Sunday, 24 January 2016

Hi everyone
Well here's the first full blog of 2016 as promised.
It was a busy Autumn Term for Food Tech. As usual, groups of year 9 and year 7 boys came for whole day sessions - they only get one session per year so I have to try hard to make the experience one of learning, fun, and achievement and there are always competitions during the day.
The boys are always so eager and they often come out with funny expressions which make me laugh. If the things they say or do are worth recording, I photograph their disasters or type up their comments and these go on my Wall of Fame/Shame for all to read and see.
Only this week we had 2 brilliant quotes from Year 7's:
'Miss - shall I empty the drain?'  Translation - Shall I pull the plug out of the sink?
Another boy, pointing to the microwave in the corner...'Miss, what do you keep in the safe?'
The sixth form students are brilliant at doing weird things.
Last year I caught 2 of them with orange flavoured Nutella spread. They had stirred it into their chicken curry.  When questioned by myself as to what is was for, they replied, 'Well Miss - you told us that the Mexicans often put dark chocolate into their Chilli con Carne so we thought we would experiment!'
Another sixth former who only claim to fame was his brilliance at playing the bass guitar , made a crumble mix that looked as if it had maggots in it. I questioned the ingredients he had added, determined to find the source of the maggots. He had mixed in a large quantity of Lazy Ginger - strips of ginger in vinegar that we use in Chinese stir-fries, thinking that this product was similar to the dried ginger powder often used in baking!!
I will fill you in on other funnies as they arise this year.
Just before Xmas,  two 6.1 boys organized a chapati making competition for 6 pairs of sixth formers.
the contestants had to prepare and fry chappattis to be sampled by 3 judges.
These 3 teachers had kindly volunteered to taste and score all the chapatis and find the winners.
The judges were: Mr Ratner, who professed to knowing how the chapatis should taste, Mrs Mehta who certainly knows how to make chapatis, and Mr Ridler who doesn't know the first thing about making or rating chapatis but just loves (free) food and joined the judges to help them in their task.
Mr Collins did come in to see what was on offer for hungry teachers, but quickly departed. I wonder why?
Thanks also go to Cameron Hodgetts of Year 9, who was on crowd control. He did an excellent job in scrutinizing all those sixth formers who tried to get through the door and ousting every gatecrasher.
We hope to run another of these events this term as there were quite a few 6.1's who wanted to take part.
My only problem was the huge amount of flour everywhere after the competition. One boy had more on his blazer than was acceptable so we had to do a quick wash and tumble dry before Period 5 - the blazer, not the boy!
Last week Mr Ratner delivered a cross-curricular biology lesson for yr 7's with me. Boys were given doughnuts and many other smaller sweet items to create something resembling animal and plant cells with this food. The various components of these different cells were labelled and the finished product photographed before being devoured just prior to 4pm or packed away for later.   Hyperactive sons probably presented themselves back home with parents also wondering why they didn't want any tea?!!!

I hope to use this blog to give you snippets about food - interesting facts or stories, new findings, new ideas, new products etc.
Here's a few for this blog....
Why do we love chocolate so much?
Texture - it melts at just below blood temperature, the same temperature as our mouths, which accounts for that oozing sensation after the first few seconds
Taste - chocolate contains at least 300 natural chemical compounds, resulting in a complex range of tastes, which connect with our brain as they run over the most sensitive taste zones of our tongue.
Mike Longman, a Chocolate Wizard from Cornwall had to build his own grinder from an industrial flatbead maker from India. He fitted a new motor so that it would grind cocoa beans for 4 days straight - the time required to reduce the cocoa nibs and raw demerara sugar to 25 microns - about an eighth of a human hair - the optimum particle size for the ultimate bar of chocolate!

Each blog will also have extracts from written work being done in my Literacy TOAST club where certain boys are striving to improve their writing and attempt various 'projects' set by me and Miss Slater.
The first work in the next blog, will be from Daniel Brittle who tells us about his  2015 Xmas experiences.
Your chance to enter a competition for writing and expression...
Write a piece for me entitled ...'my Last Supper'.
Imagine that a meteorite is due to hit the earth tomorrow, and tonight you can have the last meal of your choice. Tell me what starter, main course and dessert you would chose and why, where you would have this meal and why, and chose 2 additional guests (apart from family and friends) who you would like to invite, and why. These guests could be from the past or the present - eg. celebrities, sports personalities, famous people from history. Bring the neatly presented work into Food Tech for judging. The best ones will win prizes and be blog-published. I am a stickler for correct spelling so take care to get that right.
Briefly, I would chose...a seafood platter, steak and chips, and a huge jug of custard. I will explain choices next time. I would have the meal at sunset, on the rocks overlooking the Irish Sea at the special bungalow we stay at every year on Anglesey. My chosen guests would be Graham Norton and Anne Boleyn!! Again, reasons given next time.
Finally, the first boy to bring me the answers to these 6 quiz questions will gain a house point and a chocolate bar.
a type of sushi - a rice filled, seasoned tofu pouch (5)
vine leaf chewed in South Asia as a mild stimulant  (5)
Raspberry .......  popular flavour of ice cream (6)
A generic Indian term for a mixture of ground spices (6)
City in Lorraine, France, famous for its macarons (5)
What is Mrs Phillips' favourite animal? (7)

Signing off for now .....Mrs P

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