Last week, Mellow Grandpa celebrated a big birthday. We bought him a voucher for a michelin-starred curry restaurant in London and the girls wanted to make him a birthday card each so I thought I would try something just a little different with them - I raised my store cupboard for spices and pulses that I would use in a curry myself and let the girls get creative.
Most people have a cupboard with little jars of spices, many of them go unused for months on end. I love cooking curries and I have an entire cupboard dedicated to whole spices and ground spices and yet I still always find a rogue jar at the back of the cupboard that is many years past its use-by date. This creative craft idea is a brilliant way of using up those lesser-used spices you have been hoarding.
I lifted out some whole spices such as cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, black onion seeds and star anise. Then I also gave the girls some ground spices such as turmeric, cumin powder, asafoetida and clove powder which all have amazing scents. Finally, I poured out a small bowl of red split lentils which are a curry staple of ours. I covered the table with a large sheet to collect the debris and let the girls loose with the glue and glue sticks!
Both Holy (1) and Lara (4) loved choosing their own 'ingredients' for their card. They enjoyed handling and sniffing the different whole spices and the mess on their hands and on the table brought much hilarity. The girls concentrated very hard on getting their designs for Grandpa just right.
We loved this fun craft idea as it was colourful, smelled great and helped us all explore our ingredients cupboard. We talked together about each of the spices as we used them - what they were called, where they come from and what we use them for. It was a brilliant journey that resulted in some very personal touches to these spicy birthday cards.