Search This Blog

Saturday, September 03, 2011

The Eleven Plus in a Can

Can ever parents expect the eleven plus to be delivered “Straight from the Can”? This could, to some, imply that the eleven plus can be sourced, ordered, cooked (when necessary) and delivered straight to the child. Of course the plethora of internet sites make the route to success appear, to some, to be relatively straight forward.

Some of us tend to think that canned food is an American invention. But `canned’ is essentially a British term named after the canister that an Englishman, Durand, chose back in 1810 as a pattern for the first metal food container.

At one time canned good were seen to be the preserve of the lazy and the unenlightened but canned food can bring us out of season food. Canned food can also deliver delicacies and foreign foods. We know that the large supermarket chains can bring us food from all over the world that is not in a can – but a glance along the shelves shows that, to some, the ubiquitous can still has a place.

To make the canned food appear pure, uncontaminated and nourishing we know that it had to be canned in a sterile environment. This helps to preserve the food. Some beef was recently consumed that was drawn from a tin taken on Sir Edward Parry’s Arctic Expedition of 1823. It was said to be just as good as any of today’s food. Few meals, however, can rely simply on canned food. Most of us today would regard the contents of the can as simply ingredients rather than as a meal in itself.

We do know, however, that simple precautions have to be taken with cans.

An unopened can must have a smooth appearance. No dents and bulges please!

Take care when opening a can – the edges of a tin can be vicious.

Do not leave food in the opened can before storing – always empty the can into a different container.

Further to these suggestions some may care to read the instructions on the side of a can. I am reading the instructions on a Green Giant Original – made in France for Great Mills with a best before of July 2014. (And it has to be eaten before 19:07 on that day!)

Prospective eleven plus parents can take heart. The best before date is the date of the eleven plus examination. Children can not take the eleven plus examinations if they are not in the eleven plus band. Some children, in some schools, can take the eleven plus while they are in Year 5 – but this opportunity is few and far between.

An old eleven plus ode, sung by some wise heads, starts with the stirring words “Little and Often”.

A “Rush at the End” can do more harm than good.

“Slow and Steady” springs to mind.

Finally a canned eleven plus result can be obtained with the present wealth of eleven plus resources – but this can only be an ingredient. Children need attention, focus, compassion, interest and discipline. Can this be canned?

No comments: