Friday, January 11, 2008

January is National Hobby Month ...

... and Madeline has been asked to bring her hobby -- or one of her parents' hobbies -- to school next week for Show and Tell. The instructions from her teachers state:

In the past we have enjoyed learning about a variety of hobbies. One child brought a duck decoy that her father had carved. Another child brought the equipment he wore when playing ice hockey. We have seen lots of rock and shell collections, trains, matchbox cars and action figures, coins and stamps.

Let's see .... Madeline could bring pictures of herself in Chinese dance class and at her recent recital. The problem is, except for the fact that all the little dancers save one are clearly Asian, they look like any beginning ballet class in the pictures, replete with pink leotards, white tights and pink leather ballet shoes. Or she could bring her notebook from Mandarin and Chinese culture class and show everyone how she can write the ideograms representing the numbers one through ten. The problem is, Chinese New Year is coming up soon. She had planned to show off her Mandarin tourist phrases and calligraphy during my presentation to the class on China.

Or perhaps she could talk about my hobbies, which include laundry, dishes, and vacuuming. Oh, and counted cross-stitch. I have a handful of unfinished plastic canvas Christmas ornaments she could take in. Me and everyone else's mom, I'm sure.

Noooooo. How about Kevin's hobby? Perfect! I gave Kevin a couple of hundred dollars worth of supplies for his new hobby, which is -- beer-making. Yes, Chez McGee is Maryland's newest microbrewery. Obviously, we're not going to hold a beer-tasting for the kidlets, but we could definitely send pictures of our first batch in preparation.

Now, children, this is a picture of the hops, which give the beer its distinctive flavor:

And this is a picture of the grain while we steeped it -- it's just like making iced tea!

And here is the beer while we boiled it:

Here's the nasty ol' yeast residue in the bucket where we fermented the beer on the kitchen counter for a week. Smells just like dirty socks!

And look, children, here's the finished product! Only 16 more years until you can try it.

Think the teacher will be impressed? Or will we get sent to the Principal's office?

No comments: