Friday, November 17, 2017

We're in an Apple State of Mind!

The School District of the Chathams' Farm-to-Table Program declared October Apple Month, and Lafayette School found many ways to celebrate this popular, tasty fruit. Check out An Apple State of Mind-- written by Library Aide Mrs. Massam, produced and directed by Library Media Specialist Mrs. Cifrodella, and brilliantly performed by fourth grade teacher Mr. Cleary, his homeroom students, and members of the Broadcast Club:

Yeah, I'm up for Apples / and I'm down for October
Right here at Lafayette / and I'll be good forever
I'm the new Appleseed / and since I eat them here
I can eat them anywhere / yeah / I love them everywhere....

Who Was Johnny Appleseed? by Jean Holub (B APP). This title from Lafayette's favorite Who Was...? series offers an introduction to the life and accomplishments of John Chapman, a nature lover and pioneer nurseryman who came to be known as Johnny Appleseed. 

Seed by Seed: The Legend and Legacy of Johnny Appleseed by Esme Raji Codell (B APP). In this picture book/biography, text and mixed-media illustrations share the life story of the famous American folk hero, revealing his kindness, generosity, and leadership. 

Apple of my eye-eye / still snackin' pie-pie
Samplin' orchard picks / and let's get a high-five....

How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman (P PRI)An apple pie is easy to make-- if the grocery story is open. In this charming picture book, the grocery store is closed, so the reader is led around the world to gather the ingredients for making an apple pie. Recipe included!

Speaking of recipes, Mrs. LaChance, a Lafayette Library Aide and a certified Holistic Health and Wellness Coach, serves up a fresh-picked apple recipe:

It’s apple season, and you know what that means... it’s time for a new baked apple recipe!  It’s simple and delicious. When coring and cutting apples, be careful - ask an adult to help. Also, you can leave the skin on the apples for less work and more nutrition!

Baked Apple Slices
6 apples: cored, sliced and peeled (peeling is optional)
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 T flour
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
½ cup raisins
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray, or line it with parchment paper.
Place sliced apples in a large bowl. Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a small bowl. Pour sugar mixture over apple slices and toss until well coated. Stir in raisins and walnuts. Move apple mixture into prepared baking dish. Pour milk over the top and bake for 45-55 minutes or until bubbling.

Apple Fractions by Jerry Pallotta (513.2 PAL). After helping to clean up the kitchen, we can continue to practice our fruit and math skills with this nonfiction selection, full of Granny Smiths, Cortlands, Golden Delicious, and Red Delicious apples!

Apples are delish / Apples are nutrish
Ripe for the hand-pick / right for the snack-quick
Low in calories / thousands of varieties
Dietary fiber / real appeal, the apple peel....

Apple Creatures by Irina Stepanova (745.5 STE). This book-- one from a clever culinary series-- is perfect for home cooks who are eager to advance their food presentation skills, for families who would like to create fun food creatures... and for professional food stylists and chefs!

One hand in the air for apple ditties
Winesaps, Fujis / all looking pretty
No fruit in the world that can compare
Put your apples in the air / everybody say yeah....

The Life and Times of the Apple by Charles Micucci (634 MIC). This nonfiction treat presents a variety of facts and lore about apples, including how they grow, crossbreeding and grafting techniques, harvesting practices-- and the uses, varieties, and history of this crunchable, munchable fruit.

Big Apples / Crunchy, juicy, what dreams are made of
Nutrition you can chew...
Munchy Big Apples / These treats will make you feel brand new
Each bite will inspire you...
Let's hear it for Apples, Apples, Apples!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Let's Call Them Splendid Spuds!

You say potato / and I say potahto
You say they’re hot-oh / and I say they’re not-oh
Potato, potahto / they’re hot-oh, they’re not-oh
Let's call them splendid spuds!

The School District of the Chathams' Farm-to-School program declared January Potato month, and Lafayette School found many ways to celebrate this versatile vegetable during the first weeks of the new year. We'll get our blog post started with the latest rap hit from the LMC Vegetable Files... Let's Call Them Splendid Spuds!

You say they're low-cal / and high in potass-yum
I say high fiber / and then say please-serve-some
Nutritious, delicious / potass-yum, please-serve-some
Let’s call them splendid spuds!
You say let’s boil them / and I say let’s mash them
You say let’s bake them / and I say let’s hash them
We boil them and mash them / we bake them and hash them
Let’s call them splendid spuds!

Splendid spuds can be enjoyed in a variety of delicious and nutritious ways. Check out our Books and Bites recipe of the month:
Hasselback Potatoes
(adapted from

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, olive oil, coconut oil or a mix
1/3 cup finely chopped chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 medium potatoes, scrubbed (Russet or Yukon Gold)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Stir together the butter, olive oil, chives, and some salt and pepper in a small bowl.
Place a potato between the handles of 2 wooden spoons or 2 chopsticks. Slice the potato into thin slices, leaving 1/4 inch at the bottom unsliced; the spoon handles will prevent you from slicing the potato all the way through. Repeat with the remaining potatoes. Put the potatoes on a baking sheet and brush on the butter mixture, making sure to get in between all the slices. Bake until tender and crisp, 55 to 60 minutes.

Cafeteria Poster by Avery, Grace, and Abbie.
Here in the states, yo / we eat quite a lot-to
Some grown in Cali / but most Idaho-ho
According to lore-oh / the Germans eat more-oh
Let’s call them splendid spuds!
Sometimes they’re russet / gold, purple or true blue
Now let’s discuss it / some spuds have a red hue
Discuss it, they’re russet / they’re red-hued or true blue
Let’s call them splendid spuds!

Some grown in Cali, but most Idaho-ho: Let's take a Reading Road Trip to a top potato-producing state. In P Is for Potato: An Idaho Alphabet by Stanley Steiner (973 ALP), rhyming text provides information on people, places, and things from Idaho's history, culture, and natural world.

Potato Cafeteria Poster.

Discuss it, they're russet: Stop by the LMC and help yourself to a heaping helping of Math Potatoes: Mind-Stretching Brain Food by Greg Tang (793.74 TAN), an appetizing collection of rhymes and riddles that help develop math and problem-solving skills. It's addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division served up with humor, creativity... and splendid spuds!

Cafeteria Poster by Annemarie, Khushi, and Reese.

Ancient potatoes / grew high in the Andes
Planted by Inca / who thought them quite dandies
The Inca, they think-a / in Andes, taste dandies
Let’s call them splendid spuds!
M Antoinette made / spud blossoms hair fashion
Strolling French meadows / with bossy-pants passion
Spud blossoms, she boss-em / hair fashion, great passion
Let’s call them splendid spuds!

The Inca, they think-a: We can learn more about the ancient Inca empire in Lost City: The Discovery of Machu Picchu by Ted Lewin (985 LEW). An award-winning author takes readers to the wilds of 1911 Peru, where American explorer Hiram Bingham travels through snake-filled jungles and across treacherous mountains, eventually finding ruins of a city unknown to the world.
Let them eat cake... and potatoes! Who Was Marie Antoinette by Dana Meachen Rau (B ANT) describes the storied life of the infamous French queen, including her childhood in Austria, her lavish lifestyle, and her untimely demise.

T-Jeff, he fried spuds / and served them for dinner
Guests nibbled French Fries / declared them a winner
Enjoyed by the nation / in some moderation
Let’s call them splendid spuds!
Upstate New York-oh / a chef named George Crum-oh
Thin-sliced potatoes / and served diners some-oh
The chips, they were crunchy / folks munched quite a bunch-y
Let's call them splendid spuds!

He fried spuds and served them for dinner: Who Was Thomas Jefferson? by Dennis B. Fradin (B JEF) tells the life story of one of our nation's founding fathers, describing his childhood in Virginia, his marriage to Martha Wayles Skelton, his relationship with Sally Hemings, his authoring of the Declaration of Independence, his years as third president of the United States, and his enduring legacy. 

The chips, they were crunchy: George Crum and the Saratoga Chip by Gaylia Taylor (B CRU) describes chef George Crum's childhood as a part Native-American, part-African-American boy in rural 1830s New York, his adventures cooking at Moon's Lake House restaurant in Saratoga Springs, and his accidental invention of one of America's favorite snacks.

Cafeteria Poster by Jordan and Lindsay.

Taters were sprouted / aboard the space shuttle

Orbital farming / say far-out, say what-tle!
They sprouted far-outed / space shuttle, say what-tle
Let’s call them splendid spuds!
Now let us mention / a six-ton potato
Strapped to a flat-bed / and all set to go-go
A cross-country journey / in night-time and morn-y
That’s one gigantic spud!

An astronaut checks out an astro-culture sample on board Space Shuttle Columbia in 1995.
Five small potatoes were grown from tubers in the plant growth facility.
Photo credit: NASA
A Splendid Spud on a Big Truck: Learn more about The Famous Idaho Potato Tour at

We are potatoes / we’re grown underground-o
(She is the sweetest / potato around-o)
We’re starchy you must know / and full of H-two-oh
We are such splendid spuds!
We say potatoes / in Spain say patata
We have a craving / for tater frittata
We crave-a frittata / in Spain say patata
We are such splendid spuds!

Since 1952, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head have been popular plastic spuds.
Mr. Potato Head was the first toy advertised on television.
Mrs. Ferrone, aka Mrs. Potato Head, spent Halloween in spooky company!
Mrs. Abbott from the Chatham Farm-to-School Committee shares a splendid spud demonstration:
the potato grows roots, stems, and leaves from its eyes.
You say they're taters / and I say they're totters
You say a-later / we'll eat quite a lot-ter
They're taters, they're totters / a-later, a-lotter
Let's call them splendid spuds!