porcine small intestine

Porcine small intestine

I heard this from a lab tech from northern NSW at ConQEST.  She did such a good job with the small intestine in the science classes that now she’s asked to bring it into the hospitality classes as well.

She puts the specimen into an ice cream container and lets a little bit hang over the side.  Then she gets the kids to gather around and guess at what it is.  They can touch it at this stage but they can’t see what it looks like in the container.

After a while they get to see it all coiled up in the container and everyone gets around to working out that it’s a small intestine.  Then they start to wonder how long it is.  They’ve heard that these things can be metres long, so they are allowed to start extending it out.

They pull and they pull and they pull.  Eventually they are all standing holding this thing and then the labbie gets the tape measure out.  It’s around 6m long.

All the while these kids have been hearing about what the purpose of the small intestine is, where it fits in the jigsaw puzzle that is your abdominal cavity and what it connects to and so on.  They are fascinated by the thing and asking lots of really good questions.  Before they know it these kids can spout off all sorts of fun facts about their digestive system.  Teaching by stealth – I love it!

The specimen is tough enough to handle this over and over again.  You will store it quite happily in the fridge for years before you need a new one.  If you’re willing to you can sacrifice a little bit and make a wet mount to be viewed under the microscope.  Look out for the little ‘hairs’ along the edges – those are the remnants of all the circulatory system structures that bring oxygen to the small intestine and carry fluid away from it.

This is definitely a specimen that gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

Miss Vivi

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Dissection guides on Pinterest pinterest.com/missvivisection

We’ve gathered some new mammal dissection guides on Pinterest for you:

  • Kidney dissection guide
  • Eye dissection guide
  • Heart dissection guide
  • Brain dissection guide

If you’ve found a good dissection guide that you’d like to share with others drop me a line with a link and I will be happy to post it there for you.

Miss Vivi

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Peanut butter pudding served with ice cream

Peanut butter pudding served with ice cream

When one of us has a birthday we like to take the opportunity to have a proper weekend away. It only happens twice a year and we don’t get much time off together so we like to celebrate in style.  This year for Mr Vivi’s birthday we took a 3 day weekend in Brisbane, saw the Mummy exhibition at the Qld Museum and had dinner at Smoke which we’ve been trying to get to for over a year.  Great food, great wine and great company was surpassed only by the dessert special – Peanut Butter Pudding.

It was heaven in a little cup and the whole table almost cried when Mr Vivi knocked the glass over and we thought all was lost.  Never fear because I have toiled away in the kitchen since then to recreate the experience at home so you, too, can taste a little bit of the amazing meal we had at Smoke.  With the right ingredients this recipe could be made entirely gluten free.

I started with this recipe and have tweaked and twiddled until I got it just the way I wanted it. In truth, it’s just a really basic pudding recipe that I can flavour any way I like now, and I’m quite keen to have a go at it using Nutella or perhaps some of our Backhousia citriodora which is lovely in melting moments.

This recipe must be foolproof because Mr Vivi managed to make his first batch as I yelled instructions to him while I was trying to put my makeup on 20mins before we screamed out the door to a BBQ.  The secret is in using a whisk to get a smooth, creamy consistency.

So, without further ado, here is our recipe for peanut butter pudding.  I thought you deserved a sweet treat after your first week of Term 4.  Let me know what you think, won’t you?
Miss Vivi

 

 

Peanut Butter Pudding

1 3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
slurp of vanilla
2 1/2 teaspoons cornflour

Peanut butter pudding ingredients

Peanut butter pudding ingredients

Keep about 1/4 cup of the milk aside to dissolve the cornflour later.
Combine the milk, cream, sugar, peanut butter and vanilla in a saucepan.

Peanut butter pudding heating & blending

Peanut butter pudding ingredients on the stove

Whisk over low heat until the sugar is dissolved and the peanut butter has melted and blended through the mixture.
The mixture can be steaming hot, but don’t let it boil yet.

Peanut butter pudding blending cornflour

Peanut butter pudding cornflour and milk

Blend the cornflour into the milk that was kept aside.
Add the cornflour slurry to the mixture on the stove and stir with a whisk.
Bring the mixture to the boil while whisking and let boil for about a minute.

Peanut butter pudding boil and whisk

Peanut butter pudding brought to the boil

Take the mixture off the stove and leave to cool a little bit. Don’t let it set.
Pour the warm mixture into glasses or ice cream cups and chill in the fridge.

Peanut butter pudding in glass to chill

Peanut butter pudding in a glass to chill

Serve with cream or ice cream.

Peanut butter pudding served with ice cream

Peanut butter pudding served with ice cream

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Well hello!

It’s been a good long while since I had a squeal so I thought I’d drop you a line.  I hope the year hasn’t been too hard on you.  It seems to be zooming towards the end now, so if it’s been a bit rough at least you know you’re almost at the end of it.

We’ve had a move recently into a bigger, brighter shed which has made the job a lot easier.  We finally have enough concrete to drive things around on pallets so a lot less muscle is required.  This has led to less squealing from me which has been a blessed relief to Mr Vivi.

The squeal from the abattoir is that the cost of plucks is going up.  Sadly, we’ve got to pass this on but I think we’ve come up with a compromise. We’ve negotiated to have a pluck without a liver delivered which drastically reduces the weight of the specimen.  We can offer these at the old price of $12.00 and the pluck we’ve always had will go up to $16.00 each.  We have a stockpile in the freezer now and we are able to fit 3 of the new plucks into a small, $2.00 box so it’s going to drastically reduce your cost of shipping as well.

We’ve been lucky to be able to supply plucks at the same price for nearly 3 years now.  There will be a new price list up on the website on 1 October in time for the new term.

There are a few interesting specials up on the Off Cuts page on the website at the moment.  I’m about to advertise our new simulated blood powder which makes up a litre of the ‘blood’ that is used in medical training facilities and emergency services training scenes.  I have 36 in stock for $10.00 each.  If there is a high enough demand for it I can always get some more.  Here’s what Liz from Armidale had to say about it:

“We just used that fake blood you sent and it’s fantastic! Took me right back to my days in Path!! I quite liked that there were a few undissolved lumps…..told the kids they were clots!!
Thanks again for sending it and next time I order anything I’ll order some more.”

I hope you are planning some rest and relaxation in the next couple of weeks.  We’re looking forward to seeing you at some upcoming conferences in Sydney and Melbourne.  Come over and have a squeal, won’t you?

Miss Vivi

 

 

ps.  I was sent this cartoon by my friend Mrs Jill who was asked during a piglet dissection “which bit does the bacon come from?”  I hope it gives you a giggle.

 

sunbathing pig turns into bacon

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