Roald Dahl's The Wicthes is the final topic in our Roald Dahl month. This story really is one of the scariest kids stories you can find and I think that is why it is so popular, I really believe that kids quite enjoy getting scared as long as it's in a safe environment. I have utilised this in my shows. I have a puppet called Ferris, who looks like a realistic ferret, he comes out all cute and adorable the kids can pet him but then he leaps out into the audience, this delivers a real shock and scream moment in my otherwise very safe a funny shows. This rollercoaster of emotion is what makes the best stories. I have two brilliant ideas for you today, a great witch based game and the recipe for pea soup from the story.
Witches Brew Memory Game
This is a great game, you don't have to have props for it but I think it makes the game a little bit more exciting and interesting for kids. Have guests gather around in a circle. You can place a cauldron in the middle of the circle as a prop, another great prop are little bits of coloured paper cut into small squares, each child gets a stack of cut up squares. Each child should pick a colour stack i.e one child can be green another yellow and another red. The first player starts the game by saying, “I am a witch making my brew and into the cauldron I through in frog’s eyes.” and with that throw in one coloured square.
The second player then continues by repeating the statement of the first player and adding her own ingredient at the end. For instance, she might say, “I am a witch making my brew and into the cauldron I just threw frog’s eyes and a pinch of sage.” followed by throwing in a coloured square. The game ends when someone forgets the correct order of ingredients.
The next player repeats the first and second person’s statements, and adds on a third ingredient. Play continues around the circle in this manner. Any player who forgets the preceding list of ingredients or can’t come up with a new ingredient is out of the game.
I love getting my daughter in the kitchen and making a proper meal feel like fun rather than a chore, just last night we made a brilliant prawn and spaghetti meal for the family. I had her chopping up tomatoes, lemons and basil whilst I did the garlic, spinach and rocket (the smellier bits). Lets say you have started reading the Witches as a bed time story, come the weekend you could make this recipe for lunch or dinner one night, not only does this help to bring the story to life but it makes cooking a whole lot more fun and this meal is super good for you too!
"Today there is green-pea soup to start with, and for the main course you have a choice of either grilled fillet of sole or roast lamb.’
The next moment, one of the cooks came along with a gigantic saucepan of steaming green soup and poured the whole lot into the silver basin. He put the lid on the basin and shouted, ‘Soup for the big party all ready to go out!’
Pea soup Serves 4 (or 6 for a starter)
2 shallots (finely sliced)
750ml vegetable stock (or ham stock, if you have it)
400g frozen peas (petit pois are lovely here)
3 sprigs mint
Freshly ground pepper and flaky sea salt
Squeeze of lemon
4tsp crème fraîche
Knife and chopping board
1. Melt the butter in the saucepan, and add the finely sliced shallots. Fry them over a low heat, stirring frequently to ensure they don’t brown. Once they are translucent, add the stock. Bring the stock to the boil.
2. Tip the peas into the stock, and bring it back to the boil. As soon as it is boiling, tip the contents of the pan into the blender and add all but a couple of the mint leaves. Blitz to a consistency you like – I prefer to still have the texture of the peas in the soup, but you might prefer a smoother consistency – if so, blitz for a good few minutes.
3. Taste the soup for seasoning, and add salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Pour the soup back into the pan, warm it through, and then serve up with some crème fraîche and a sprig of mint. Eat immediately.