I’m finally getting our Croatia country study posted, just a month or so late…. I kept putting off posting about Croatia because I had a craft I wanted to do, but I finally gave up on completing the craft and decided to post our Croatia country study, if for no other reason than I have another country to get them working on.
Croatia for elementary kids: recipe
I looked through the different Croatian recipes and found this Croatian nut roll. I figured I could probably make this….. I really should have known better, but I’ll let you pretend it didn’t go horribly wrong (though still tasty).
1. Go on a wild shopping spree to buy all of the ingredients, yeast packets, check, walnuts, check, butter, check. All right let’s start mixing.
2. Start pulling out ingredients. Think about pounding your head through the wall when you realize you bought salted butter instead of sweet cream butter. Okay, don’t add extra salt, I can do that. Melt butter, start cracking eggs, and mixing.
2b. 1 pound of butter! ONE POUND, that’s all the butter I can find in my refrigerator. ALL OF IT. Not one bit left.
3. Clean the counter after the kids crack the eggs. Stir feverishly. Scald milk, how do you tell it’s scalded? Who knows, just take it off when it’s hot, and maybe there was something about forming a skin on top. I don’t know. So many steps in this recipe.
4. How much flour? 10 cups? That’s a lot of flour. I’m glad I picked the biggest bowl we own. Will we have enough flour? Okay, that’s all mixed in and my wrists are now hurting from pounding the flour into the dough.
4b. Listen to commentary from the kids about how much work it is, and how thankful they are we don’t have to do this every time we want to eat bread. Seriously it’s a lot of work for this bread. I think the creator of the recipe lied about the time involved. Total time 1 hour 20 minutes. LIAR! Your pants are so on fire.
5. Get out the walnuts, and that’s when I realized I was completely and totally screwed.
The recipe did not say 3 cups of walnuts, which I’d already thought was a lot.
It said 3 POUNDS, yes 3 POUNDS of walnuts. Start going through the pantry to find anything else that resembles a nut. We find: honey roasted almond slices, pistachios, and some walnuts from another recipe.
6. Gleefully start smashing those walnuts because you need to take out some aggression.
6b. How hard is it to smash nuts into small pieces? We have now smashed through about 4 gallon ziploc bags, and they just are not breaking into little bitty pieces, some are, but most aren’t. The recipe says to pulse it in your blender.
I don’t have a blender. It fell off the top of the refrigerator nearly brained Superman, and shattered into a million pieces that I still find over 2 months later.
I have a magic bullet. I should say “I had a magic bullet,” I think I blew out the motor trying to pulse the nuts.
I did get a fine powder. for a few, most were still large chunks.
Give up on this, I strongly considered taking up drinking at this point.
7? Oh forget this, just mix it all together. What? 1/2 pound butter? Seriously and evaporated milk (and in case you’re wondering condensed milk does not work, and you cannot substitute that for normal milk in Mac and Cheese).
7.59. Melt the butter, find a can of evaporated milk, mix all that together with the nut mixture, and it still looks rather not right.
Oh what the heck, the recipe is already so far gone, why not throw in some oatmeal. That’ll help make it thicker.
Mix in oatmeal.
8. I’ll pretend I’m on step 8. Divide dough into 8-12 pieces, these are freaking huge rolls. Much bigger than the picture. Roll it out. At this point the kids are just plain silly. There’s no hope for it.
9. Spoon nut mixture onto the dough and somehow roll it up.
10. Shove in the oven and cook for 20 minutes, look at the bread and cook for another 10 minutes.
For all the drama and craziness they Croatian nut bread actually turned out pretty good. Well, Jeff and I really liked it. The kids weren’t so sure about it, but I think that’s because they knew all the steps where the recipe went wrong.
Croatia for elementary kids: country report
Since Croatia is a relatively new country there isn’t as much information and crafts on it. It was very interesting to see the kids interpret what I put together for them into a report.
All in all, Croatia is an interesting country, but putting together a Croatia for elementary kids unit was hard. To get the country report lapbook, head on over to creating country reports.
Adventures In Mommydom, Afterschool for Smarty Pants, All Done Monkey, Crafty Moms Share, Maroc Mama, Glittering Muffins, Kid World Citizen, Mermaids’ Makings, The Mommy Talks and The Usual Mayhem.
Are you looking for more geography resources, then try The Ultimate Homeschool Geography Guide.
Almost Unschoolers says
Baking is always a good exercise in reading comprehension 🙂
Yes it is.
I love your hands-on approach to geography! And your humor! 😉 I’m bookmarking this post to come back when we start doing more geography in the fall. Thanks!
maryanne @ mama smiles says
Croatia has AMAZING beaches!
Greetings from Croatia! I loved how you described your ‘creative’ process in the kitchen.A few interesting tidbits straight from the heart of Croatia – almost all our cakes need a pound of butter, and sometimes 12 or more eggs. And they do take time to make! But they are delicious.
The other thing is that different regions in Croatia have different cakes and cookies. Like totally different! Same goes for food and wine.
Even with all of the mistakes I made ours was pretty good too, so I can imagine how great it must taste with someone who actually knows what they’re doing when cooking the food.
That would make a great unit to study the different regions of Croatia with the cakes and cookies, though probably not the best for anyone dieting. Thanks for letting me know this!
You’re so funny!
Natalie PlanetSmartyPants says
I laughed and laughed reading through this journey to Croatian nut bread. Loved Leah’s comment too! We visited Dubrovnik about 10 years ago now – it’s an amazing city!
I’ve come to the conclusion that I love old European cities because they just feel saturated in history and culture that most of our newer American cities don’t have (yet, maybe in a few hundred years, but I doubt even then). But, I’ve also come to the conclusion that I don’t like living in cities, so it would be a ‘nice place to visit’ situation.
There was a lot of laughing as I cooked it and wrote this post, believe me.
Marie-Claude Leroux says
Oh my gosh you crack me up! However they were made, the rolls look delicious in the end!
I figure at the very least my mistrials can give someone hope that their meals didn’t turn out this crazy. And a good laugh, it’s always important to laugh.
Ang Johnson says
I bet you had a lot more fun than if it had gone “perfectly!” And it’s so true–all the Croatian recipes I found also had all these intricate steps, and the measurements were so foreign to me! (In more ways than one, lol!)
Probably true, but someday I would like a recipe to go smoothly. I don’t know when that someday will be, but someday.
Sabrina COx says
OMG…you just made me stop crying and feel much better. I just spent the last 6 hours trying to make 3 different Croatian bread recipes. Everything that happened to you just happened to me. I had to make it for a project my daughter is doing on Croatia. Glad you had ALL the same problems as me.
I figure with projects like this you can cry or you can laugh and hopefully help someone else laugh too. I’m glad I could cheer you up.