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2013/11/29 / Gillian


So, people who know me know that a current thorn in my side is the abysmal curriculum at my eldest daughter’s rural primary school. We’re talking s-l-o-w-e-r clap than for the Collingwood Walmart (inside joke: You must read Shanan’s blog from Wednesday). And, hey – that’s not why people move to the country right? It’s for fresh air, space, and all of that fulfilling-your-inner hippie stuff.

Except what about the folks with kids who live here and send their kids off to rote photocopy-land everyday? Good question. One that I don’t have the answer for in its entirety, but for today at least, it was the School Of Symmetric. Part finishing school (this applies mostly to my youngest), part culinary institute, part atelier; today we rocked it old school. With equal pounds of butter, sugar and icing, we made dough and decorated artful sugar cookies, played outside in the snow and inside with our imaginations. There were “vacations” to Florida and Alberta (!), “strawberry gazpacho” made in a kiddo-size kitchen, forts built with pillows, and stories shared on a sheepskin rug

At the end of the day, I asked Yarrow how she liked it: “100 out of 10!” she beamed (testament to the dire state of math education we might ask?). At the same time, she confessed she is often so bored in her current classroom that she is driven to thinking about ear wax. This must be a sure sign of pen-in-the-eye ennui. She also asked me if it would always be just the five of us. Yes, we agreed, and with that the SOS secret handshake is born.

Without further ado, the photos.  As you will see, the cookie-cutting and decorating were the show-stoppers of the day. Thanks to the December issue of Bon Appétit Magazine for the holiday ‘lustre dust’ inspiration and delicious sugar cookie recipe (NB The peeps at Bon Appétit were not making their cookies with two year olds, so the end results on our end are a little more “creative!”).


This is serious business!


It’s only the beginning for these adorably hip aprons. The girls had lots of ideas about ways to use them: Painting, craft-making, cooking and gardening…Go SOS!


A determined Frida goes for the sprinkles, time and time again…!


Yarrow demonstrates the fine art of pyramid building with sprinkles to eager onlookers, Frida and Theo.


Theo, architect-in-training, builds her “house” in the distance.


Colour co-ordination is a given at style-conscious SOS!


Twinkle twinkle.


Frida, resident comedienne.



Is it 325° for 30 mins, or 350° for 25? Hmm.


There’s something pretty special about a surrogate older sister….


Frida “helps” Shanan mix the icing (let’s face it, there was more taste-tasting than mixing – Frida was our quality control gal, that’s for sure!).



The almost finished product…


Theme of the day: Frida hams it up, while Theo and Yarrow work diligently away


A little water, a little almond extract and a little lustre = fabulous watercolours for cookies!


Just Like Mom (sans ketchup and rice krispies!) Come on all you forty somethings, you remember it too!


Frida’s foray into colour blending: Yellow + Blue = Green


Oh yeah. Now, that’s a plate of holiday cookies.


All you need is love at SOS, and apparently a good shot of Botox!

(OR, less smart-ass caption: Recipe for a perfect day – Hollywood snow falling outside, a cozy fire, sugar cookies baking and a happy mom & kiddo snuggle)



Theo wins the award for the highest ratio of sprinkles to cookie. Prize = more sprinkles.

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