch and made the following improvements:

1. I used less sugar so that the natural flavor of the dates could be tasted.

2. I used vegan margarine instead of coconut oil (Although the recipe said both were fine, I used coconut oil for my personal batch because there is soybean oil in the vegan margarine and I’m allergic to soy). I couldn’t compare the two as I was allergic to one.

3. I waited until it was 100% cool and hard before I cut it instead of cutting it when it was semi-soft.

 

Now to my recording with my mentor:
(PLEASE READ: the audio in this clip is very low due to me recording it on my phone, when listening to the clip, turn your volume to 100% but PLEASE REMEMBER TO TURN IT DOWN AGAIN)

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/194653822?secret_token=s-niKFD”]

Transcription:

0:20 – White hat (Talking about coconut oil)

2:50 – Red hat (Inferring that the coconut sugar I used might be sweeter than brown sugar)

4:08 – Green hat (Asking what would be a substitute for dates)

4:20 to end of video – Yellow hat (Discussing if mangoes will work for the recipe)

4:30 – Red hat (Me feeling that mangoes won’t work)

4:38 Black hat (Me saying that dried mangoes are a little too dry)

Dear mother and father

Dear mother and father,                                                             April 1, 1831

I know I haven’t written in a while, but I hope you can forgive me as a lot of things have been happening extremely fast in my life. I have big news! I’m getting married! Yes, me, Louis Lafontaine, at 23 years of age, am getting married to a beautiful woman called Lynzee Rickard. That isn’t the only good news. A few months ago, I was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada. I’m grateful for this opportunity and I hope I can make Lower Canada better. To be honest, all I do is to basically create bills so that they may be passed. My true goal however, is to unite both Upper Canada and Lower Canada to be one nation. My goal is very similar to Louis Papineau’s goal, which is why I find myself agreeing more and more with Louis Papineau’s movement for political reform. A movement that was inspired by the American Revolution so many years ago.  I have heard of a movement like this in upper Canada so maybe the political reform that I have been waiting for is finally happening. I hope this doesn’t turn out to be a bloody conflict though. No matter what happens, I want you two to know that I love you very much.

– Louis Lafontaine

 

 

Document of (Resource) Learning

Well this is my second document of learning for social studies. This is my resource for this post:

As you can see, it’s a video! The reason I chose this video was that I realized that while I am extremely interested in war’s and know a good amount about both world wars, I know almost nothing about The War of 1812. This war was the most important war in the history of Canada in my opinion, as we would have become part of America if we had lost. This video describes in moderate detail the events during The War of 1812 that contributed to the result of the war. (With a couple of humorous facts thrown in as well)

I feel that this video applies to almost all the sections of the PLO, as this war shaped our identity, culture, created a new government, and affected the environment by setting a new border. By being a video, this resource already appeals to those who don’t like reading long paragraphs. It also is a manageable 12 minutes long; anyone can take 12 minutes out of their day to learn something new. I know I enjoyed this resource because of the illustrations and because it was easy to understand. Although the video is from an American point of view, it is quite easy to make connections to how Canada developed as a country after this war, even though it is not directly stated.

Overall, I think that this is definitely a “green” resource.