Tag Archives: school visit

School visit

It was an intensive session today – the underground world, cheese scones, soup (using potatoes from the school garden), apple pressing and microwave jam making.

A picture is worth a thousand words, so help yourself to a few thousand. ūüėČ

Yes, it’s a lazy blog today…

Two Birthdays and a Pizza

When you look at my titles you can see why Richard Curtis is considerably more successful than me, can’t you?

We had a school come out for an enhancement day ¬†so just a short post.- working with livestock, making pizza and eating a foraged salad. ¬†I’m hoping they felt suitably enhanced by the end, though I’m a little ¬†concerned that a couple of them looked slightly shell-shocked by the end.

At lunchtime we had a party for Emma, then after filling the incubator, we went across to visit Margaret, the Farmer’s mother. She was 80 today. We had tea and cake. Then it was time to clean up, wash, change and go to the other party – the one with the canapes and cheese board. We finally left there as dark fell.

All in all it was a good day, but I’m tired and full now (possibly even replete) so just a short post. More tomorrow.

Toddlers, scones and grants

Another day, another group!

What, you didn’t think I was going to relax did you? ¬†It was a playgroup today, ¬†Beavers on Tuesday night and the second half of the playgroup on Thursday. It’s not quite the endurance test that last week was, but it’s enough. Much as I’d like to indulge my natural talents as a world class slacker, I have to work when there are wages to be had.

The trouble with playgroups is that the kids zip around like miniature demons looking for mischief to get into. They don’t mean it, but it seems logical to them to lose their parent, fill a friend’s pocket with stones or disappear as you turn your back. ¬†They think adventure, the parents think tragedy and I think reams of paperwork. Fortunately they never seem to come to any harm, but you worry all the same.

We made more cheese scones today, using the “mistake” from the session on Saturday. One of the guide groups had used a tablespoonful of ¬†baking powder to 225g of flour instead of 1 teaspoon. All it needed was 450g of flour to restore the proportions and three of us set to work producing scones, which were then consumed at the end of the day. They were OK, but not very cheesy, which is a bit of a let-down for a recipe labelled “cheese scones”.

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The scone crew

It’s always been a reliable recipe, and I suspect that they main problem was the quality of the cheese and lack of other seasoning. When I’ve made them before I’ve often added either mustard powder or chives to the mix, which both enhance flavour. In the case of the mustard it also renders the scones implausibly yellow. I generally use the cheap ready-grated cheese from Tesco, so can’t complain about the cheese. I’m thinking of making them with either finely cubed strong cheddar or Stilton next time, rather than grated, to see what happens.

The problem is that I’ve baked cheese scones twice in three days and my enthusiasm for testing improved versions is declining to the point where I don’t actually want to see another one for a while.

Talking of Stilton, our local cheese, I wonder what will happen to its protected status. Say what you like about the EU, and let’s face it, a lot has been said recently, it has been good for protecting our speciality food.

Leading on from that, we have had a message about ringing to talk about our grant application now the referendum is over. Can’t wait to see what happens about that…

 

 

The Fifth Day

It’s Friday so it must be…

…another school.

Fortunately it was just a class of 12, which made things easier. The keets behaved impeccably and the dough was the best I’ve ever seen a group make. That was surprising as many of them were quite small and small people often have trouble putting enough energy into the job. It’s even harder when you have difficulty reaching the table.

The hardest bit of the week is turning out to be finding new things to say each time, though the endless cleaning is, I admit, making me lose the will to live.

ūüėČ

 

On the second day

On the second day God created the sky: on my second day I supervised the making of 31 pizzas.

It’s quite clear from this that I’m slacking. On the other hand I do have arthritis, varicose veins and a tendency to need the toilet more than average, even for a man of my age. I’m well past my peak, and on a rapidly increasing downward slope which, like Gray’s paths of glory, lead but to the grave. Fortunately this middle-aged man bladder problem is cancelled out by standing with my back two feet away from four fan ovens blasting out air at 200 degrees C. It’s difficult to find any spare moisture when you are being desiccated.

But manage, I did, and the evidence was clear to see as splashes of sweat spotted the floor. I paint such a lovely picture of kitchen life don’t I?

By the end of the day I was reduced to opening the fridge door and standing next to it.

Here are some pictures, which are probably cute enough to drive my word picture from your mind. It was a great day with lots of sun and happy kids, and a great contrast to the pouring rain yesterday.

The dark stuff in the plastic tub is a sourdough starter – we looked at dried yeast, live yeast and sourdough starter (it was having a mild day, just a trifle vinegary, quite unlike some of the acetone/vinegar blasts you sometimes get). There were a few expressions of distaste, but nobody fainted. The yellow stuff in the other pot is home made butter.

Note the Florentine-type pizzas with nettles in place of spinach. I’m finally getting back to wild food.

Musings on Mortality and Muesli

There’s a sort of league table in my mind regarding death.

There are people who have always been dead while I’ve been alive, so not only am I unmoved by Shakespeare’s death, I probably contain several molecules of the man himself.

There are icons from my youth, the people who always seem to have been famous, like the recently deceased Ronnie Corbett. When one of them dies it feels a bit like someone has chipped a bit of me away.

Then there are the others, people like Victoria Wood and Prince, who are uncomfortably close to my age. In the case of Prince, exactly my age.

When my mother reached her early 70s we had to stop here reading the obituaries in the local paper  because most of the people in there were her age or younger and it was starting to worry her.

Anyway, back to Shakespeare, I suppose. I won’t add much to the pile of words, except to say that the best Shakespeare I remember reading was a comic strip of Macbeth in Look and Learn.¬†I think many of them, at least the ones worth reading (by which I mean the ones without all that soppy romance) would benefit from the graphic novel treatment -“Dredd’s Tales from Shakespeare” anyone?

Some trivia for you – Shakespeare and Cervantes died on the same date (which is why it has been chosen as UNESCO World Book Day) but died 10 days apart. There is no prize for the answer, just the satisfaction of knowing.

As for Don Quixote, ¬†voted the best book ever written by a panel of experts, I can only say ¬†that having recently tried and failed to read it that it would be best served by severe pruning and a murder in the first chapter, preferably Sancho Panza. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before – sorry if I have (it’s my age you know) but I’m a philistine and I like crime fiction. ūüėČ

As for the rest of the day, I’ve taken a booking for two days of visits from a school (5-7 years old – my idea of purgatory as I’m not allowed to mention mummification, the Assize of Bread and Ale or eating guinea pigs). Nor am I allowed to mention Waterloo teeth, guano or CJD/kuru (¬†in relation¬†to either cannibalism or modern farming practice). How am I supposed to teach with that sort of restriction hanging over me like the sword of Damocles? Which is probably something else I’m not allowed to mention.

It’s not particularly that the subject matter is considered too gruesome (though that probably enters into it) but that I might ask the kids a question they can’t answer. This includes asking why Henry VIII didn’t eat chips of why the Romans didn’t have tomatoes on their pizza. ¬†After all, we wouldn’t want to teach them something would we?

End of rant.

The pictures scattered through the post are taken with the new camera with new batteries. I’ve discovered that you can get 80x zoom sometimes – not sure how I did it but bird pics are bigger as a result. And shakier. If I read the manual (as many of you are probably about to suggest) it would ¬†spoil the surprise of discovery.

The picnic area is next to a local lay-by which has a some interesting plants, interesting birds and an excellent catering van. It also, as you can see, plays hosts to some people who don’t deserve decent facilities.

The Jackdaw is at 80x zoom, and we just picked the first rhubarb of the year.

I had muesli for breakfast as I wanted something smallish in case I set my socket off. Well, actually it was fruit and fibre, but it’s similar and a title with fruit and fibre in it is a difficult beast to tame on the road to alliteration.