Friday, 5 September 2014

Theme Week: Air

A beautifully wide theme which can cover everything from blowing bubbles to spotting planes.  Sorry for the belated blogging!

Activities

1. Straw painting
Toby loves straws at the moment and usually has at least two in his drink, sometimes up to five!  So I thought he might enjoy a spot of straw painting.  We dolloped watered-down paints onto a big sheet of paper, and blew air through the straw to spread the paint out.  The results weren't quite as spectacular as I'd hoped, but it was quite fun.


 2. Balloon on a string
Toby had already been introduced to the idea of blowing a balloon up and letting it go whoowheeewhooo around the room, so we tried the next stage up - racing it along a string.

Thread straw onto long piece of string.
Tie string across room.
Blow up balloon.
Tape balloon onto straw.
Let go.  Wheeeeee!


Duck!
3. Paper aeroplanes
Yeah.  This and the balloon on a string was my attempt to keep us entertained on a wet Bank Holiday Monday.  Very shortly afterwards we gave up and went out for a walk in the rain.

Outings

1. Bournemouth Air Show!
No, we didn't actually drive all the way to Bournemouth just because I'd decided we were having an air theme!  We'd been talking about going for a few weeks, made the decision to go for it, and then I suddenly went, "Oh!  Air Show!"  To be honest they're not really my thing, but my husband informs me that these are actually very interesting:

Vulcan bomber

Chinook helicopter
Actually they did do some spectacular manoeuvres, and the show finished with the Red Arrows flying wingtip-to-wingtip and drawing gigantic smoke hearts in the sky, which is well worth seeing. 

2. Markeaton Park bouncy castle
I thought we had a zillion photos of Toby jumping on a bouncy castle, but they appear to have vanished in the depths of our Pictures folder.  You can imagine it.

Food

Broccoli and Cheddar Puff


My first thought was souffle, but Graham tends to be highly suspicious of any dinner suspected of containing a milk or cream product.  So I found this, which uses the same general idea, but with broccoli substituted for the white sauce component.  Or you can use cauliflower if you prefer your meal not to be a startling shade of green.

675g / 1 1/2 lb broccoli
4 eggs, separated
115g / 4 oz Cheddar, grated (or blue Stilton)
2 tsp wholegrain or French mustard
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F.  Thoroughly butter a 19cm / 7 1/2 inch souffle dish.
Cook the broccoli until just tender.  Drain well, put into a food processor with the egg yolks, and process until smooth.  Add the cheese, mustard and seasoning and pulse to mix.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry.  Gently fold into the broccoli mixture in three batches.  Pour into the souffle dish and bake for about 35 minutes until risen and just set.

Unfortunately, Toby tends to be highly suspicious of any dinner suspected of containing a green vegetable, so this wasn't entirely a win-win situation.  But he did like the trick of turning the bowl of whisked egg white upside down.

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