Secretary of Donkey's Incorporated

When Fran Sbrocchi set out along the Silk Road on her donkey I doubt she knew what lay ahead, that she would become the much loved secretary of the Donkey's Union.

Read Fran's journey by viewing the Donkey Story. Fran, like le Enchanteur, chose to work with an artistic medium that was relatively new to her. Everyone here at Soul Food has been enchanted with her quirky paintings.

Entertainments

Donkey Puzzle
Don't Touch the Train Track
Colour the Donkey
Donkey Toilet Roll Craft
Eeyore Toilet Roll Craft
The Donkey That Talked
Eeyore Origami
Eeyore's Thistly Hideaway
Penguin

The Small One

A Story For Those Who Like Christmas and Small Donkeys By Charles Tazewell

Donkey Chow:

1 bushel carrots, chopped
1 bushel apples, chopped
6 pounds mixed nuts
1 bushel basket of organic granola
3 pounds raisins
1 pound lemongrass
1 pound sugar cubes (they have a sweet tooth)

Mix all together and serve in several sturdy but festive wheelbarrows

courtesy of Karen Roberts

Brementown Musicians

The story of the musicians of Bremen, one of the classic folk and fairy tales by the Brothers Grimm. A narrated Flash animated cartoon retells the beloved folktale. Links to the Brementown Sing-along memory game and coloring downloads. Interactive online fun for kids and the whole family. Part of the GrimmFairyTales netsphere.

Draw of the Dragon (a children's game)

Gather you all in circle close in truth. With set guards that watch West round to South.
Sit with hands on knees such that thumbs do touch,
For to lock out those who they know so much.

The Father has set large ones at their work,
If only not to step on the fairies that lurk.
They can no longer see the world we know,
Yet today on us a dragon bestow.

Each one of us has a scary close friend, Which we shant describe to secret defend.
But the doctor and lawyer and others tall
Will share their childhood mem'ries, however small.

By choice or lot, each of this special clan Will be a dragon part and set a plan. Imagine a scale or tooth or pointed tail. Choose fire or wings or thumb with a nail.

If your number be small then portend two.
Your task will be greater in powers due.
For then ye must go out and mix about to gather the secrets from parents stout.

Be on best manner and do not interfere,
But stand your ground, just ask that they hear.
The spell is simple and of ancient lore. It appeals to self pride they cannot ignore.

"Kind Sir (or Lady)", if you can be sure; "This one needs help, I pray you will share.
My dragon of dreams is fading away. I'm sure there was one with you did play.

If you can tell, what did its (part) look like?
I'll never tell, or lighting will sure strike.
Let your child inside describe this delight,
So that I can grow in wisdom by right."

Then each return to community round And create this marvel to be renowned. On large sheet of paper and crayons bright,
Share what you have learned in day's delight.

Each section of dragon be from your task,
Released by spell and courage to ask. This fine joint dragon will not monster be,
For magic will produce it, just try and see.

by faucon of Sakin'el

 

December 19 2005

Donkey Christmas Party

Donkey Party by Fran Sbrocchi

When I was growing up in Maffra, Victoria, Australia, in the 1950's, my father worked at the Maffra Cooperative Milk Factory. Each year the management of the factory put on a Christmas party for the families of workers in the town's Mechanics Hall. I vividly recall dressing in a yellow organza party frock that my mother made for me and partaking of the banquet in the 'supper room'.

The highlight of the evening was the distribution of presents. There was one for every child. This Donkey Christmas Party is done in the tradition of those factory Christmas parties that I have such fond memories of.

Heather Blakey

On the Supper Table

Lamingtons
Cream Puffs
Jelly Cakes
Sponge Cakes
Trifle
Marble Cake
Fairy and Butterfly Cakes
Sausage Rolls and Party Pies

Little Bonbons

INGREDIENTS 24 cocktail frankfurts 6 sheets ready-rolled puff pastry 1 egg, lightly beaten ovenproof cotton or string tomato sauce, to serve METHOD Preheat oven to 180C. Prick frankfurts all over with a fork. Cut each pastry sheet into 4 squares. Brush each square with beaten egg. Place a frankfurt on each pastry square and roll up. Gently press edges to seal. Tie ends loosely with string. Place bonbons on a lightly greased oven tray, brush lightly with egg wash and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Serve with tomato sauce. Can be made the day before and reheated on party day. Makes: 24.

Mini Chicken Drumsticks

INGREDIENTS 1 cup cornflakes cup breadcrumbs 2 eggs 3 tbsp milk cup plain flour 10 chicken wings canola oil for shallow frying plum sauce, to serve METHOD Crush cornflakes into crumbs and combine on a plate with breadcrumbs. Whisk together the eggs and milk in a shallow bowl and place the flour on a separate plate. Cut little drumsticks from chicken wings (remaining pieces can be used to make chicken stock). Lightly dust chicken drumsticks with flour, dip in egg mixture and then coat with crumb mixture. Shallow-fry in hot oil until golden and cooked or spray with olive oil spray and bake at 200C for about 20-25 minutes (depending on size) until cooked. Cool slightly and serve with plum sauce. Can be made a day ahead and reheated. Makes: 10.

Meringues:

To this day I only have to see a meringue in a cake shop to be reminded of the meringues that were always featured on the supper table at the Christmas Party. I made a bee-line for them and loved every sticky morsel.

Ingredients

Egg whites - one-half to one cup .
Try 4 to 6 egg whites, depending on the size of your eggs.
Vanilla essence - 3 or 4 drops
Caster sugar - 2 x the volume of your egg whites Use the fine-grained sugar. Here in Australia it's known as caster sugar, or quick-dissolving sugar. It's ground finer than regular white table sugar, so it dissolves more easily. Once you have your egg whites in a cup, measure out the sugar to exactly twice the volume of the egg whites: i.e. if you have three-quarters of a cup of egg whites, you need one-and-a-half cups of sugar.

Method Make sure all your utensils are completely dry. Meringues are sensitive little beasts, and they don't like moisture at all. Don't make meringues on a rainy or really humid day: remember they're mostly air, and if that air contains a lot of water, it has an effect. If you try this recipe in wet weather, your meringues will fall flat and burn. Really.

Get the egg whites into a large tall bowl, set the mixer to its highest speed, and start making bubbles! (And spare a thought for all the women through the ages who have made meringues using just a hand-beater, or a fork. Eeek.)

When the egg whites start to froth, gradually add the sugar, a few spoonsful at a time, beating all the while; add the vanilla essence about halfway through the sugar. By the time all the sugar is in, you should have some opaque white frothy mix in the bowl. This is good. You're on the right track.

How do you tell when you've beaten the egg white mixture enough? When it's not runny at all. When you can hold a spoonful of it upside down and none of it drops off. When you swirl the spoon through it and the swirls hold their shape indefinitely. Now give it an extra minute on high speed for good measure, and switch off the mixer. You're ready to start baking.

Did I mention that you should have pre-heated the oven? Sorry. Please heat the oven. 250 degrees Farenheit is fine. That's barely above boiling water level, but the thing with meringues is that you're basically just letting the air in all those bubbles expand, which it does in the first 15 minutes, and after that it's a slow drying-out. Not much heat required.

Now get out your large flat baking tray (every kitchen has one, they breed like coathangers) and spread some aluminium (sorry, Americans - that's a-loo-min-um :) foil over it. You'll be making 24 meringues this time, and there should be enough left in the bowl for a second baking. Use a large teaspoon of mixture for each meringue, and allow space for them to double in size as they bake. Put an arty little swirl in them, it looks nice when they're done. Now, top shelf of the oven - and set the timer to call you in one hour. Relax.

Lick the beaters! Scrape the bowl! It's good clean fun, and it's something to do while the meringues are baking. Put on some gentle music, or a Trek video, or check out your fave web sites. You need something to do that will have you hanging around the house for 2 hours, so this is no time to go down the pub. You want good meringues.

After one hour, turn the oven down to 225 degrees. After another 20 minutes, turn it down to 200 degrees. After yet another 20 minutes, turn it down to 175 degrees. After (ho-hum) another 20 minutes, your 2 hours are up! Your meringues are done. Take them out and leave them on the tray to cool, then transfer to an airtight container for storage - they pick up moisture from the air rapidly, but in a container they keep for at least a week. None of mine have ever hung around for longer than a week, but you're welcome to try eating them in 6 months time if you're curious and have lots of willpower.
Created by Elena Leonoff

Time to Go Home to Bed

by Aletta Mes

After all the excitement of the Donkey Christmas Party the donkeys begin to take weary travellers home, to sleep and dream of next year's party.