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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 10, Number 4, December 2016

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Nancy Hull
Halton Hills, Ontario, Canada


Zoom Yummers

My two preschool entrepreneurs quickly agreed on the name of their future restaurant, "Zoom Yummers.” Spurred on by the advice I found in the parenting books—“Encourage their creativity”— what followed were many days of recipe development.

Darren, always the equipment man, ensured that his recipes utilized the maximum number of pots, pans, utensils and appliances. Anything electrical and noisy had the advantage of being able to drown out the non-stop narrations of his older brother at the push of a button. He discovered the magic of the slotted spoon—the perfect instrument for lifting the muffin batter (cornflakes, raisins and BBQ sauce) out of its apple juice marinade. Spread the batter across the muffin tin, bake in a preheated 350°F oven until dried out or the thinner parts blacken.

Brendon, who always had an artistic flare, developed recipes with interesting colours and textures, ones that felt good when mixed by hand. A bottle of paprika did wonders for his otherwise bland looking porridge (oatmeal, icing sugar and mayonnaise).

I learned early on what my roles were to be in this venture. I was not to be the CFO. My comments on the price of pecans went unheeded as an entire bag disappeared into the balsamic vinegar soup. Nor was I allowed to comment on the advantages of small amounts of certain ingredients such as peppermint extract. Darren, who was testing the "bigger is better" philosophy, still insisted on pouring the entire bottle into his icing. He was, in fact, correct—I could only detect a subtle nuance of peppermint in the final product. Maybe grinding the whole bottle of pepper into the icing "to add speckles, Mummy!" somehow neutralized the extract.

Brendon went through an equal rights phase (pancakes: 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup salt). I occasionally had to remind myself what the parenting gurus preached—"Let them learn from their mistakes."

"Mummymummymummy I NEED some flour!" came a request from one of the chefs standing on his chair while stirring a soggy looking batter. One of my jobs was to fetch the hard-to-reach ingredients. I found a long forgotten bag of Kamut flour. "This flour is from an ancient Egyptian grain,” I explained. "Mummy what is Gipshun?" I got out our world globe and sticky fingers soon found where we live and the location of Egypt. A brief lesson in geography, wildlife and literature ensued. Fingers dipped into the flour, were licked, the chefs debated, then passed a motion that allowed Gipshun flour. Thus an international flare to Zoom Yummers was born with the first batch of Lyle Lyle Crocodile Cookies. I secretly made plans to unload the rest of my aged and neglected food-stuffs to this worthy cause.

One of my other jobs was to chauffeur the boys and their precious dishes into town to their customer. Proudly clutching what they had created they would run into his office exclaiming, "Dadn, we made you LUNCH!" Dadn, relishing his role as taste tester and customer soon learned to ask the chefs and chauffeur to join him in eating his special meal. For some reason we were often all surprisingly full and could only eat a small amount from each dish. Chocolate chips, the most ubiquitous ingredient in their recipes, came to the rescue here. We quickly learned to dig them out of the culinary delights for sampling. They had the ability to retain their taste despite the other ingredients they had had to rub shoulders with in the cooking process.

All too soon the chefs would be back home for their afternoon naps. While they dreamed of Zoom Yummers I searched the parenting books for ideas on how get green food colouring out of linoleum and cat fur.

new book "Digging for Dinosaurs"
Mummymummymummy
we NEED shovels


Author’s Note: Lyle Lyle Crocodile books by Bernard Waber are about a Nile crocodile who lives with a family in a brownstone in New York City.

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