It’s Roman shield time. Right now, as you read this, mums and dads all over the globe are trying to make Roman shields for their kids’ school projects. There is a global conspiracy; teachers get their own back on all those parents and their horrible children by sending them home with the task of making a Roman shield.
It’s a pain in the arse to make, and what’s more it’s an expensive pain in the arse to make. But wait, I hear you holler at your screens. How does he know all this fascinating information? Is he in on the conspiracy? No. I just went through that pain, and blogged it. And since the beginning of September this year that post has been read 650 times (2,500 times in all).
I even know when the shields are being created – September through November and another peak in April and May. I love the stats on WordPress.
But, as this is supposed to be a food blog, I’d better get down to business. And for me pies mean business. And you can’t call a pie a pie unless it contains a substantial quantity of pastry.
It’s 3 O’Clock on Halloween. We have pumpkins. We have fake blood. We have sweets and chocolate. And we have to go trick-or-treating. So we have to get busy. First off we need a Jack-o’-lantern (that word is not easy to type BTW).
So busy we got. Preparation is the key. Scaring children is the objective! So to get to this:
This weekend we visited one of my sisters’ homes and celebrated my oldest niece’s birthday. The event highlighted for me the inevitability of growing up and getting older. The third generation of my family now consists (my side) of 2 children (boys), one nephew, and now no less than four nieces.
The youngest of these is not yet one (at least I don’t think she is, I’m really rubbish at ages and birthdays) and is still small enough that even though she can sit upright she has a tendancy to roll around on her backside and then flop forward and face-plant if you aren’t careful.
Nevertheless she provides good entertainment value: I was holding her (she is small but seems to weigh her equivalent size in lead) and gave her one of those baby biscuits; she was happily chomping on it and then when I looked down she seemed to have forgotten it. I pulled her hand up so she could see it and then she reacted like it was something she had never seen before and she continued gnawing at it; the whole episode made me think that babies have memories like goldfish – 3 second retention span.
This made me think about the boys – one minute you are changing nappies, reminding them to go to the loo and so on, the next minute you are explaining to their teachers that they ‘are good kids’ and that ‘they just need a firm hand’ and whatnot.
Nevertheless I have found that the older children get the more useful they become…especially in the kitchen. The capacity for children to eat food (especially males) is quite amazing. The oldest boy now only seems to appear when he requires fuel. He sort of just appears like a jack-in-the-box, eats, and then disappears.
So in an attempt to stay connected with these people, (seems like the best description), I try to encourage participation in the kitchen.
And there is no better way to encourage this juvenile collaboration than when making trifle. It’s simply irresistible.
The BBC, that bastion of investigative journalism (if you’ve been following the news recently you’ll know I’m being sarcastic oh deeeeaaaar) also does a nice line in all things food related. A couple of times a year it takes over big exhibition centres and fills them with foodies. We went to the summer event and liked it that much we took the kids to the winter version in London. Getting the train into London is a drab affair though, so I filmed it and shoved the Bellamy Brothers on…
This video doesn’t exist
(I’m not sure why I would want to share a drab miserable train trip to London, with no views and grey skies, but I guess I just like playing with the movie maker)
The children were demanding burgers. But I am sick of making burgers and as I try not to repeat myself on this blog I thought we’d compromise. They could have burgers. But made with lamb rather than beef.
It can be quite hard to think of new things to make that are interesting enough to blog about and also edible enough that it doesn’t all go straight in the bin. Lamb Pittas are quite good as party food and different enough to qualify for bloggage.