Liquid

Illusions in Norway.

World-schooling my boys was paused as the fjord slicked off, the pollen settled and the sea monster across the way surfaced.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge-Liquid

Fire and Knives (Belonging)

I have and will always belong among the fire and knives.

As a young lad I had several of the plastic Bowie knives.  I would break them within a few days of purchase.  Graduation to just shy of a million pocket knives and soon enough I had lit the driveway on fire.  I was destined to become a Chef.  Ma even said “I should have known.”.

I can sense the shine of a knife store around the next block.

img_2828

Be it in a kitchen or in camp I gravitate like moth to the flame.

11180322_10153025990764247_4296269953441844630_n

Master Oakley’s Marshmallow Brulee

Campfire smell is not a sign you need to wash your clothes.  To me it’s the much sought after smell they should try to put into laundry soap.

If someone made campfire scented laundry pods I would buy them.  (If you do, then make a complete line up…. Juniper, Hickory, Pine, cherry, ect…)

15380484_10154311324334247_6111643179252414800_n

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge – Place in the World

poke around my blog to see more of my handy work. Chef Gurr Work and Play

image

 

Twisted Sister?

“Oh we’re not gonna to take it. NO, we’re ain’t gonna take it!….sorry,  echos in the ear of a younger me and my Twisted Sister cassette tapes.

Now back to the prompt.

In the picture it’s not the cow in a chef’s uniform that seems twisted.  It’s the watermelon cow with a bite out of its back.  Take a look and tell me what else you see.

Thanks Amsterdam for keeping things interesting around every corner.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge- Twisted

Unlikely

img_2471

Upon visiting Chateau de Dampierre-sur-Boutonne just north of Saintes, France the curator told us he had just set up a Cocotte show on the third floor.  Not what I was expecting to hear!

This replaces the Indiana Jones scene with the golden head and sandbag for me.

Or see but I was super excited!  Just look at these beauties!

DSC08357

The curator happened to have a friend with the largest collection of cocottes in I’m not sure what demographic, but it was quite sizable.

DSC08358

Being a chef and lover of evenly heating cookware I figured it was a sign.

Later in the week I welcomed our hosts back to their home with a nice batch of short ribs procured from a local butcher that had worked in that had worked/owned that butcher shop with the picture on the wall from 1974.

right out of the vac seal.  No moisture loss at all.  Wow.

I tourned carrots, potatoes and zucchini to go alone with them but then plated and served hot (as it the priority) so no photographic evidence of the final plates.

Thanks for the prompt Michelle Weber!

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge-Unlikely

World Wide Learning

Best reason given for being a bit late to class:

“I had to poop sideways.” Oakley tells us.

“What?” I say.

“The cat was laying down in front of the toilet.” he says.

Merlot, the cat, was not to be moved causing my son to sit sideways on the toilet for a poo.  Hence, pooping sideways.

Danish school day at the farm.

In our travels we are continually asked, mostly by Europeans, “How can you have the kids out of school for a year?”.  We have heard in other countries you would be fined or it would just not be allowed.

Let me point out that our boys attended Montessori school through third and first year.  They will go back into the same school without dropping a grade.  Montessori is a great system of learning that matches the boys really well.  They will be returning for year five and three.  My wife mentions more about this here.

I want to share my view of what school looks like with my boys using a few lists and photos.

 

Cambodia.

Campus Locations (thus far):

  • Hawaii
  • Australia
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Vietnam 

    Ho Chi Minh City

  • Thailand
  • Cambodia
  • Denmark
  • Germany
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Netherlands

Vietnam

 

My earlier cursive on this outline.

Learning Objectives:

  • Reading
  • Writing (including penmanship and cursive)
  • Math

The three Learning Objectives were recommended by their teachers before we left but more drop into our lap with ease due to what we are doing.  Geography, Languages, History, and Science are staring us in the face.  This is truly a magical learning experience for all.

Local currency is often used in math lessons.

img_9528

I chose to join in and relearn Cursive in order to teach it to the boys.  When the teacher joins with the class to show he or she is motivated to learn it’s like you’re on the same team.  Struggling along with the students really creates a learning bond through empathy.

This Belgium cafe classroom had many benefits.

Tools: 

  • Coffee. For me and the safety of others.
  • Patience (lots).  Nobody learns in anger.
  • Journal (2).  There is a lot going on, write it down.
  • Common Place Book (2). Used for research, drafts, notes, art, ect..
  • Workbooks for math and we were given a few for english and comprehension in Australia because the woman we housesitted for was a teacher.  (Thanks Deb!)
  • Writing utensils.  Push pencils and a sweet sharpener like the one in this photo.  Pens are messy.
  • Blackboards (3).  These are great.  They’re wet-erase and no bigger than a magazine.  I found them in Vietnam at a Costco like store by happenstance.  Using them really improved the focusing ability.
  • Computer with internet access.  Both teacher and students need to be able to research and do presentations.
  • Kindle (2).  Small and pretty tough,  these are beauti.  The boys’ reading ability has skyrocketed.  My wife mentions them here.
  • Recess.  Don’t forget this.  Attention spans are short and you can reach a fill to here point quickly when everything is constantly changing.  Kids (adults too) lose focus and need a break to wiggle, snack, run or wrestle.  Keep an eye out for information overload.

 

So far my experience worldschooling the boys has been very positive.  I have been able to use teaching techniques used for culinary students with the boys.  I’ve learned how each learns and how to bend a lesson and allow flexibility to get each to grasp the lesson.

Not your usual 2nd and 4th grade class photo.

I don’t think we want to be their teachers into highschool but I’m certainly glad to have had the privilege of being one of their teachers this year.  Just can’t beat this 1:1 student-teacher ratio.

LINES

French vineyard maintenance is absolutely astounding.  The land is covered with vineyards that are meticulously pruned and straight.

DSC07893

Day after day they park their utility car on the edge and prune before the vine shows  any green.

DSC07890

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge- Lines is a pleasure.  The lines of the vines, the lines of the rows, and the line of the posts.

Homard/ Lobster/ Labsta!

For Sadie, the only person I know from Maine, USA:  I know you miss “Labsta Day” and I’m sure you haven’t had your fix in a while.

IMG_5876

Lobster Thermador

This is to show homage to all those beauties that gave their lives for learning and tasting.

As a Chef Instructor for 12.99999 (slightly superstitious here) years I had the pleasure of teaching multiple classes.  I taught the two classes with Lobster demos and fabrication.

On “Labsta Days” by some unknown force or possibly genetics, Chef Sadie would find her way to the class just as a dish was finished.

Other Chefs had their favorites as well.  Some would seek out Lamb (Chef Anjali) and others wouldn’t care what you were cooking as long as it would fill a seemingly hollow leg (Chef Paul).

I had a weakness for “Cookie Day”.  Secretly dropping subtle hints to pastry class after pastry class letting them know I happened, just by coincidence, to enjoy, very much so, a few chocolate chip cookies if they found it in their hearts to relinquish a couple.

Mmmmmmmmm COOOkies…..

Sorry about that,  I seem to have lost my train of thought.  Back to lobster or homard, as it is known in French.

I have collected photos of my dishes produced for demo or that I did while joining the class for production.

IMG_5516

Sautéed Lobster on Dilled Sweet Potato Mash, Leek Cream and Sautéed Spinach with Bacon

Most were delivered to Chef Sadie for “inspection” and for fear of her hearing that lobster was being produced and consumed without her being notified.

IMG_5591

IMG_5592

Lobster, Chive and Gruyere Omelette

 

While here in France I have had opportunity to play with Langoustine AKA; Scampi, AKA; Salt Water Prawn.

They are fun to clean and vary in size.  Fun is a word I like to use to sell peeling garlic to someone.  Really they are tedious but well worth the sweetness they deliver.

Shoot on over to a past post titled Chef Gurr Work and Play to view more of my work as a Chef Instructor.