Oh, I plan to try at least one new recipe over the weekend. I just flat told my students I wasn't available on Saturday afternoon. We have a glider by-day planned for Sunday, but if that is called for rain I'll actually have a day home. I love those rainy days, too!
I'm amazed to see how many people really do cook middle eastern food at home - I mean, lots of people enjoy Chinese food, but far fewer cook genuinely Chinese dishes at home. Hope you do get to try a new recipe over the weekend...should we be praying for more fog???
A red herring query, if it's not too out of line...what do you think is a good minimum age to start flying lessons? I live not far from a well-equipped airfield. My elder son was bitten good and hard by the aviation bug several years back, and wants to be an aeronautical engineer. Serves me right for spending his lifetime translating aviation safety reports, with a houseful of books on airplanes...of course, he wants to learn to fly them too.
Meanwhile, we know every picnic spot in the county which is near a runway, under a flight path, looks down over an airfield...
I don't know about the others, but my take on the Middle Eastern food is that I like it a lot, it isn't all that difficult (at least, not at the level I attempt) and it's the only way I can get it when I'm around here. On the other hand, I have yet ever to attempt a Japanese recipe, and I'll bet you cook those all the time. Is it a question of exposure? Or is it a question of critical mass here on eGullet, that a number of Middle Eastern food enthusiasts are encouraging each other and distorting your sense of how common it is? I don't know the answer to that question. I do know I have a limited number of friends in this area to whom I'd serve Middle Eastern food, because they think it's too far out of the norm.
OK, we can justify a bit of a flying discussion now. Unless a child has ready access to a flying adult - say, a parent or parent's friend who flies frequently and likes to take kids along - I think it's best to wait until around 15 or 16 to start taking serious flight lessons. An occasional flight of the gee-this-is-fun-look-what-we-can-do! variety is great, but actual lessons are usually overkill before then. There are a couple of reasons for that. The biggest reason is that, assuming New Zealand's rule are the same as in the USA, your son won't be able to solo an airplane until he's 16, nor get his private pilot's license until he's 17. (The age limits are younger for gliders and balloons, and those can be good ways to start kids off earlier.) I've seen kids lose interest, despite initial enthusiasm and parents who were fully supportive, because they went about as far as they could go until they could legally solo. On the other hand if they wait until they can progress steadily and get the license, they won't be hearing "Why is it taking you so long? You must be really stooopid" from their friends. The other reason is that kids need a certain degree of mental maturity before they're ready, really, to be pilots. Don't get me started about "youngest pilot to fly across country" stories. Those kids aren't making the decisions. If your son has already decided he wants to be an aeronautical engineer, maybe he does have the mental maturity? How old is he?
Meanwhile, I understand all about scoping out good places to eat near airport, under approach paths, etc. I used to take my lunch out to the local airport and turn on my portable aviation radio so I could listen to the chatter while I ate. Our Saturday Morning Breakfast, which I may or may not attend this week, is at the airport. People keep flying in earlier in hopes of landing before the gang is assembled at the restaurant. The picture windows are huge, and there's always an audience.