Tea for you? Tea for me?
Part 1: (Dad)
So…it took a few days for Freya to fully explore the French garden. Admittedly there is a lot of garden to explore and we had been preoccupied with perfecting her cover drive (this is a cricket shot, like you didn’t know) and practicing her pitching (a separate post for this to come I suspect). But eventually, courageously, we decided that we would see what lay beyond the imposing bushes and trees. Also, Freya decided we should create a map for Mum, so she doesn’t get lost (in the vast abyss with is Banny and Bumpa’s (Granny and Grandpa’s) garden).
Turns out this was a big ask. I quickly realized that the concept of mapping was a little bit of a stretch for a 6 year old…it was a bit of a stretch for a 41 year old as it happens. A maze of paths and more trees and bushes that you could, well, shake a stick at, was a challenge to get our heads around. Anyhow, it became a joint exercise with a shared joint determination. Freya was fabulous at naming the frees and “roundabouts” with admittedly not the most imaginative of names; purple roundabout, Mr Apple Tree, Mr Needle Tree, Mr Fig…you get the idea. However, we managed to get it largely down on paper. Once we had a rough overview Freya then proceeded to double check it, reading the map and exploring. It worked!
And, as is the way with these things, Freya discovered a thing that tickled her curiosity. At the end of the garden was a cluster of mint plants. And ping “Daddy, let’s make mint tea”! We had next to no idea how many leaves you need to make mint tea. We settled on 20 leaves as a starting point and headed back to La Maison (I’ve been learning French by the way. Growth mindset. Never too young etc). Freya had a think about how she thought you made tea. She remembered that we boil the kettle first…so we did that. Then with a little help from me, poured the water onto leaves and she went about stirring them. I then stepped in, as I could see where this was leading, and suggested we add a bit of sugar. More stirring. We talked about how to serve it. Freya decided on a glass and then she realized we needed a sieve. And then we poured it out.
The result was…alright (thank goodness for the sugar). Freya loved it and she was as happy as you like handing it out to Banny and Bumpa and me. Finally, Freya was determined to repeat the exercise so we agreed to write the recipe down and therefore turn it into a purposeful writing opportunity. Job done.
Part 2 (mum)
While I was in Greece Freya and Daddy had considerable time exploring the kitchen garden and the main garden of the French House. Freya had created a recipe for Mint tea, as well as a map for the garden.
Freya was excited to show me the garden and take me on a tour. We explored Freya’s map. She had named all of the trees and had created names for the ‘roundabout’ and the fruit trees.
The girls collected mint and apples from the garden, exploring the different plants and talking about what they noticed and wanted to investigate. Freya navigated using her map and confidently showed us around the spaces she had previously explored. She happy shared her knowledge and understanding with Flossy, including how to harvest the leaves of the mint, and which apples were ripe.
Both girls shared their thoughts about the fallen logs, the rotting fruit and the different plants and animals that they saw as they walked through the garden. Rotting apples, bugs and insects as well as an incredible spiders web all held the girls’ attention as we explored the garden.
Once the materials had been collected the girls were keen to make their tea. Water was boiled, ingredients were explored and the concoctions created.
The whole family were recruited for taste testing and the scent and oils of the leaves were investigated.
Our garden exploration ended in delicious tea drinking, some science, some maths and a complete set of tired but happy tea makers.