The Last Snow of Winter (and a book-inspired soup recipe!)

Happy New Year! There are hints of snow in our forecast and I’ve talked to many friends in various parts of the world who are knee-deep in the stuff. Whether its the first snow, or the last, these natural acts are always filled with much anticipation.

Winter is just beginning now, but before we know it, Spring will be on everyone’s thoughts and the last. Even then there will be changes of surprise snowfall that will leave the Spring daffodils peeking out from under the snowflakes. All of this reminds me of a book I use to read to my girls when they were small called,”The Last Snow of Winter.” by Tony Johnston and Frisco Henstra.

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It’s about an artist, Gaston Pompicard, who once worked for Kings. During the first snow of Winter he went outside and sculpted the likenesses of the neighborhood children in the snow. Everyone in the billage enjoyed this so much. They couldn’t wait to see who was next.

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Soon winter would be over, and just like today, the last snowfall of winter finally came. When it did, poor Gaston was in bed sick with a cold. To cheer him up, this group of grateful children left their sculptor friend the last gift of winter.

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As Gaston always says,” A sculptor for kings is a fine thing to be. But a sculptor for friends is finer.”

Something To Do:

In the book Gaston prepares and eats pea soup. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a pea soup lover so I made a big pot of lentil-vegetable soup. It’s so easy to make. Enjoy this last day of winter and happy spring.

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What’s Needed~

  • 2 cups of french lentils
  • 2 chopped yellow onions
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 teasponn of dried thyme or a few stalks of fresh
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 3 stalks of diced celery
  • 2 long carrots,peeled and diced
  • 32 oz of chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

In a pot cover the lentils with water,bring to a boil and let cook for about 15 minutes. Drain the water off.

In a large soup pot saute the onions and garlic with the olive oil,salt, pepper,cumin and thyme for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Add the celery and carrots and saute for 10 more minutes.

Add the tomato paste and let it cook for about 40 seconds and then add the chicken stock and lentils.

Cover this with a lid until it comes to a boil.

Once the soup is boiling, uncover it and let it cook for about an hour until all of the lentils and vegetables are cooked through.

Once finished,add the red wine vinegar and serve hot.

Enjoy!

 

 

Enjoy more month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden! A Year in the Secret Garden is a delightful children’s book with over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together.

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Whimsical author/illustrator Marilyn Scott-Waters and I created this book to not only encourage families to read and participate in some “unplugged” activities, but to also delve into the beauty and the wonder of this classic children’s tale. Get the full scoop on this vibrant book HERE and “meet me in the garden!”

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