Thursday, 4 February 2016

Cooking shows

I started watching quite a few cooking programmes lately. Not for any other reason besides I want to learn. What astounded me is all the differences between their kitchens and mine!  Now, I am not talking about the overall size or anything like that but its the smaller things.  Plus there are quite a few differences between the English and American programmes.

First of all, the main differences:
The cleanliness of their kitchens.  I know they are probably steamed cleaned to within an inch of their lives before filming starts but at the same time, the odd bit of 'normality' would be nice.  What family with young children has gloss cupboards?  We all know that one touch, and they need a clean!  They do not stay clean and tidy for long. 
Before they start, everything is laid out, all ready weighed/chopped etc.  Maybe it is just me but I don't have this done before I start.
Their clothes are spotless from start to finish.  I don't know about you, but I at least look a little dishevelled like I have been cooking whether it be a little flushed or covered in a light coating of flour, whatever it is, I know I have been cooking!

I have seen some differences between American and British cooking programmes.  The Brits have a lovely full fridge more often than not.  Whereas, our American counterparts seem to only have what they need for that recipe.  When I am watching a programme, even though I know they do not live on set, it would be nice to build an illusion that they live there. Or does that mean there is less money in the UK and they do actually use their own homes?!
Talking of fridges, they are always clean; sparkling clean!  I do like a clean fridge so I don't mind this one too much, it just reminds me to go clean mine.

The American programmes top my favourites to watch as there are so many formats while the English chef's all have similar formats which can get tedious. Plus the Americans love a bit of sweet naughtiness in the creations!

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Children and gadgets

Do children have too many gadgets or is it just 'moving with the times'? I question this with myself on a regular basis. My youngest is now 8 years old and she is desperate for an iPad but so far I (and my husband) have refused. This is not based on punishment or spite, quite the opposite; we feel she is too young.

When I was growing up, I remember playing games with my brothers in the garden. We made berry pies, built a fort and just messed around. We did not have the internet until I was older as it was not even invented on a residential scale at that time. I liked my childhood. I could not sit here and say I missed out on anything. As an adult, I feel I am a well-rounded individual (some may beg to differ) and I did not have the gadgets growing up.

My fear is - and don't take this the wrong way because I don't tarnish everyone with this brush - but some parents are getting lazy. Giving a child a tablet or computer game just to keep them quiet or out of your hair is not the answer! They could play with lego, duplo, dolls, cards and many other toys which are not only cheaper but can hold their attention for longer. I am not taking into account children with special needs because that is a totally different article.

My eldest is 16 and she got an iPad last year for the first time and I think that is about right age wise. She hasn't been deprived or missed out on anything in her life and she is still a well-rounded individual. When I see/visit some children where gadgets are their only or main entertainment, the children are rude, some arrogant and not great when they can drag themselves away from the gadget to play with my children.

Children do need to be aware of these things and how to use them because that is the way the World is going.  So just so I can be clear, children can have gadgets, but don't use them as a babysitting service. Used responsibly including other outlets in their life, will enable your child to grow up as a well-rounded individual.