Tuesday, 31 December 2013

… is there a better way

… of teaching fraction than using chocolate ?

I don't think so.

I bought a chocolate bar lookalike phone case for my youngest's stocking but sadly it didn't fit. Rather than return it , I've pressed it into service as a teaching resource. Managed to print off lots of bars of chocolate which I then cut into constituent fraction parts , halves , quarters , thirds , tenths etc , all of which fit neatly inside the is cute little zip up chocolate case . I can now whip it out in an instant whilst teaching fractions and use the power of chocolate . Not only that , but inside was a bonus bar of mobile phone shaped chocolate .. as if my students would need any further incentive. Genius.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

10 Things I always forget about Christmas

  • That husbands view it differently . worthy of a blog post all of its own.
  • That Away in A Manger will always make me cry.
  • That just when I think everything is in hand someone throws a spanner in the works.
  • That the fridge will empty itself daily.
  • That you suddenly realise that you all own too many clothes because the laundry takes forever.
  • That whatever you buy a month before Christmas will be suddenly slashed to half price the week before.
  • That a 14 lb turkey will cost an arm and a ( turkey) leg
  • That 'best intentions' quickly turn into 'damage limitation'
  • That when the children break up from school / college , even though they're old enough to entertain themselves , you will get nothing done
  • That it is just one day

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Talking Turkey

Just ordered my 15 pounder and I was reminded of past turkey disasters which make me laugh now although didn't at the time . In no particular order as Dermot would say …

Disaster 1 : Nigella's special turkey in brine recipe involved dunking your bird into a whopping great trough full of salted water overnight . We left ours in the garden on a table covered with foil and hoped for the best. The foxes didn't get it , but when we drained the liquor off on Christmas morning the inside of the trough was lined with slugs … all in their last death throes due to the salt of course but seemingly alive and , well if not kicking, sliming their way around our turkey . We still ate it … just didn't tell the boys.,

Disaster 2 ; I'd gone home to my parents new home for Christmas after my first term at university - they'd just downsized and hadn't quite mastered the new gas oven . My mother , bless her , was no cook, so presumably she hadn't even used it. We couldn't get it to turn on to cook the turkey on Christmas morning so ended up hacking great chunks off the breast and wedging it under a separate wall mounted grill to cook.  The gas board wouldn't come out to fix it on Christmas day ( hadn't expected them to but worth a try ) and we later realised that it was just the timer which was programmed to come on later which is why we couldn't get it to light . My father was a very practical and resourceful sort , so if the grill hadn't worked he doubtless would have lit a fire in the garden and torched it that way.

Disaster 3 ; Not so much a disaster but a pain in the neck . Husband had been working on The Good Food Show on TV that night and had arrived home with a massive 25lb Black Norfolk turkey that they'd been reviewing on the show ( along with a dozen others ) strapped to the back of his motorbike, the trouble was , as it had been under the studio lights all day , we had to cook it there and then so the oven went on at midnight and I had to set an alarm every 2 hours to baste the ruddy thing . Think I may have slumped and fallen asleep in my brussel sprouts the following day having had no sleep the night previous ( pre kids so we still had the luxury of being able to sleep whenever we liked luckily. )

This year , I'm ordering from the farm shop where they serve a magnificent hog roast for lunch whilst you collect on the 23rd . Hopefully I'll get a full night's sleep, be slug free and have sussed our cooker so we may actually get to enjoy it.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Inspired or what ?

A year's sub to Car Nonsense Mag or an item from M&S's Blue Harbour range which aims to make men look as if they live an outdoorsy kind of life ?

Neither - a voucher for the Waitrose Cookery School for my cookery averse husband. It took 1 minute to find the website, 5 happy minutes to peruse the choice of courses and less than a nanosecond to click the BUY button.

The voucher is now printed and I'm sitting back and licking my lips at the prospect of a gourmet fish supper, an East /West fusion banquet or just an expertly executed Sunday roast at some stage in 2014.

I'm hoping this is met with more relish than the Red Letter day voucher for a trial flying lesson purchased ( Christmas 92 me to him - unused ) and the bread bin ( Christmas 08 him to me ) - yes that's what I unwrapped that Christmas morning , surpassed only by the year we went away and so I chose, bought, wrapped and bagged up all my own presents for him to pop in the car … which he forgot. That was the year he bought me an emergency, last - minute pair of wooden salad servers. I still use them to this day, only not for salad , I'll let you guess what I did with them.