Autumn has arrived and this beautifully colourful time of the year has been the inspiration for some of our recipes this term; using seasonal produce and teaching the children the benefits of eating local food in season.
I started the term with Paddington Class who were planning a Teddy Bears’ Picnic: the children cooked up a delicious and healthy afternoon tea to share with their cuddly friends and were very lucky to have a beautiful day to enjoy their al fresco dining.
Next up was Aslan class – they have been learning about the Victorians. We made use of some lovely local apples and cooked up a delicious Eve’s Pudding, invented by the Victorians and named after Eve because of her association with the apple in the Garden of Eden. This pudding is an upside-down cake where lovely stewed apples are baked then topped with a light sponge. This was a hit with the children, as was the smell of cake and cinnamon wafting through the school.
Iorek Class have been reading the book The Northern Lights; the book features their class namesake: Iorek, and it set in the Arctic where reindeer is a food staple. Mr Jack wanted us to cook with reindeer meat, however this meat is a tad on the expensive side so we settled for venison. The children made burgers from minced venison adding herbs and spices to improve the flavour.
Hedwig Class have spent the first term surrounded by the magic of Harry Potter and a quick Google search revealed that Pumpkin Pasties are the food of choice on board the Hogwarts Express. Pumpkins are in season at this time of year and it was great to show the children that they are not just for carving. They created a mixture of cheese, pumpkin plus some seasoning, all wrapped inside a shortcrust pastry; they even made the pastry themselves. Most of the class really enjoyed them.
Varjak Class have been learning all about Europe which gave us plenty of dishes to choose from. Knowing how much the children love to play with dough, pasta seemed the obvious choice although it turned out that children get bored with playing with dough after approximately 5 minutes – half the time needed for pasta making. They did do a brilliant job and all left wanting their own pasta machine, especially when they watched their pasta dough being turned into spaghetti before their very eyes.
Last to cook were Tigger Class: their very first cookery lesson! They have been learning about weather and the forecast for this lesson was very much ‘cloudy with a chance of meatballs’. This gave me the chance to explain the importance of food hygiene, especially when handling raw meat. The children all left proudly clutching their finished dish intending to have it for their tea.
I have really enjoyed cooking with the children this term. Alongside our practical lessons, we have been discussing the dangers of including too much sugar in our diet and the children had some excellent ideas for healthy snacks and drinks to replace the high sugar products in the shops.
In other news, we have yet again managed to get one of our pupils through to the final of the Kent Cooks’ Competition. Sofia Bishop will be joining two other finalists in Broadstairs on 26th November and we wish her lots of luck.