”If you give a moose a muffin, he’ll probably want some jam to go with it”.
If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Joffe Numeroff is one of our favorite children’s stories. It is light-hearted and fun, and offers great examples of cause and effect. With all of the berries and homemade jam in our house, Zee is convinced moose will be barging down our door any day now.
In preparation for their arrival we have made some extra peach freezer jam (just in case), and mixed berry oatmeal muffins. Making jam and muffins as a companion activity to If You Give a Moose a Muffin is a fun way to bring the essence of the story into imaginative play. Here are the recipes we used to help encourage our moose population:
Easy Peach Freezer Jam
3 cups of crushed peaches (about 2 pounds)
3/4 cup water
4 1/2 cups of sugar
1 box of Sure-Jell pectin
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Chop the peaches in a food processor, but don’t puree. There should be chunks of fruit in jam. Pour the peaches into a large mixing bowl and stir in the sugar and lemon juice. Let the mixture set for 10 minutes.
On the stove, bring the water and pectin to a boil. Boil for 1 minute and add to the peach mixture. Stir for 3 minutes or until all of the sugar is dissolved.
Ladle the jam into heat safe plastic containers, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace to allow for expansion.
I used microwave/freezer safe plastic containers, and I also tested out re-using clean baby food containers. We have a ton hanging around from when Zee was an infant. They are a nice size for holding snacks and porting around homemade applesauce, so I’ve just kept them in the pantry. I hope they work well. We’ll see what happens!
Wipe the jar edges and immediately seal. Let the jam stand for 24 hours to allow the pectin to set. Store in the fridge for 3 weeks, or in the freezer for up to a year.
Mixed Berry & Oatmeal Muffins
These muffins are a cross between a granola bar and muffin. They are low in sugar, healthy, and bursting with berries.
- 1 cup oats (I used Quaker Old-Fashioned Oats)
- 1 cup unbleached flour
- 1 1/2 cups of mixed berries
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Spoon into lined muffin tins 3/4 full. We topped the batter with a sliver of strawberry! Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.
Are you a fan of If You Give a Moose a Muffin too? What did you do with your kids as an extension activity?