I've been teaching my students about food recently, as you saw in the recent blog post about the European classes. They love learning the English words for their local fruit and vegetables: cassava, breadfruit, chicken wings... they're shouting over each other to get the answers out. Unfortunately, they shout it out in Shimaorese first. When I complain, they shout in French. So I point to the giant "WHAT'S THE ENGLISH FOR...?" sign at the back of the room. Everybody suddenly goes quiet, you can hear a pin drop. One hand goes up. "Er... madame... what English mabawas ?"

We always seem to have our lessons on food just before lunchtime, so when I put the pictures below up on the board to talk about the difference between fast food, junk food and healthy food, they complain that I'm making them hungry.

The whole series of lessons on food lasts for about six class hours. At the end of this, they have a test. And without fail, on the day of the test, there's always one who asks: "Madame, what's the French for 'food''?


food junk

food healthy


All this usually makes me hungry as well. I've been cooking banana and cinnamon muffins, smoked meat and beans, tomato and spicy sausage stew, vanilla rice pudding, homemade yoghurts, courgette pasta, pumpkin casserole, risotto, breadfruit shepherd's pie and even an attempt at sticky toffee pudding. Despite Nanny's best efforts at teaching me to cook when were at the Moulin de Douzy (and she really did try, I even remember her saying I should be a good cook because I liked eating), I don't know how to make normal food. I only seem to be able to make weird stuff. This is one of the reasons why I try all my experiments while I'm on my own, because P isn't usually too enthusiastic about invented recipes and vegetables that fight back. It's all good fun though.

So yes, Mum, I am eating properly.