The Home Economist

Home economics is the study that deals with the management of the home. I am an economics (and geography teacher) struggling through day to day life as a home economist trying to make things run as efficiently and effectively as possible

Leftover Christmas ham leg January 21, 2013

Filed under: Recipes — homeeconomistdeb @ 9:01 pm
Tags: ,

Just finished carving off as much off the leg of Christmas ham as possible and created a great recipe to finish it off.
Ham, pea and zucchini Risotto.
You will need:
Ham leg nearly finished
4 Veggie stock cubes
1 onion diced finely
3 cloves of garlic
Olive oil
1 cup white wine
I cup short grain rice
Sprig of Thyme
1 zucchini coarsely grated
1 cup of frozen peas
1/2 cup of Parmesan finely grated
1/2 lemon juice and zest
Put the ham leg in the widest saucepan you have and cover with water. Bring to boil add stock cubes and simmer.
In a heavy pan soften onions and garlic in oil then when soft add rice increase heat. Fry stirring constantly till it starts to pop. Add wine and thyme stir until it absorbs. Now add hot stock/ham mixture in 1/2 cup intervals stirring and waiting till it absorbs to add more. I recommend a glass of wine for you to drink while doing this as it makes it more enjoyable 🙂
When rice is almost cooked add grated zucchini and peas. Take leg of ham out of stock and any meat should fall off the bone – chop into cubes and add to risotto.
When rice is soft but not mushy turn off add Parmesan, parsley, lemon zest and juice.
yum yum.



Week in review – The world October 25, 2011

Filed under: kids activities,Theme of the week — homeeconomistdeb @ 5:21 pm

I am finding it hard to get motivated to be indoors and blog or do planned activities with my kids with the great summer weather we have been having (although it is raining now hence why I am at the computer). I am also trying to complete a PTC subject (exam in a couple of weeks). Anyhow I did a few “World” things mainly with my eldest this week.

We were helped by some books – particularly a simple and outdated children’s Atlas from the library (which she loved so much she wanted to keep) and my first book of Geography.

We used Google maps and she enjoyed using the “little man” to zoom in on areas and look at photo’s of the place.

We also went to a festival called “food and groove” at Bexley and saw some dancing from around the world and tasted food from other countries – limited tasting a bit disappointing actually.

We talked about our Sponsor child in Peru and located where he lives on a map and tried to find photo’s of similar houses to he might live in.

I might give bloggig a rest for the moment and keep studying. The next week I will be doing is “Shapes” aimed more at the little one but has lots of indoor activities we might find useful as it looks like we are in for a wet week.



Theme of the week – the World October 17, 2011

Filed under: kids activities,Theme of the week — homeeconomistdeb @ 4:12 pm

What in the world am I going to do with this one?

My aim is to get the older one to locate Australia on a map of the world and get an understanding of the different places there are around the world – physical and cultural. Also to get an appreciation for the diversity of cultures and people there are. For both of them we might also look at how God created the world.

Some activities I am to do this week are:

  • Each day look at a new thing God created.
  • Look at pictures of places around the world
  • Look at maps of the world and even a globe and discuss things that are interesting about it
  • Google earth
  • Ring a friend overseas on skype – might also be interesting discussing technology and how the world now seems “smaller”
  • Talk about our world vision sponsor child – find out more about Peru where he comes from
  • Craft????

Week in review – plants and animals October 13, 2011

Filed under: kids activities,Theme of the week — homeeconomistdeb @ 2:57 pm
Tags: , , ,

Spring is a wonderful time to get out and enjoy some of God’s creation so thats what we have been doing for the last couple of weeks (no time for blogging).

The girls have been learning lots about plants and animals and I am happy to report that my youngest now knows what a sheep is, and can even say hippopotamus.

Floriade 2011

My eldest has taken great interest in the different plants we have seen: ones with spikey leaves and others with big leaves, some small flowers others big! I was lucky to find that our plant and animal week co-incided with her learning about Australian animals at pre-school.

We found a few great places to learn about plants and animals (mainly in Canberra)

We visited Floriade with the beautiful colour of tulips. We then saw the contrasting types of plants at Canberra Botanical Gardens which specialises in Australian Native plants.

Waratah - Canberra Botanical Gardens

Exploring Canberra Botanical Gardens

In Sydney we went to Calmsley Hill City Farm (Formerly Fairfield City Farm). Where we fed and patted all the usual suspects found on farms and a few native animals as well. Rode a tractor, milked a cow and saw a sheep being shorn. My eldest liked the shetland pony and the Kangaroo the best. My youngest liked the sheep.

Back at home we looked at our celery and saw where the water went up thanks to the dye from colours week.

Cross section of Celery

And we did some rubbings of some leaves with crayon.

Leaf rubbings

We also read lots of books on plants and animals and played with lots of different animal toys.


Theme for the week – Plants and Animals September 30, 2011

Filed under: kids activities,Theme of the week,Uncategorized — homeeconomistdeb @ 4:49 pm
Tags: , ,

Toy Animals

Another easy theme – plants and animals. We definitely are well resourced for this one – out have come the farm animals, zoo animals, stuffed toys, books on plants and animals, dress-ups etc. I could have separated the two but I have just decided to do an extended “week” of the two together as one of the aims of the week is to think about what makes plants and animals different – especially for my 2 year old who thinks flowers are animals??? Other aims are to get my 2 year old to know more animal names and the sounds some of them make. I was shocked that she couldn’t name a cow when one was on Playschool!

Cactus Flower

Another big aim is for the girls to be amazed by the beauty and complexity of plants and animals and how great their God who made them all must be to think about all the little details.

We are heading to Floriade in Canberra next week so that is a good start to looking at plants – outings to the Botanical gardens, museum and a Zoo also lend themselves to this weeks them (perfect for the holidays).


At home activities we could do are:

  • Play with toy animals and make a “farm” or “zoo” with them
  • Play with our own pets – fish, chickens, cat
  • Look at plants and see how they are different – take some photo’s of them.
  • Leaf rubbings
  • Collage or sculpture made of natural objects.
  • Fuzzy felt animals
I also want to introduce my 4 year old to the concept of animals habitats so matching where animals with the places they might like to live. I have a good book from the library for that and some resources from school (the geography teacher coming out).

Week of Colour – How it went

Filed under: kids activities,Theme of the week,Uncategorized — homeeconomistdeb @ 4:43 pm
Tags: , ,

In a week with a lot of grey I was thankful for the colourful week we had.

Sorting buttons

First we tried sorting buttons. It was good for my 2 year old who had fun with all the different colours sorting them into piles of each colour. My 4 year old would then decide she wanted to collect all the pinks and then all the yellows and took them off the 2 year old – there were few fights over colours and who could have what. I am still finding buttons around the house.

Colour collage

Then we made a collage of a rainbow by cutting up pieces of coloured paper and sticking them to form a rainbow. My 4 year old enjoyed cutting the pieces and 2 year old wanted to help but is not really able to use scissors yet however she did enjoy putting glue everywhere. I ended up doing about half of it. Since then my 4 year old has enjoyed drawing rainbows.

Some books on colour

I then got myself psyched for painting. This is something I usually let them only do at playgroup or preschool as I hate the mess/cleanup etc. But it wasn’t too bad. We first red the “colour kittens” golden book to learn about mixing colours then had fun mixing colours (although I only had pink no red) ourselves. We had a lot of khaki green at the end.

The next day we made some colour wheels as seen below – when you spin them fast enough all you see is white. We discussed how interesting it was that when you mix paint you get dark mess and when you spin them together they make white. I then tried to explain more but it went over their heads.

Celery dying

Lastly we set our celery up to get dyed – it’s only been a day so there has been limited success so far. Basically you put celery in a glass of water with colouring in it. The water is drawn up through the plant through the xylem. I am planning to use it in my next week of activities – plants and animals to show how plants get water. To see more visit this abc site with the experiment on it.

By the end of the week there was a natural talk of colours – what colour is this etc (even if it was fighting over what colour plate they ate from) I think my 2 year old is getting better at colours – she still confuses purple with blue and orange with red but they are very similar. My 4 year old has got the concept of mixing colours and the idea that colour has to do with light.

Next week is Animal and plant week check out my blog on it to find out more about the planned activities.


Theme for the week – colour September 25, 2011

Filed under: kids activities,Theme of the week,Uncategorized — homeeconomistdeb @ 7:29 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I am a horrible mum at creating activities to do with my kids at home but when I do I find it a great way at make the passing of time more interesting. It is my last term with no kids at school yet coming up so I have decided to be a bit more proactive and plan some activities with my kids before it is too late. Should be ok at it since I am a teacher. Plan is to be fun and educational. I am transforming the playroom into a “learning room” aka trying to reclaim it back at least partially as a study.

So this weeks theme is COLOUR. Aimed at getting my 2 year old better at reconising different colours and my older one understanding things like where colour comes from and how to make colours up.

Some planned activities are:

  • Sorting colours. I have a collection of buttons that I have picked up from ‘Spotlight’ that the girls can sort into different colours and for my older girl sequences of colour combinations.
  • Drawing with my ‘Derwent’ pencils.
  • Painting – particularly using primary colours to make other colours.
  • Books on colour – rainbows, ‘Colour cats’ golden book etc
  • Dying Celery.
  • colour collages
  • Taking some photo’s and doing crazy things with the colour (iphone apps are great for this)
  • Making coloured rice (see my friend Erin’s – lohtown blog)

More advanced:

  • The spinning colour wheel that turns white
  • Look at light refraction with prisms and crystals

I am great at ideas – lets see how many I will actually get round to doing. I will be doing some reflecting on activities later this week.

Some ideas for future weeks:

  • Animals and plants
  • Numbers
  • Letters
  • Shapes
  • Our world
  • Food
  • Our bodies
  • Other people
  • The weather