Saturday, November 26, 2005

Cranberry 'salad'?

Well, this week we experienced our first ever Thanksgiving. We were pretty lucky to be invited to join with another family for the meal, so we got the genuine experience with no effort required from me! Let me begin by saying I completely get the point now. Mm mm good food and good company while the kiddies run around and play in the barn. Actually, we had a barn - I make no promises that all your future Thanksgiving meals will involve a barn. And I am completely in love with pumpkin pie. This is a big deal for me since pumpkin is not what I would consider one of my favourite foods. Actually, I barely consider it a food.

I have to say something about cranberry salad though...
Now, I gather that this particular dish is one my hostess's grandmother invented - so it may fit in the same category as barns (see above, re. barns). However, I feel that to apply the term 'salad' to the dish we ate is a very loose application of the word. I guess I'll always believe it aint salad if it don't have lettuce and tomatoes. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a nasty dish. Once I got past the 'Ok, this is a sweet thing being served at the same time as the savoury things' issue, I quite enjoyed it. I would pay good money, though, to go back in time to that kitchen long ago when someone first thought 'You know cranberries, Dairy Whip and marshmallows would make a tasty salad!'. For those of you who are not in the US, Dairy Whip is sort of like whipped cream... with preservatives. And for those of you who are thinking 'Aha! Now I have the secret recipe I can make my fortune!' - I believe there is a little more involved than just mixing those ingredients together.

Salad confusion aside, I thoroughly enjoyed my first Thanksgiving. I'm still a little fuzzy on the whole 'history behind the day' thing though. If you watched the Macy's Parade (as we did - oh yeah, we're embracing the culture over here) you kind of get the idea that the first Thanksgiving involved pilgrims and turkeys and marching bands... oh, and Garfield was there. As any self-respecting home schooling mother would do, I naturally went to the library in search of books about the day. Unfortunately, every other person had the same idea... and drove there quicker. So not a single book was left. Possibly next week then.

Still, the food was good. We made sure to put a whole heap of it in the freezer for Mike to sample when he gets back from Australia. We may hammer out some sort of 'Turkey for Tim-Tams' trade agreement with him.
NowI can hardly wait to see the look on his face when he tries the 'salad'......

Monday, November 14, 2005

Culinary sciences.

This is terribly important advice. Seriously. Get out a pen and write this one down. We have suffered in the name of science and feel it is important to share the results of our research with the world. Yesterday an important discovery was made. It turns out that two minute noodles (or 'ramen' as they call it over here) will burn if you neglect to put any water in the bowl while cooking them in the microwave. Truly. Ask my son. No, not the one who deservedly has a reputation for destruction. The one who ordinarily is known for being quite bright. Also, the heat from burning noodles is sufficient to melt a hole in the base of a plastic bowl. On a related topic someone really needs to contact the people at Glade. Let me tell you, 'burnt noodles and melted plastic' smell has got the sort of staying power that puts 'ocean fresh' to shame. I can hear the accolades from the scientific community already.

At least we learnt a valuable lesson. Sam learnt that noodles need to be cooked in water. I learnt to be a lot more specific with my instructions. Laura learnt nothing. She went and did the exact same thing today! Hmmm... must make a point of watching Oliver especially closely tomorrow...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Crime and Punishment.

It was a very remorseful Oliver who made a confession to me today. He held out his little fist and cried as though his five year old heart was broken, "I killed my friend!" I had been waiting for this day to come, based on past experiences, so I was not too surprised. But no, the juvenile detention centres would have to wait for him a little longer. Upon prying his fingers open I discovered nothing more horrifying than one very dead bug - or what I can only assume to be the remains of a bug. He spilled the whole truth out to me as he wept in my arms. We talked about how we need to be careful with delicate things because it is so easy to hurt them. He agreed, choking out "You can't squish them." before disolving again into tears.
So what is to be the penalty for his newly discovered 'crime' of insecticide? As I observed him cradling the buggy remains to his cheek and murmering, "I'm sorry little guy." I concluded that he had suffered enough.


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This is the Rayson family blog, the purpose being to provide updates from a family point of view. If you were looking for Mike Rayson's blog, try