I’m half-way through day camp at work.
I. Am. EXHAUSTED.
(That also could be due to Nellie’s sleepless teething/sickly/growth-spurty-nights.)
This summer I chose and wrote an 11 week program centering on an around the world theme, in fact, it’s aptly titled “Around the World in 11 Weeks.” We started out in the Carribean and now, seven weeks later find ourselves studying the Middle East. Today we focused on Jordan, Kuwait and Iraq. We had three speakers from the ESL school in town from Kuwait to talk to the campers about their home country. The kids even got their names written in Arabic! And later this afternoon we took them to Bauer Honey Farm in Fertile, MN (you know, Middle East–honey…makes sense…right? Okay, I admit, I was stretching the tie-in a bit…), where they got a tour of the business and complimentary honey jars to bring home.
Anyhow, the whole point of this was to say that I’ve really enjoyed exploring the different countries and continuents with my campers this summer and the few times that Ada has been able to attend, she has LOVED it too. Thus, I pitched the idea of eating a meal from every country in the world as a family.
I should back track a little bit, during camp I have put together a “cookbook” of “authentic” (as authentic as I can get for some of them) recipes that we eat at lunch. The meal is sometimes a compilation of the countries that we focus on for the day and sometimes all entirely from one. It’s been an interesting ride with the kids as most of them are used to pretty tame, heavily salted, pre-packaged fare. (<—-This particular statement is not meant as a slur against their parents, we too indulge in some ready-made, fast-foody type consumables…but we are blessed enough to be able to purchase more fresh produce than some of the families that I work with.)
The rules of thumbs are as follows:
1.) All kids must try at least one bite of everything on the plate.
2.) They are allowed to like and dislike foods but they must not loudly go on and on about how much they hate something.
3.) They are not allowed to complain about being hungry at all if they do not eat their lunch that day.
Considering we’ve got 22 kids ranging in age from 6-11 years of age, they’ve done exceptionally well being polite and adventurous.
So…back to the food challenge. While looking for all the different recipes I’ve stumbled across many food sites that were helpful and also piqued my interest (as if I really needed help doing that with food). I brought up the idea of eating a meal from all of the 196 countries in the world (some say 195 and others 196…we’ve chosen to air on the side of 196 and count Taiwan as a country)…please don’t censor me China. Plus, Dylan and I both love to travel and even though we aren’t able to do so right now, this will help us fill the void a bit and enable us to enjoy good food and good times with our friends and family. Dylan agreed that it would be fun and educational for our family to do this too …so…off we go!
We’ve started searching for our first meal and we will be going on a weekly basis of each country…although during Holidays and such this plan may deviate a bit. But that is our intent to travel the world gastronomically week by week, country by country.