Saturday, June 23, 2012

He cracked the biggest sad

I decided to be a volunteer in my childrens' school, in their brand spanking impressive new kitchen.

The school has been running a program for some time in accordance with the Stephanie Alexander kitchen garden concept, which I love, and I'd also been feeling a little disconnected from my children's school.  So the husband takes the kids of a Friday afternoon and off I go!

Twenty children in a class, five groups each stationed at a work bench preparing their given meal. Today's was minestroni with Parmasan, potato and rosemary foccacia, fried green tomatoes with yoghurt and imagination salad. Impressive menu, lots of beautiful veggies harvested straight form the gardening class before kitchen class. It's a beautiful thing really. All these little nine and ten year olds eager to chop, peel, stir knead, whatever.

Today was my first experience with helping the children to chop correctly, it was nerve wreaking! I had one boy very quiet, bigger than his peers with a soft slightly withdrawn demeanour. I made extra sure to have him involved. I helped him to chop, I had to tell him several time to watch his thumb. When he felt he'd made a mistake he'd sigh and his shoulders would slump, but I'd reassure him "you're doing really well". I could see he lacked confidence and sense of self, his peers were far more talkative, keen and chatty amongst themselves. I felt for this boy, he wasn't uttering a word.

I could also see that he was getting better and more confident as he was given more to do, still not saying anything. When the time came to try the soup for flavour, I lifted the lid and as he was beside me a good waft of the soup came his way and unprompted he said "that smells really good" Yes! I thought he spoke, and yes this is what this class is all about, experiencing food, growing it cooking with it and sharing it. I think I even made a difference to this boy today.

In this class too is my own son, a little pixie boy, smaller than his peers cheery and eager in the kitchen too short for the bench top but in there having a go. Every Friday he's happy to see me, his mum in the kitchen helping out.

He's happy that is till he is faced with his plate. My little pixie cannot even fathom why you would eat salad, and have green stuff in your soup, or rosemary on your foccacia. At home we eat a wide variety of food, but he will not eat a raw veggie, he will eat spinach in pie or in lasagna or canelloni. We don't make a big deal, he eats well enough and a variety we are satisfied with, I do wish he'd eat salad though as my three girls do.

I don't know where we went wrong or when even, he was not a fussy toddler just one that loved dairy and meat more than the raw vegies. Well you should have seen his face today, he shut down in fact, he shut his eyes and mouth pushed his chair back and was in some sad meditative state. I was there with at least seven other Mums and two teachers. I was just quietly a little embarrassed in fact I was wondering to myself, how did he get this way, where did I go wrong?

His teacher took him out for a little talk and he returned looking somewhat better, I had tried but got nothing, Other than a grumpy head down "I am not doing kitchen again."  He sat down and tried the minestrone, even liked it , he picked the salty potato from the delicious foccacia but ate nothing else.

I felt sad even sorry, he'd really missed out, he lacked the ability to take in this whole experience, to even eat the fried green tomatoes he helped make, I didn't understand it. We love food in my house we grow food we cook everything from scratch even.

I noted that no other child cracked a sad that these children were enjoying the experience. I'll take my little victory with my soup student and I'll file my sons big sad up there with the mega tantrum my eldest daughter threw on the escalators in a shopping mall when she was two and our then only child and we were dumbfounded, or at least I was.  Dumbfounded and embarrassed.

Did we win a little there with my little pixie boy? I am not sure or did he just manage to embarrass his Mum. I took what victory I had with my quiet student and smiled, I'll come back next week and the week after It cannot get worse than today, I hope.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

colour in the grey

Yarn bombing love it or hate it.

I mean really what's there to not love, someone is sharing their passion, their craft, bringing it out of the knitting basket and taking it to the street, brightening up the concrete that is engulfing and growing higher as we speak. 

Take your joy from wherever you can in these grey days, I say.

June 2012 213 June 2012 211 June 2012 208 June 2012 216 June 2012 219 June 2012 230 June 2012 231 June 2012 237

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ten on ten, here it comes again! June edition

We love ten-on-ten around here, much love to Rebekah!

her breakfast in bed
Breakfast in bed, lucky me

sweet two
While aaron tidied the kitchen

and made bread

coffees for all

dry goods
picking up some staples

strange fruit
surprise art in the mall

my husband in an idiot

pre pocket
leftovers being reborn...

curry pocket

his fondest wish
look what I did!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Meet Yellow Pepper

the new king

My newest love is a kitchenaid.

It's in yellow pepper, a colour that won my heart the first time I saw it but that I had a hard time tracking down. This yellow (and many gorgeous colours) were discontinued a couple of years ago to make way for the platinum range.  Platinum smatlin, I didn't care too much for all those metallics.

Anyway, this yellow beauty appeared on e-bay two weeks ago.  It was two years old, barely used (so the ad said, at least), and only two suburbs away.  I was feeling a little like it was high time I bought one, I bake so much and even occasionally cater a party. (Shameless plug for my own services there, references available on request!)  Plus I'd held onto some birthday money for over six months. I swore my name was written all this little baby. 

I was willing then-and-there to spent the five hundred to "buy it now."

In my husband and I's relationship we run the big purchases by one another, as I am sure most people do, not asking for permission just sanity. Usually one of us is more sensible and rational, the other is a little excited.

We take turns.  Sometimes he's the crazy one, like the time he didn't even hesitate when I called him from Ikea saying 'You know that leather couch we love, the one we all sat on, the soft comfy one with chaise where we could cuddle up on, can I buy it now?" Not even a pause before the "yes," bless him.

Than time I got off the phone, looking around Ikea wildly, thinking "He just said I could spend a ridiculous amount of money, just like that."  Looking around like people could see the insanity oozing out of me.  I went with his and my irrationality and I am glad, because we still love that couch, and no we never have time to cuddle up on it.

Well, this time Aaron was the sensible one.  He pointed out that the auction had three days left on it, and that there wasn't even one bid.  He said I should wait and see what happens.

It was a long three days.  I watched it, agonising the whole time. On the Saturday of its closing, I was still saying "we should get it." I was afraid someone else was going to get  their hands on all of it's beautiful yellowness.  Time was winding up, no one was bidding,  I said Aaron "Lets get it, I have the $500!" Again with the voice of reason "Let's offer her $350."  Never telling me no, just being reasonable.

She said no to $350, but eight minutes later she listed it at "buy now $400" an, Aaron immediately said  "buy it now." I wasn't understanding all these mixed messages - did he want me to have it or not?  All this shamozel, is this how e-bay works is this what you're meant to do?

"Hit the button then, hit it!" I shouted.   I was panicked someone else would get my Kitchenaid!

I think there was dancing in my kitchen when he hit the button.

He was right, he'd gotten me a bargain I saved $100, that's a lot to us.  I was (in the end) pleased he'd taken control.  Even though he was frustrating the hell out of me!

A few days later and it's a pleasure every time I see it on my bench. It's even more a pleasure when I use it!  Watch this space, a baking onslaught approaches.