My daughter Cate recently had a chance to be part of a cool project called, “These Are the People in Your Neighbourhood”. With guidance from the Mammalian Diving Reflex and Madeleine Collective (look them up!), her grade 4 class got to know local store owners- their personal likes and dislikes,  as well as the reasons they decided to open a store. They were encouraged to imagine what kind of business they might open. Cate’s idea: a store called “Totally Hamster”. Oh, my sweet girl. On two Saturday afternoons the class gathered on the corner of a local intersection. From there they led a group of people on a tour of the storefronts they now know very well.

This whole project culminated in a beautiful gala event. Cate and her friends got to see their art displayed, including Cate’s rendering of a store dedicated to hamsters, sculpt clay, participate in a cartoon jam, listen to the stories created by the Pocketology Collective (quick! Empty your pockets and let the contents tell a story!) and view a documentary created about this whole experience.

Maybe most memorable for Cate was the opportunity to make and serve grilled cheese to the many gala attendees. Kids could either serve lemonade or be a “grilled cheese artist”. Cate donned an apron and very happily sandwiched cheese between two slices of bread that she spread with butter. She loved the Panini style grill she got to cook them on. All evening she kept saying, “this is SO MUCH FUN”.

Since that evening Cate has been a grilled cheese artist at home too. Maybe it’s a calling. Tonight she branched out and added bacon, tomato and fresh basil to the cheese. She even placed a sprig of dill on the top. I have to say, it makes me smile to see her creating in the kitchen. So much so, that I’ll even eat grilled cheese tomorrow- the fourth day in a row.



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