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Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Meat of the Eleven PLus

As a parent you have the responsibility of trying to help your child make mince meat of the Eleven Plus Examinations.

Before you can `mince’ the examination you need to know a little about the act of making mince.

Mince is usually made from lamb or beef. Some times pork is used. The strange thing is that mince is employed in some of the `forbidden’ recipes for children. (Big Mac?)

We use lamb mince in dishes like moussaka and shepherd’s pie. The lamb’s neck and the leaner parts of the belly are often minced. (I have not yet written the blog about letting your child be led like a lamb to the slaughter!)

Beef mince is often made from the meat left on the carcass – from the neck and shoulders ad sometimes the shin or brisket. Your children will be relieved to know that mince is used in beef burgers, Bolognese and chilli con carne.

Pork mince is made from the hindquarters and is often made into meatballs.

A very large number of families celebrate Christmas with mince pies. The cooking instructions include mixing the ingredients, except for the brandy and then covering the bowl with a cloth and leaving the mixture for twelve hours. Then comes the `good’ part. To avoid fermentation place the mince meat in a cool oven for three hours. Once the mince meat is cold stir in the brandy.

So now we know why we want our children to make mince meat of their examinations.

They need to know something about the content of the examination. (Lamb, Beef or Pork?)

They need to be able to select appropriate material. (This is a bit like choosing the right type of meat to use in mince meat.)

They need to cool down before an examination. This will allow everything they have learned to ferment.)

They need to be able to add a touch of excitement and drama to their thinking. (Brandy?)

So what you want is for your child to walk up to you after the examination and say:

“I really minced that examination!”

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