Our classes are named after characters from children’s literature, so during the first school term the children learn about these characters and read the book featuring them. In our cookery lessons we try to cook something related to the topic of the term, however this is not always possible but sometimes the topic lends itself to the perfect dish. This was definitely the case with Hedwig Class. Hedwig is, as you are no doubt aware, a character from Harry Potter. We started the term by cooking up some delicious pumpkin pasties, as sold on the Hogwarts Express. These pasties can be made using butternut squash if pumpkin is not in season. They are a delicious mix of pumpkin and cheese encased in shortcrust pastry. The children really enjoyed them, as did a lot of the parents.
Varjak is a cat from the book Varjak Paw; I did not think that the children would enjoy anything including cat food or mice so we made a cheesy potato bake. Earlier in the year a group of children had planted some potatoes and herbs, so I took Varjak Class outside to dig up the potatoes and select some herbs to use in our dish. It is so important to teach children the origins of their food, and they were very excited to use such fresh ingredients although some were quite surprised to find their potatoes covered in mud!
Paddington loves marmalade, in fact, he can’t get enough of it. Paddington Class made lovely marmalade muffins. Many of the class had not tasted marmalade before and most of them really liked it. These muffins had a lovely marmalade centre and would be lovely for a weekend breakfast treat.
Tigger Class were learning about the weather and watched the film ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs’. It was the obvious choice to make some meatballs and the children loved them although some of them were not keen on touching the raw meat.
Iorek is a character from ‘The Northern Lights’ a book which is partially set in the Arctic Circle, therefore I decided to teach them a Scandinavian dish. We cooked Swedish meatballs, a mixture of pork and beef mince with dill. This dish was very popular with the children and, in contrast to Tigger Class, Iorek class really enjoyed getting their hands in the bowl and shaping their meatballs. They really enjoyed eating them too.
Three times a year Elmer Class hold a Reading Café where parents are invited into school to read with their children. I worked with the children to bake something tasty for their parents to eat during this event. This term we made Elmer biscuits. Young children love biscuits and baking and they were so enthusiastic, plus the biscuits looked amazing. They were so proud of their creations.
The last class of the term was Aslan Class, but the link to our dish was the most tenuous of the term. We made Eve’s Pudding: a delicious dessert of apples and sponge – the staff room smelled amazing. Wherever possible I use seasonal ingredients and this was a great opportunity to use lovely fresh apples. Mr Jack assures me that in one of the Chronicles of Narnia (where Aslan lives) the children have to survive on nothing but apples for a while, so there is a very dubious connection! We even made our own custard: the children agreed that it tasted much better than shop bought. Maybe they’ll make you some at home if you ask them nicely.
Once again I am very proud of the children and their enthusiasm; they are always very keen to taste new foods and to learn about how to eat for optimum health.
So, I’ll be back with more news at Christmas but until then, please keep encouraging your children to get busy in the kitchen and also please try to ensure that your child remembers to bring a tub and an apron to school for their cookery lessons.