Not entirely random – I’m thinking about the curriculum we offer children around food…
In today’s Viva section of the New Zealand Herald (18 April, 2012, pp.4-5), there is an article on Heston Blumenthal (‘The Mad Chef’). In it, he describes some of his (considered radical) approaches to eating. What he has to say could as easily serve as a reminder for teachers/care givers with regards to the curriculum they are offering around food.
He talks, for example, about a 70s themed dinner party which drew on such memories that it took people back to their childhoods in the 70s. The article’s author writes that s/he “realised this [experience of dining a la Blumenthal] was as much about science, travel and history as it was about food.” (5).
His ‘Sounds of the Sea’ dish sounds really quite different to the norm; when served this dish, diners “listen to an iPod placed in a shell that plays the sound of the waves lapping up against the shore, along with the occasional call of gulls, while eating edible sand, foam, and various food from the sea” (5) Just today, we were talking about what children get to listen to around the lunch table (‘teachers nagging’ being a particularly unpleasant example of what they could get to hear if teachers aren’t conscious of the environment and curriculum they are involved in creating…)
Blumenthal’s interest is in food memories and associations – exploring and challenging these – and this is what we work with in early childhood, so…
Who hasn’t got lovely memories of dippy eggs in childhood?
Blumenthal’s method for a perfect soft-boiled egg is:
1. Place the eggs in the smallest saucepan available and only add enough cold water to cover them by 1mm (be precise with this bit). Put the lid on and place over the highest heat possible.
2. When the water comes to the boil, remove from the heat and leave for six minutes.