Monday, November 8, 2010

Patrick and I were waiting to go to the Remembrance service at Ipswich School yesterday evening. I thought it would be a good chance to collect his story. This is the second list he's done. Last night's list looked like this:
  • Fish and Chips at Aldeburgh Beach - night time.
  • Curry - narrow boat Lowsenford
  • bacon and egg- Full English Billesley Manor
  • lasagne - Nayland Farm with the Hawkins
  • Fish balls - no 6 Saturday the day my Grandma dies
  • marmite on toast - Saturday football scores
  • Curry - Leicester after the rugby
Together we remembered our first fish and chip experience together. I didn't understand that what you did was parked the car and sit on a plastic backed mat by the edge of a wet field to eat it out of a bag... since then I've never fully appreciated the romance of fish and chips

'It was a spur of the moment decision. Rebecca was away in NY or at an art or poetry thing - there's usually one of those.... As ever, when mum's away healthy food declines and dad goes into default mode. We decided we needed fish and chips. The only good fish and chips is in Aldeburgh It was a very cold and windy night and it must've been around 8:00 pm when we finally arrived. We couldn't remember which was the good place, The Golden Galleon or the one simply called The Fish and Chip shop. We think they're owned by the same people anyway. We parked the car, way down at the end of the high street, the weather really was atrocious. For once there wasn't a queue. It was winter.

Where would we go to eat the fish and chips? Dad had the bright idea that we'd drive further down the beach onto the stones. I remember turning on the radio. There was choral music. we put the little light on inside and unwrapped the fish. The wind was so strong it was rocking the car. There were night fisherman and I told Hudson and Figgy a ghost story about Martello tower.

What I liked about it was that it was all so spur of the moment. We had no knife and fork. We wondered what mum would have made of it and what she'd have eaten? Probably a few chips and some mushy peas.' Patrick

For the past week I've been asking people to list their food stories for me and then to choose one and tell me the story. Here is a list of some of my food stories. Which one's are you curious about? What are your food stories? Can I use your story to create a page in my altered book, or would you like to create your own altered page?

Food Stories

  • - buying biscuits from the girl at the end of the dusty Kimwarer track
  • - thanksgiving in Singapore
  • - roasted onions with David Schaefer
  • - Carey and her repulsion with garlic
  • - John and his aversion to garlic
  • - The resataurants where we’ve eaten at airports
  • - Baked potatoes with coleslaw at Huffers
  • - The Mexican restaurant with Tensie, Robin and Lise
  • - The cafes in Italy on the motorway
  • - Curry with Colin Fraser
  • - Raffles hotel, rawfish - festivity
  • - rawfish and the national geographic
  • - My first fish and Adam peeing on it
  • - How long to keep food in the fridge?
  • - Can you eat brown basil?
  • - Black eyed peas at 65 Maidenhead road
  • - Cucumber sandwiches on my honeymoon
  • - Pretzals with mustard
  • - A picnic in London on lawn chairs
  • - Peach jam on a rosetti
  • - The lamb in the Kerio Valley
  • - Eating locusts
  • - Eating choclate covered ants at old farm
  • - Pesto at the lighthouse
  • - Lasagna making after dad died
  • - The autopub
  • - Not understanding that you don’t eat before Thanksgiving

Saturday, October 30, 2010

So tell me about the time when...

I am working with a school this year around the theme of food. My mum is the queen of altered books and I've always meant to do one myself. This summer after we left America, my mum got my sister and Molly and Freddie making altered books. They loved this process and way of creating, so when I started to think about how I would embed journals in a year 3 or year 6 class, I wondered if this would be the time to experiment with the altered book form. Alison, the teacher who I work with primarily at the school, was keen so, for the past week I've been considering the possibilities and have taken over the kitchens to play with altered books and the theme of food.

While in Warwickshire last week I dragged Hudson and Patrick around antique shops and found a few food books with illustrations that I thought might inspire me. In the end I decided to use the less exciting book entitled 'Deep Freezing' as my trial. I got out the books on altering that I have and then (in my impulsive way) just started. I am certainly not an expert in this process: pages are bumpy - Gu doesn't work as well as PVA and Pritt Stick is less reliable (I think), I got ink all over the pristine cover, and some pages need more work... But it has been fun and I have made about 40 pages of backgrounds. I'm sure that's not the way most people work, but it's the way I began. I want this altered book to be a teaching tool. I want the teachers and young people to see into my often messy and chaotic process so they can find their own way of working.

I'm lucky because I can use my live-in guinea pigs to test out activities before I trial them with others and this page is the result of the following trial:

- spend a few minutes writing down a list of memorable meals. (I actually said 30 seconds to Hudson and Patrick because they were in a hurry but then didn't STOP them until about 2 minutes had passed - they would have gone on writing). I suggested that they just write a few words for each memory but also that they try to evoke what was special about the meal. Hudson, Patrick and I managed to list 8-12 memorable meals. They weren't all really meals, some were events linked to foods, BREAK RULES.

- I asked them to read the list back to the group and then to choose one and tell us some of the detail of why it was memorable. I recorded these and the left hand page is Hudson's story as told to me.

Hudson looked through my book and chose the page that 'spoke' to him. The words 'Eskimo' and 'snow' that were visible through the altered page helped Hudson to locate his story (food after a mountain trek). I typed it up the story as he had told it me and printed it onto canvas. The right hand page is my story about a papaya tree in Kenya. There is a little envelope and inside the envelope you find the story. The butterfly is the butterfly that is common in the Kerio Valley and it turns out it pollinates the papaya. I learned something as I created the page.

Would you like to contribute? I would love to capture and respond to your story in my altered book. i will be sharing these with the children at East Bergholt School who I will be working with soon. They will be inspired to make their own altered food story books! Thanks in advance. I will post all pages.