A series of anecdotes with or without any connection to the running of a restaurant.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Rainbow Garden...

Last week a school governor phoned me to ask if I could open a school garden.

I was about to suggest she should contact a locksmith when she explained that the head of her local infants school had this marvellous idea of turning part of the school field into a garden. She enrolled the help of pupils' parents, grandparents and local firms to create it.

The school governor, a regular in our restaurants, explained that the idea of the garden was to promote healthy eating through direct student participation.

"If the children see how vegetables are grown, they may try them. We even sold a few radishes at last week's assembly." She announced proudly.

The young head welcomed me with a cup of tea and a tour of the school.

Once the children were lined up in front of the garden, alongside two dozen or so parents and grandparents and the mayor, the head welcomed everyone and then introduced me, suggesting I say a few words.
I am not one for speeches, unless I am talking about food or wine but on this occasion it all came easily.

"I am honoured that you have invited me to open your beautiful garden. You should all be proud to have come up with this fantastic idea. Now that you can see how vegetables are grown I am certain that you will enjoy eating them. "Yeah, right! It took my son 18 years before he tried a tiny bit of broccoli..."
When I was 5 or 6 my mother grew radishes from a bag of seeds. They were delicious. Nowadays, whenever I buy radishes from Asda, I remember our farm and the great times I had growing up there.

I am sure some of you think that chips come out of the freezer but you'll be surprised to know that they come from potatoes similar to the ones you are growing.

Once your garden is producing lots of vegetables you may even end up supplying my restaurants, you know! "They'll have to compete on quality and price!"

A couple of years ago I opened a cake shop for a friend and my reward was a few cream cakes. I'm wondering how many pounds of potatoes I should charge you!"
The kids laughed but I could see their brains working out my fee in radishes.

I cut the ribbon, the pupils sang a hymn and the priest from the adjoining church named and blessed the Rainbow Garden. We posed for the local paper's photographer.
Another cup of tea, a scone then I drove home with a smile...

Fame at last!!!


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Blogger la bellina mammina said...

Great doodle on the garden. Post the photo of you cutting the ribbon - did you have to put on a suit or something similar?;-)

16/7/07 1:47 PM  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

Gosh! I didn't realise you were Hartlepool's very own Celebrity Chef. I'd have got you to autograph a menu for me.

That's pukka, that is, Cream. x

16/7/07 1:58 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Lovely, lovely. You got the easy part there. Speech and ribbon cutting. No digging and planting.

I do find that if my children plant it they will eat it. If they cook it they will definitely eat it.

16/7/07 2:46 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

Thanks, Bella...
No, I just wore my work clothes. I am not keen on suits and ties and only wear them when forced.

Cherrybabes, next time you come up, we'll have a tattoo...
Jamie Oliver, eat your heart out! hahahaha...

Mary, definitely the easy part. And honestly, I agree that it is a really good idea. If only more schools followed this example.

16/7/07 3:26 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

TV is next...

16/7/07 3:38 PM  
Blogger Edvard Moonke said...

I was going to say how kind and selfless of you it was to turn up to give the speech, but then I realised that you are only after their vegetables!

16/7/07 4:47 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

I doubt it very much, Andrea. Maybe another radio spot but I'm not that famous for TV.

Marcos, I don't think they'll be growing enough vegetables to supply us for a whole day, but the free advertising alone is reward enough...

16/7/07 6:20 PM  
Blogger Dizzy said...

Wow Cream, what lovely doodles (including the prev post). I really like them.

Opening garden fetes next I guess, where you can get to judge the greenest cabbage or largest marrow!

16/7/07 7:00 PM  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

I was wondering what you'd say to make them laugh...I knew you'd come up with something. You got their interest there, Cream!

16/7/07 8:38 PM  
Blogger Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

I'm with Andrea, Geordieland needs its very own celebrity chef. You would be like a cross between Paul Rankin and Ant and Dec.

Radishes give me wind.

17/7/07 3:47 PM  
Blogger Trac said...

Paul Rankin and Ant and Dec!? hahaha.

Lovely pics Cream!


17/7/07 5:00 PM  
Blogger DCveR said...

You're really a star, heh?!
Next thing you know it and they drag you into politics! ;)

17/7/07 11:20 PM  
Blogger kj said...

cream, if you airbrushed that painting yourself, you absolutely positively have a career in murals if you want a career in murals.

i'm sure of it.


18/7/07 8:09 AM  
Blogger Cream said...

Dizzy, glad you like the doodles.
Yes, I'll start judging leeks and pigeon racing up here.

Gigi, I'm sure they would've laughed at my Algerian-Geordie accent.

Daphnée, Paul Rankin! I am honoured. What a combination!
If radishes give you wind, what do the Sprouts give you?

Thanks, Trac. Sailing chips. ;o)

DC, that's one thing I couldn't get into. I can't lie.

KJ, it is done on a small scale on my laptop. But I see your point. It could be done but i don't think that I'll have the patience.

18/7/07 1:22 PM  
Blogger Merisi said...

Wow, suddenly famous! :-)
Do you know that an American, Alice Waters of "Chez Panisse" fame, promoter of fresh local products and produce, also "invented" schoolyard gardens?
Here's a link to her "Edible Schoolyard" project, at her "Chez Panisse Foundation" (that British cook came looong after her *g*).

18/7/07 1:23 PM  
Blogger Merisi said...

Sorry, thought I had the link right. :-(
here, another try to get to the Schoolyard project.

18/7/07 1:26 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

Merisi, thanks for the link.
Chez Panisse is one of the best restaurants in the world and what they've done is admirable.

18/7/07 8:32 PM  
Blogger Merisi said...

Viennese way to drink Gr�ner Veltliner in the summer:
Mix the wine 1:1 with sparkling water = Spritzer!
(For the timid, there's the "Summer Spritzer", 1:2 wine to water *g*). Wine and water need to be chilled well.
Thought I answer you here, so you can try it out for lunch, it's a really great refreshing aperitif.

19/7/07 9:53 AM  
Blogger Cream said...

Spritzers are ladies' drinks, Merisi. Here, they use soda water.
Today, there is a bottle of Veuve Cliquot on ice.

19/7/07 10:10 AM  
Blogger Chill Daddy said...

Hi Cream. I think it'd be great to be a guest at a school and get to speak to the students like that. Hopefully one day I'll get my books published and be able to make appearances like that.

I plan to wow them with yo-yo tricks.

19/7/07 4:38 PM  
Blogger Merisi said...

*chuckle* Here in Vienna, nothing to do with gender, but with rational thinking..

19/7/07 6:54 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

CD, I'd love to learn some yo-yo tricks! But I always get the string tangled up. Well, actually that may get their attention.

Merisi, I wasn't thinking rationally. Must be the Champagne!

19/7/07 7:25 PM  
Blogger muddy red shoes said...

aaahhh! show us the photo...felicitations to you on 27 years too!

19/7/07 9:50 PM  
Blogger cave renovator said...

Brilliant Cream, well done, stuff like that is great for exposure for all concerned and a superb project too.

19/7/07 10:33 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

Merci beaucoup, Sarah. The photo hasn't been published yet.

CR, I think it is a superb project and this kind of thing does a lot of good to the image of the business.
As they say, "Scratch my back, I'll scratch yours." And that's fine by me.

20/7/07 8:52 AM  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

Hahaha, Cream, I had to laugh at D's joke about you in politricks :-D

About the murals...how about if you design, others do the painting on the walls while you supervise and drink tea with cardamom..........

20/7/07 1:23 PM  
Blogger fathorse said...

hey cream, its me again. I love all these healthy-eating for kids initiatives. I've always wondered why the only vegetables my siblings will eat are carrots when surely they're the weirdest looking vegetables of them all - all orange and peculiar.

20/7/07 3:22 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

Gigi, what a great idea! But it'll have to be mint tea though.

Hi, FH. I like carrots. Cooked, raw, hot, cold... But in moderation.

20/7/07 5:20 PM  
Blogger DCveR said...

That being the case you couldn't be a lawyer either! ;)

20/7/07 8:59 PM  
Blogger ValGalArt said...

This must have deeply and happily affected you because this piece of art you did is absolutely glorius! I'm not pulling your chain, I'm serious it is down right beautiful and I love it the best of all of this new style you have created, which i love by the way! What a wonderful gift these children will have and a cool idea and art came out of it too! Also I enjoyed your thoughts poking through the speech, hilarious!

21/7/07 11:24 PM  
Blogger Hayden said...

I love this newest drawing! This series is so boyant and fanciful that it makes imagine myself walking in and stepping around the corner to see what else is there!

22/7/07 12:50 AM  
Blogger Cream said...

No, definitely not a lawyer, DC.

Val, you have no idea what your encouragement does to me. Thnnk you very much!

Hayden, I think these new drawings are showing a new happy side of me. They could illustrate fairy tales..;o)

22/7/07 12:27 PM  
Blogger Hayden said...

cream.... the classic hero's journey goes like this; the hero is expelled from paradise, wanders in the wilderness and goes through many trials, eventually finds his way home, saves the universe and lives happily ever after.

sound like anyone you know? ;-) fairy tale? maybe, maybe not.

22/7/07 10:59 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

I'm not sure about saving the Universe or heroes, but yes, it sounds like someone I know.

23/7/07 8:23 AM  
Blogger Hayden said...

we are all heros, and the universe comes in many sizes....

23/7/07 2:13 PM  
Blogger Cream said...

Great philosophy, Hayden!

23/7/07 5:02 PM  

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