The Garrulous Gastronaut_V.3
(All text inside brackets comes under flaps)
/ gass-tro-not / • noun.
ORIGIN Greek gaster ‘stomach’ and nautilos ‘sailor’.
(Not a tummy sailor! A FOOD EXPLORER!!!)
Gastronauts explore and enjoy the world of food the way an Astronaut explores outer space.
1. A Declaration
It was a regular Sunday morning, just as usual.
Ma making hot pancakes for everyone,
Pa enjoying his breakfast.
Dadu pottering about with his watering can.
Cheeku got ready to make an announcement...
“I want to be an explorer...
The greatest one ever!!!”
“But... what will you explore?”
“Insects, of course! Only I have nerves of steel to deal with squirmy wormy bugs.”
“Cheeku, Entomologists study insects for a living.”
FINE! Then He would become an Astronaut. Zoom through the galaxy in search of eerie aliens.
But Ma said they don’t make space suits his size...
“Arghhh! Blast these dreary dismissals! How do I become an extraordinary explorer?”
“Maybe you should explore something simple... something from your everyday?”
“Dadu, what do you know about being an everyday explorer?”
Dadu loved to study nature and plants, like a Botanist. But instead of going outdoors he would
explore possibilities of potted planting out on the balcony.
(Plants in pots need special love and care.)
(Outdoor plants can sustain themselves in difficult situations without our help. To sustain means
to be able to support yourself without the help of others.)
(To be sustainable means to be capable of living and providing for yourself without harming
Later that morning,
Cheeku thought of all the things he loved.
Mango chutney and guava jelly
Pea soup that warmed his throat and belly
Aromas that wafted from fresh-baked cakes
The yummy slurps of flavoured shakes
Chomp munch gulp- tastes that are radical
Essentially all things Gastronomical!
(GASTRONOMY is the art of good cooking and eating. So all things GASTRONOMICAL are
YUM! True Gastronauts not only explore food, they are also fantastic chefs and daring eaters.)
“Ma! I’ve got it! I’m going to be a food explorer. THE BEST EVER! Quick, give me some food
2. Sowing Success
Ma gave Cheeku a bunch of coriander seeds from the kitchen. To sow the seeds he got a rusty
old cookie tin. Dadu told Cheeku to plant the seeds about an inch into the soil and water the
pot- but not too much! His coriander would be ready to eat in about 3 weeks and until then
Cheeku would have to water his plants everyday and make sure they get a lot of sunlight.
But Cheeku wanted to do something right that minute. Perhaps he could go food hunting?
(Coriander/ ko-ri-an-der /• noun. Herb
ORIGIN Latin Coriandrum Sativum)
(Other seeds from the kitchen: ground nuts, chilli, mustard)
Cheeku rushed to Ma. Going to a supermarket would be ideal to study the local hunting and
“Oh good. You can strap on this shopping bag and help me carry the fruits and vegetables that
“These bags are a lot more stylish, and easier to carry than shifty plastic!”
3. Hunting and Gathering
Most of the food sold in supermarkets travel long distances in trucks, trains, ships and even
planes to get there. Even though the fruits and vegetables look shiny and new - they are not
(Food miles are the distance that food travels to reach your plate. Starting from the farm where
it’s grown, all the way to your home.)
(Apples from Washington travel thousands of kilometres by planes to reach India. They are then
loaded on trucks to reach fruit sellers and super markets before reaching us.)
“Fresh food is a lot tastier than food that has been in a plane or train for days.”
“Is there a place where we can buy food that grows close to us and doesn’t have to travel for
The farmers market was piled high with mounds of fruits and vegetables fresh from the field. It
was loud with the hustle and bustle of buying, selling and bargaining. Cheeku wiggled his way
(A farmers market is a place where farmers sell their fruits and vegetables fresh from the farm
directly to people instead of selling them to a shop first.)
Hello Mr. Farmer! I’m a Food Explorer; I’ve even grown my own coriander. I’ve come here to
inspect the locally grown food. Do you have anything interesting to offer?
“You must sample my organic harvest. It’s fresh as this sunny Sunday morning.”
(Organic fruits and vegetables are gown using natural fertilizers, and without pesticides that can
harm the soil and water. a variety of plants are grown together in one place. This helps the soil
remain nutritious and makes the plants grow better. )
Ma bought a plump pumpkin from the organic farmer and they set off for home.
On reaching home Cheeku sorted their shopping. He felt the smooth oily skin of the brinjal,
separated the beets from the pomegranates, the tomatoes from the lime, and gathered together
the slim, long lady fingers.
“Ma, I’m ready to tell everyone about my unparalleled knowledge of food.”
“Why don’t you call your friends over and fill their tummies instead?”
“Great idea Ma! Let’s bake some cake to go with my recruiting mission.”
How to make pumpkin cupcakes:
Ingredients- mix it all in a big bowl with an electric beater for 8 minutes.
Pre heat the oven at 200 degrees centigrade.
Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes approximately.
To see if the cupcakes are done insert a long needle (knitting needle-draw) into the centre of the
cupcakes. It should come out with a few moist crumbs on it.
Cheeku called his friends over for a cupcake tasting before helping Ma clean up. Dadu and Pa
also hung around.
5. Cooking Clubs (or Secret Societies?)
“I have called all you excitement seekers to share the food knowledge that I’ve generously
gathered for everybody’s benefit. But there is a more to do. Together we can be the GREATEST
“We’ll be a Secret Society- or a Club... Let’s make a rule book.”
“No we can’t be a Secret Club. It was my secret to tell and I told you all!!!”
“we should sign a treaty!”
“Eww... I hate rules! Let’s do TASTING TUESDAYS.”
“I want to have a planting party!”
“Have you been slurping my smoothie?”
After a lot of bickering and chattering, accompanied by a bites, slurps, scuffles and sniffles, the
eager explorers jotted down notes on how to become a Gastronaut.
A Gastronaut -
1. Buys food that grows locally.
• To make farmers our friends.
• Ensure your food is fresh and yummy.
• Reduce food miles.
2. Tries to grow food.
• Its fun and it’ll test your abilities.
• You’re allowed to eat what you grow.
3. Learns to recognise food.
• To be a true food expert, you have to know what you’re eating!
4. Gets busy in the kitchen.
• To be food safe
• Cooking is cool!
• Sharing food brings people together.
5. Learns to recognise tastes.
• A trained tongue can distinguish flavours and will make you a taste expert. .
• It will help you come up with your own fantastic recipes.
6. Spreads the word and gets more people to join the club!
Cheeku, Chimpu, Chintoo, Bobo, Toto, Minty, Pingu, Maya, Joy, Shubho.
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