On Tuesday evening I picked the spud up from nursery to be presented with a letter informing us that today, two days later, we needed to ship him off dressed in his national costume and porting some sort of comestible representing his heritage. Heritage? Two days? Hello?
He's half French and half Canadian so while I tried to work out the food (maple-leaf croissants? pate de foie-moose?) the Frog helpfully suggested we head down to the market for a garlic necklace and a baguette.
The upshot was that this morning we packed him off in jeans and a cowboy shirt (I'm sure we could have made less effort but I'm not quite sure how) and this evening I went to pick him up laden with three dozen pumpkin pies I made last night.
There was a proper celebration going when we arrived - easily 100 people, many in bright costumes, a steel band, an entire lamb roasting on a spit and a table laden with international food. The spud was with his mates dancing with abandon to the music; it was frankly incredible, I couldn't quite believe it was a nursery. It was 100% Brixton, anyway and another reason I love this little patch of London so much.
I stood by the food table (as one does) primping my pies when along comes this amazing woman in full Caribbean gear porting inch-long red nails who takes one look at the sign and says 'Pumpkin pies! Can you imagine how awful they must taste?!'.
I was absolutely delighted - a woman not afraid to tell it like she sees it! I immediately wracked her with guilt. 'I made those pies' I said as she recoiled. 'And now' I added, 'you've insulted me so I'm going to make you eat one!'. We were smiling... but you know, I was deadly serious.
She gingerly put one on her plate and started off 'Oh no' I waded in, 'I'm not seeing one go to waste, you have to eat it right here'. And, bless her, she did. Halfway through the first bite she stopped, asked me what was on the top (cinnamon sugar) and she said 'these are amazing!'. To prove it, she took two more for her family and about three minutes later I saw her take a couple more.
Ten minutes later, all three dozen pies were gone.
I think the spud might have enjoyed himself nearly as much as I did. Tonight we took a metal mixing bowl and a spoon into the bath, half-filled it with water and swirled it about while he bashed it about the gills making steel band sounds.
I've had worse days.