20 Nov 2007

Lessons with Food

We're just back from our traditional Tuesday swim. Thomas can now swim 5 or 6 strokes on the surface. I give him a few tips now and then, but he prefers to get on with it by himself. Duncan has become more confident in the water as the weeks go by. I don't have to stay right beside him, and can swim around near them in the learner pool, so I'm getting a bit of exercise too.

Thomas and Lady developed a 'history project' yesterday. They dressed up in different outfits, and read the relevant bits from their 'History Explorer' CD Rom. But the main point of the exercise seemed to eating the food of different places and eras. The had tea (ancient China) olives (Rome and Greece) bread (medieval Europe) and raisins, substituting for dates which we don't have, (Egypt). Like their parents, they believe food is the best way to engage in different cultures.

In the spirit of educating himself, Thomas asked me to put on their DVD of the excellent Wallace and Gromit film, 'The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.' He needed, he said, to learn about cheese!

We all recently enjoyed the film 'Ratatouille' too, though it had a complicated plot and was much too long. Duncan loved the bit where the rat cooked soup. It's led to a revolution in his diet. He has for a while, been eating tins of Campbell's oxtail or cream of chicken soup. But these have too much salt, and I'd much prefer that he eats home cooked food. Ratatouille seems to have persuaded him. After the film, he asked to cook some soup, 'with vegetables, carrots and leeks.' He took out the saucepan, chopping board, ladle and wooden spoon and arranged them all by the cooker. Then we worked together to make a nice chicken and vegetable soup, which I blended. He ate it all, and has since had many a bowl of hearty home made soup.
Thank you Pixar!


Casdok said...

We wouldnt be without Pixar to!!

Anonymous said...

Not seen Ratatouille but my mum wasn't very impressed. Still Pixar always gets my vote too.

Patrick said...

Yay for budding Master Chef Duncan!

Sharon McDaid said...

Casdok, we're fond of the works of Dreamworks too, especially the tales of a certain ogre you may know. :-)

Maddy, it's not nearly as good as the great Pixar films like Toy Story, Nemo and Monsters Inc. But we enjoyed it, and like it's effects even more.

Patrick, he'll not go hungry anyway. He's been able to procure and prepare certain food from our supplies for a while. You never know, he may even have a future as a chef! Though any restaurant with Duncan on the staff would need to keep a close eye on their desserts!

Anonymous said...

I do cooking with Tom as well. It usually goes something like:
1:Start to assemble ingredients and equipment. Realise that all the spoons are missing. Complete bafflemt and underbreath swearing as I try and understand where 10 good sized spoons have vanished.
2: Locate one spoon partially hidden under couch. Wash spoon.
3: Tell Tom we are making cakes. Much signing and saying of cakes by him then ensues.
4: Followed by "Number 14, our house" and "lift gone to sleep."
5: Cream butter and sugar. Go to get flour out.
6; Realise spoon is missing again.
7: Realise two year old younger brother (who has shown only cursory interest in baking up to that point) has spoon-napped it and is holding it to ransom on the stairs.
8: Handover of spoon with favourite toy of two year old takes place.
9: Start putting flour in. Start counting the flour.
10: Tom decides there will be 10 large heaped spoonfuls rather than four and holds onto the spoon with a vicelike grip as he puts in the extra six spoonfuls.
11: I consider making pastry instead.
12: I pour some flour into a bowl and give him a fork so he can stir that.
13: Surplus flour in baking bowl gets scooped back into bag.
14: Two eggs to be cracked. Usual internal debate of whether they should have gone in before or after flour.
15: I crack one egg into the bowl.
16: Tom cracks one egg onto the table.
17: I scoop the egg o ntable into the bowl.
18: Jacob (younger brother) now very interested and comes trotting over.
19: Spoon goes missing again.
20: This time with cake mixture on.
21: Spoon is released from clutches of two year old and washed again.
22: Mixture put into cases. Tom helps by dropping the cases straight into the bowl.
23: Mixture put in oven.
24: Vaguely bun shaped things emerge.
25: Once cooled, bun each given to Tom and Jacob. Jacob scoffs his with the elegance and etiquette of the Cookie Monster. Tonm holds onto his and does not eat it, or let go of it, for up to three hours if I don't take it off him before that. (I do try and persuade him to eat it).
26: Or Jacob pinches it off him.
27: Or it crumbles onto the floor.
28: So when I'm feeling brave we'll make soup, but not just yet :).

kristina said...

Charlie saw that movie twice (not intentionally)-----and made vegetable soup at school today! So great about the cooking...........the Romans did have cheese.

Sharon McDaid said...

Bullet, I want to go to your house for cakes some day, it sounds like a blast!

Kristina, I'll tell Thomas about the Romans and cheese. He eats loads of cheese, so will happily play at being a Roman again. Though he'd never play the role of a slave, he wants to be a citizen at the least, and preferably the emperor!

I hope Charlie enjoyed his soup too. It's interesting, Duncan doesn't have any preconceived ideas about food, like 'vegetables are yucky.' He tries things when he wants to, because he sees me eat them or something he's seen on TV prompts him.

Dani said...


Nothing to do with soup (though that does sound great :-)) but did you hear Thought for the Day on the Today Programme this morning? I didn't catch the name of the woman but she was the mother of a son with Aspberger's and she was talking about the movement for acceptance of Autism, and how god loves people as they are, etc. The religion bit was not my cup of tea, but I thought the overall message was great.

Sharon McDaid said...

Thanks for pointing that out Dani. I read the transcript and thought it was quite a good piece. I don't need all the God mentions either, nor do I believe that, 'I've been chosen for this special child', but anyone presenting an accepting attitude to diversity in a mainstream setting is OK with me.

Amanda said...

We're pixar fans- but havent seen that one...wonder if it will persuade the boys to try soup hmmmm...
not too familiar with wallace and gromit but we're big "chicken run" fans...

bullet...sounds like cooking at our house!!