Saturday, June 24, 2006

Around the world in 7 meals

This morning Samuel and I went to the shops to buy a birthday present and card for his friend. On the way we managed some excellent conversations. After a light shower in the early hours of the morning, the scents of the flowers were heavy on the air. I discussed with him why he thought that might be, and we covered evaporation, smells, particles and all sorts in the process. Then, approaching the high street down a narrow lane built up on both sides, I asked him to notice the traffic noises - sounds of cars that he couldn't see - and asked why that might be. In discussing the reasons, we covered sound waves, echoes, how the ear works, as well as road safety!

At lunch we drove over to Addington to meet Roarke on his lunch break. In the car, I heard Joshua explaining to Samuel "gravity can help or hinder momentum" - great to hear them teaching each other, and good to realise just what has sunk it already! We picked their Dad up then went to Selden Nature Reserve. We managed to pack lots of learning in - both looking at plants, butterflys such as the Tortoiseshell, Damson Flies, discussing the local history, and a great game of hide and seek in the long meadow grass!

Whilst waiting for Roarke we were watching the trams - and now Samuel wants us to plan a visit there.

Back home, and our gastronomic tour continues: I've been trying to get back on top of the cooking as "proper" cooking is something that I not only enjoy, but believe to be important for my kids. Whilst I am not as organised as many, and I don't always remember to plan out meals, I do like to make things from scratch. After the stresses of the past few months that has gone out the window so this week I have been working hard at it.

I believe in the value of my kids understanding and appreciating food, and work at them know the how and the why of cooking. We discuss seasoning, ingredients, cultural influences and more.

So, to the plan: We started the week with chinese. I make my own sweet and sour sauce (which I will post the recipe for once I've written it down) and using rice noodles (and therefore gluten free) we had sweet and sour chicken. We've had french chicken in white wine sauce. Last night I made Hungarian Goulash, and tonight's meal was prawn and pea risotto (italian). I made it for all of us - using quantities for 6 adults, and the 3 adults and 3 children polished it off in record time! Even if I say so myself, it was a very very tasty meal!

Tomorrow Samuel is out for 7 and a half hours at an all day birthday celebration with his one friend from school days. Now, maybe this makes me sound a bad mum, or over cautious - I don't know, but the idea of him being out for so long without me is worrying. It is longer than a school day (and I used to hate those) and even worse it is in the Medway so 40 minutes away from me. In order to let him "blend in" he will be allowed his first McDonalds since going gluten free some 3/4 months ago (chicken nuggets and fries) - which means I'll have the consequences of that to face. On top of that, a day with all his old school "friends" (at least there will be none of the girls who used to bully him) will also affect his behaviour greatly - to the worse.

All in all, I really do not want him to go. But he has been counting the days for the past week, and mentions it every 15 minutes or so. When I suggested picking him up early - so he could get back here to watch the England match and so I wouldn't miss it (!) he burst into tears. So we won't be doing that!

Well I've just finished off the meal with some scones, jam and real cornish cream (thank you Sainsburys) and after half a bottle of Pinto Grigio I am ready for bed!

If you are still awake after reading this far with me, please check out Roarke's blog - you know what it is like, waiting for your first feedback and "reader", so pretty please?!

No comments: