French Lessons

img_2413

This week for the US holiday of Thanksgiving (or, as it it called in Canada, Thursday), OvenMitt came up to visit Panda in Vancouver. While there, in addition to sleeping, napping, resting, relaxing, eating brunch, shopping, and other fun activities, the two of them have been practicing French for their upcoming trip to France next month.

Panda took French in school and has also been studying French on her own for five years off and on, so her pronunciation, grammar, and knowledge of idioms is at the low- to mid-intermediate level; OvenMitt, on the other hand, has next to no skills in French (unless a rudimentary knowledge of Italian and Spanish count as knowing French…). Panda wants OvenMitt to learn all of the restaurant-related expressions and vocabulary in the video, because Panda knows that she may not always be around and that OvenMitt may need to ask for things on his own. (No one wants to be burdened on vacation by a helpless piece of kitchen safety apparel, do they?)

Despite Panda’s accusations of mind-wanderingness, OvenMitt, however, doesn’t want to study more than a few minutes at a time– as a trained educator, he knows that there is a limit to how much new information can be processed in any one session. It’s usually better, in his opinion, to have multiple short practice sessions than fewer, longer ones. In any event, OvenMitt is sure that he and Panda will do just fine on their trip!

dsc_0629Besides, OvenMitt has already gotten good at using Google Translate on his phone to translate English into French. Check out this list of real and fictitious punk rock band names he recently came up with:

Noms de bandes de punk rock français:

  • Quatrième Reich
  • Cultures de famine
  • Gâteau à la mite
  • Discipline de dix dollars
  • Pas drôle
  • Ivrognes avec canons
  • Crâne de poisson
  • Poing à la tête

(If any bands would like to use one of these names, please feel free!)

Advertisements

In the Kitchen with Panda and OvenMitt: Grape Nuts Peanut Butter Toast Surprise

img_4376

Sometimes the story behind a recipe is as interesting as the recipe itself. Some recipes are handed down with great ceremony from one generation to another, while others come from hours of painstaking research looking through old obscure cookbooks or careful sessions of trial-and-error in the kitchen spent working out the perfect balance of ingredients and techniques. If you’ve ever been the recipient of your mother’s lasagna recipe or found a seemingly obsolete yet delicious German potato salad recipe, you know what we mean.

Some recipes, however, come in a moment of inspiration like a bolt from the blue– one second, you’ve never even thought of the idea, and the next, it’s the most obvious thing in the world. Grape Nuts Peanut Butter Toast Surprise is one such recipe, one that, once you’ve tried it, you will be eating and feeding your family for years!

The other morning, as they often do, Panda and OvenMitt were texting each other– she from Vancouver and he from Seattle. (In any relationship, but especially a long-distance one across an international border, it’s always important to find little ways to let each other know that you’re thinking of them– a good morning text is a great way to do that!) It was a typical morning exchange, filled with “How did you sleep?” and “Did you dream about me?”, when suddenly the subject switched, as it sometimes does, to breakfast. (OvenMitt is in blue; Panda is the grey)

img_4367

And suddenly, from a tiny miscommunication, a great idea was born! Grape Nuts and peanut butter on toast– what could be better than that?! OvenMitt has made this a breakfast staple ever since– and when you see how easy and delicious it can be, we’re certain that you will want to, also.

img_4378

Grape Nuts Peanut Butter Toast Surprise

Ingredients

1 cup peanut butter (preferably crunchy)

1/2 cup Grape Nuts cereal (+a sprinkle for the top)

Bread for toasting as needed

In a mixing bowl using a rubber spatula, carefully mix the peanut butter and 1/2 cup of the Grape Nuts. Meanwhile, toast the bread in the toaster– make sure it’s crisp but not burnt! When the toast is ready, use a knife to spread the Grape Nuts Peanut Butter spread carefully on. Sprinkle a few more Grape Nuts on top and enjoy!

Note: Leftovers will keep indefinitely in the refrigerator in a sealed glass or plastic container.

img_4375

Bon appetit, everybody!