Monday, February 14, 2011

valentine's day: no child left behind

valentine bah humbug! cookies
blood, sweat and tears went into te making of these valentines treats

O, the lunacy continues.
Our local school's mantra for tomorrow is "No Child Left Behind" - in translation; none of our kids is going home without a valentine's card. I believe there is some worry that going card-less will leave a huge and deep scar.
Oh really?

What it does mean though is that tomorrow will be one long sugar-fest of commercial candies, and the neat "reduce, re-use, recycle" brainwashing that has been instilled into little brains over the past two years is temporarily suspended under a deluge of Disney/Pixar promotional paper trash.

I suppose that SD43 is operating under "do as I say, not do as I do" for February 14th.

I'm with Kerry over at Crunchy Carpets for this Valentines palavar - this year, a pink slip of twenty two names came home in the wee guys "save the earth" school planner. No note attached but the implication "send stuff to school for the whole class" clear. It's a huge waste of paper, a massive waste of time, an unneccessary and over-the-top exercise in friendship, and falls completely into the clutches of the commercial festive days market. Busy parents grab a convenient box of merchandised crap from the mall for the kid to label; others groan and wrack their brains for a craft to complete at home with the minimum of fuss. Substandard chocolate and tacky treats "save" the day.

Enough is definitely enough. I totally resent either propping up big businesses and exploiting children as consumers. Come to think about it, I'm not that happy about spending my time making enough valentine treats and cards to stock a gift shop either.

Come on teachers! Inject a bit of realism and imagination into the classroom at this time of year. Limit the cards to handmade bundles for a few classmates. Don't send home the blackmail lists. If everyone has to have a card why not get the kids to make enough to distribute fairly? Does it really have to turn into a "how many licensed characters with a not very healthy candy attached" did you get today? day.

Oh, and happy valentine's day to you (bah humbug).

Cookie Recipe 
225g plain flour
110g butter
85g fine sugar
1 small egg
1/4 tsp vanilla essence

  1. Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  2. Gradually mix in flour. Knead mixture into a smooth ball.
  3. Roll out on floured surface to 3mm thick.
  4. Cut out shapes and place on greased baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.
  6. Cool on wire rack and ice as desired.
  7. Store in an airtight tin.

Bon appetit!
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