I love all things tart. When your lips curl as the flavour hits them: that is one of my all time favourite sweet moments and when I can get that in the form of a slice, tart, or cheesecake (preferably baked) then I am a happy camper.
This is our last week of school for the kids and the Italian parents are in a flap about buying presents for the teachers. Should we, shouldn’t we?? There have been copious emails from parents agreeing and disagreeing with the present idea and quite frankly I don’t see what all the fuss is about? Alex’s class is on the ball when it comes to extracting money so I paid my 3 euros along with everyone else and am waiting with baited breath to see what his maestra receives (actually that is a lie, I’m sure it will be something quite useless and not at all what she wants). Max’s class on the other hand are too busy fighting with each other because someone sent an email around asking if we were going to do presents for the teachers and forgot to take the teacher OFF the email list so now everyone looks a bit silly!
I tend to stay out of these classroom games, usually I am way to busy to get involved, however, this year I am not busy at all and still have no interest in jumping in and giving my 2 cents worth…..actually I’m not sure too many people would hang around and listen to my English/Italian ramblings!
What I will be doing this year, and what I do every year, is send the kids off to school on Friday with a box of homemade edibles. My mum used to do this for all our teachers when I was a kid. Mum would make mini Christmas puddings and wrap them in cheese cloth then attach the brandy sauce recipe and instructions on how to heat up the pudding. It was always a massive hit and something our teachers looked forward to each Christmas. The same thing happened to the boys when I started doing it with them. Last year we made chocolate covered honeycomb together which was a massive hit with the teachers and got requested every time there was a school event on. I thought I would stick with our family tradition and make the boys Italian teachers an Aussie food gift.
I would have loved to make honeycomb but I can’t find glucose and my work space is way too small. I thought of salted caramel popcorn and then remembered taking a bowl to Alex’s class Halloween party and seeing a fully grown Italian lady spit a piece out of her mouth and watching it fly across the room with her words ring in my ears, ‘SCHIFOSO! Sale e dolce perchè???
I decided to stick with one of my favourites, lemon slice. It is tart, sweet and I’ve never had a bad reaction yet! However, I am slightly paranoid so I made a batch on the weekend to trial it on friends and family. It was, as I thought it would be, a big success. So I am going with lemon slice and good old fashioned shortbread.
I guess it doesn’t really matter if they like it or hate it, it’s the thought that counts and the good feeling it gives the kids. I am sure Alex will help me make the shortbread (and to try and eat half of the dough before it is cooked) and that is what I want to preserve, the feeling of making something for another person and feeling proud to give the gift. Let’s hope the boys keep the tradition of edible gifts going long into the future. Which reminds me: I must buy some more butter for extra shortbread for our train ride to Turin!