The Monday Make: Old Fashioned Ginger Snaps and Homemade Lemonade for your Poetry by the Pond Day

Mondays can go in one of two directions, depending on how well planned out we are for starting the week.  To keep some consistency laid out for the beginning of each week, I’ve added The Monday Make as part of our routine to kick start the week of snacks off better.  I find when there are snacks made and available in the house for those in-between meal hours, everyone stays content (for the most part.)  And I always welcome suggestions so forward your own recipes and we’ll add them to our baking sessions and post them, making sure we give credit where it’s due.


So this post makes me feel better because it reminds me there were a handful of cold days in April down south.  These friends were (and still are) especially talented at bringing people together for creative venues such as this Poetry by the Pond Day on their farm.  After introductions, each family of children (and sometimes parents) seated themselves along the church pew awaiting their turn to recite a poem for the crowd, some coming complete with costumes and acting voices.




This was the first we met this young lady who awed us with her spirited rendition of Casabianca by Felicia Dorothea Hemens, an account of a burning French warship, the Orient, where the voice is a young lad determined not to desert his post his father placed him in, unbeknownst of his father’s death already.


Since my crew aren’t used to any kind of public speaking, and since I know from living in my own skin how dreadfully fearful the thought is for me (and many of my blood relations,) I was wondering how it would sit with them to have to perform like this in front of the masses.  I was pleasantly surprised, and very grateful for the occasion for them to try this (notice I wasn’t sharing the bench with them as some other adults were?!)


Our girl in purple recited The Robin by Celia Thaxter.


Littlest (just turned 7 in this pic) decided on The Caterpillar by Christina Rossetti with the aided comfort of big sister at her side.


And eldest decided on The Listeners by Walter de la Mare (one of my very favourite poets!)  We studied this poet with the children when they were very wee when we lived in a tall, narrow house at the foot the escarpment prior to moving down south.

Memories of reciting together, Some One, by the same poet, won’t ever be erased for me, particularly reaching the part, “I listened, I opened, I looked to left and right,” and all four wee ones, alongside mama, jump up cupping hands to ears, then swinging open our french doors in the living room and jump stepping into the hallway we turn to left and right (trying not to giggle all the while), then continuing with “but naught was there a stirring in the still dark night…” Oh  my, I just love it, remembering recitation Fridays and all the antics and actions that went along with it.  It must all have been preparing them for this very day.


My boy was the last on the list of all the poets, and in dire need of a haircut I see (why is this always the case?) and though he was anxious to no end ahead of time, and had to wait out oodles of other families and his siblings before his turn came, he delivered with a good funny punchy one, leaving the crowd with a chuckle to end with.  And here it is for you:

Fancy Dive by Shel Silverstein:

The fanciest dive that ever was dove

Was done by Melissa of Coconut Grove.

She bounced on the board and flew into the air

With a twist of her head and a twirl of her hair.

She did thirty-four jackknives, backflipped and spun,

Quadruple gainered, and reached for the sun,

And then somersaulted nine times and a quarter–

And looked down and saw that the pool had no water.


Anyone inspired yet to hold a Poetry Day of your own?  Follow the recitations with some homemade lemonade (unless it’s cold like this day was and you need hot chocolate or chai tea) and have everyone bring a batch of cookies or muffins for the sharing table.  Our cookie batch for this day happened to be Super Cookies but I already posted  that with our super hike last week, so today’s cookie collector for you will be Old Fashioned Ginger Snaps.  Happy Monday Make to y’all!


Old Fashioned Gluten Free Ginger Snaps:

1 1/2 C butter

2 C sugar (yikes! But adjust as you wish or substitute)

1 1/2 C molasses

2 eggs

1 1/2 C tapioca flour

1 C potato starch

2 1/2 C rice flour

1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum plus 1/4 tsp xantham gum (yes, seriously, this is how the recipe read)

4 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1 tsp clove

Baking instructions:

-cream wet and sugar in a bowl.

-combine dry and stir into wet

-refrigerate for several hours

-shape into 1/2 inch balls and roll in sugar (again, yikes!)

-arrange 3 inches apart (cookies will spread while baking)

Bake at 350 F for 8-10 mins.

(*easy to adjust flour amounts with wheat flour if wanted.  We’ve also done this.  And yet another disclaimer that I haven’t a clue where to give credit to this recipe since I see it’s hand-written into our big green binder with no references…oops)


Old Fashioned Lemon-Limeade

(makes 1.5 quarts)

1/4 C water

1/4 C sugar

zest from one lemon

zest from one lime

juice of three lemons

juice of three limes

5 C cold water

In a small saucepan bring water to boil. Add sugar and stir until dissolved.  Remove from heat; add zest (don’t get the bitter white part) and the juice to the sugar water.  To make pitcherful, stir mixture into 5 C of cold water and add ice.  OR keep in fridge and make one to two glasses at a time whenever you want.  A slice of lemon and a sprig of mint, lots of ice, and a couple of straws make it a party!

(*from Susan Branch recipes on







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