Tuesday 15 December 2009

One sniff and you're snuffed

Yesterday I made up some new work using herbs and spices. I took 8 little bottles and covered them in packing tape so that you can't see inside. Then I put a selection of herbs and spices in them, a different one in each bottle.

Whilst Ebi-kun was working on snowflake punching I made up some cards to go with the bottles.
For the presentation, I asked him to lay out the plant cards with the names and read what each plant is. Then he took a bottle, sniffed the contents then tried to match it with the picture card.

When he had matched them all he checked his answers by turning the card and the bottle over, I had written numbers on both, he got half of them right the first time, so he tried again with the ones he got wrong.

Once he had matched them up, he took the picture cards (no written label) of the dried herbs and spices and tried to match it to the plant, this was quite difficult. The final control of error was to match the dried pictures with the labels to the cards that were already down.

Ebi-kun was really focused when we were doing this work, which surprised me. Although he has had the smelling bottles on the shelf, he is never that interested and when he does it, he never manages to get them all right. I would like to do a follow up which involves tasting, I haven't decided how to go about doing that yet.

I only used 8 spices/herbs as I thought that would be more than enough to handle in one go and I just used what I had in my cupboard but you could easily expand on this.

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