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Flakey Mangement

cereal management


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Origami puzzles

I grumble on return from the supermarket, silently. My son grumbles noisily. He protests at the outrageous art project at school, the one that inevitably involved paper, which sparked off a meltdown of gargantuan proportions. His daily paper report card provides graphic details of the horror that followed. It seems his dislike of paper and it’s texture has resurfaced with a vengeance.

I grumble over a different matter, one of the many problems of living in America, especially if you’re of Scottish descent. It’s the bargains that are the problem. In Europe you might get a penny off something if you saved fifty packet tops and promised to give away your first born child in exchange. But not in America. How can you refuse such offers, even if the fridge is already overflowing? It’s similar to the other shopping problem:- one individual cookie for 99 cents, or 50,000 cookies for $1.99? A nightmare for a penny pincher, slain by the special offer, self control buried in a deluge of cookie crumbs.

“Whatcha doin Mom?”
“Cooking dear. Shall I show you how to make Lettuce soup?”
“No thanks. Do you make this stuff up or do you ever have a recipe?”
“Make it up?”
“Yeah, all this weird food. I’ve never heard of anyone eatin lettuce soup!”
“No? France? Escoffier? Look at the computer, it’s on-line.”
“Oh…….dyou know we have enough fruit and veg to have a yard sale!”
“Hmm. I know what you mean.”
“It’s great that Lucky’s have that offer on again.”
“Hmm.”
“Like we have a free supper now. Free sausages, free lettuces, free bread, free spaghetti.”
“Hmmm.”
“Why are you hmming?”
“Well let’s face it, lettuce isn’t really high on anyone’s yummy list around here is it?”
“You eat lettuce.”
“3 Jumbo Hearts of Romaine! Each one of them is bigger than my head! I’m not a complete rabbit.”
“The sausages are the best!”
“Yes, true.”
“Bread?”
“Yucky sourdough.”
“I like sourdough!”
“Yes but nobody else does. You can’t eat a whole loaf all by yourself.”
“I could try,” she offers with enthusiasm just as her little brother arrives on the scene, “I am like!”
“What do you like dear?”
“Free stuff.”
“Yes everyone likes free stuff.”
“I am like.”
“What are you like…..I mean, what do you like dear?”
“Free stuff.”
“Which free stuff?”
“Free.”
“Which free bit, the spaghetti, the sausages, lettuce or bread?”
“Free tickets.”
“Tickets?”
“?”
“Oh mom, he means the money off coupons.”
“But they’re made of ………..paper!”

Lettuce Soup
Finely chop one medium sized onion. Sweat it in olive oil until transluscent
with dollop of garlic puree.
Add one medium sized finely chopped potatoe, leave for 15-20 minutes to meld.
Add a smidge of dried Herbs de Provence or few sprigs of fresh dill, flat leave parsley and Marjoram
Add a 1 litre of vegetable stock or chicken broth and wait for it to come up to a boil, turn down to a simmer
Add six large handfuls of lettuce one at a time until each one wilts
Whizz in Magimix / Cuisinart
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with any left over fresh herbs

Tip: if you believe that no-one will eat this, then skip the cream, that way you can tip it straight into the compost bin with confidence.


Lettuce Soup

Finely chop one medium sized onion. Sweat it in olive oil until translucent
with dollop of garlic puree.
Add one medium sized finely chopped potatoe, leave for 15-20 minutes to meld.
Add a smidge of dried Herbs de Provence or few sprigs of fresh dill, flat leave parsley and Marjoram
Add a 1 litre of vegetable stock or chicken broth and wait for it to come up to a boil, turn down to a simmer
Add six large handfuls of lettuce one at a time until each one wilts
Whizz in Magimix / Cuisinart
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with any left over fresh herbs

Tip: if you believe that no-one will eat this, then skip the cream, that way you can tip it straight into the compost bin with confidence.


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Creativity versus technology

 

I think it would be fair to say that all a child needs is a box of crayons and a pad of paper to express their creativity. I must have been about 11 myself when I would spend many a happy hour drawing and colouring. Whilst I'm all for the advancement of technology, there is a growing trend that allows our children's brains to rot in front of a computer screen. Soon we shall have a whole generation of children with zero imaginative powers, trapped in a virtual world devoid of artistry. It is time for parents to take a stand and save our children from the encroaching darkness of a twelve inch black screen. This is more especially true for autistic children, or some of them. Those children who shun the opportunity to enhance their fine motor skills by holding a pencil, as well as those who shy away from the texture of paper.

I pause in my composition of “Luddites Unite” for publication in “The New Scientist Magazine” to revive my brain with additional caffeine. I notice how quiet the house is and tip toe off to track them down. “Animal Planet” entertains one on the telly. Another one plays with his father, making circuit boards. I look for the little one.

The little one is hunched in front of the computer, a little tangled pretzel of a boy, tightly wrapped but for one arm, extended to hold a mouse. I sit down next to him and peer at the screen too. He is half way through designing a monster. A roulette wheel icon on the side allows him to choose any number of different options, colour, size, limbs, body attributes and any number of variations on a theme. At 47 I could probably navigate my way through this site myself, assuming I was sufficiently interested but I doubt if my skills match his. I expect most 7 year olds and even younger children would be similarly equipped both mentally and digitally. At the end of the exercise, a box appears for the designer to enter a name for their creation, but he skips that bit.
“Aren't you going to give him a name dear?”
“No.” I still can't quite fathom why the boys are so resistant to naming things?
“Oh come. What would be a good name for your creature? Fred? George? Colin?”

He turns his slowly towards me, ripping his eye balls away from the screen. He looks at me as if I am a complete imbecile, puzzled and ever so slightly patronizing.

“Go on………give him a name.”

He looks back at his creature. I hope his brain is percolating, choosing a favourite, perhaps his best friend's name?

“I am be call him…………..no.” Oh dear, he’s stalled.
“What's wrong? What did you think of?”
“I am not be say?” Go on! Share with your old mum why don't you?
“Why?”
“Coz I am not be spell it proper.” Bless his little cotton socks! He's such a perfectionist. You know the type? Can't do it perfectly then he won't do it at all. Doesn’t everyone know someone like this?

“Oh well I can help you with the spelling. You say it and I'll spell it for you.”
“Atomic Robotic Aquatic Heat Blaster.”

Hmm, not Fluffy then?

Such is the curious nature of a speech delay, or maybe the arrested development of a parent?

 

 

 

 

 

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