Let’s Get Cooking!

20161005_145047The Infants and Juniors have all been busy in the kitchen this term exploring some seasonal produce as well as learning new skills. There has been a bounty of homegrown apples around and both groups have used them in their cooking. A big hit has been ‘Apple Dappy’, a fun recipe involving a simple pastry mixture rolled up with an apple filling and then cut into swirl buns. Both groups enjoyed making these and taking them home to share with their families. Everyone agreed they were very tasty! Baked apples were also on the menu in the Infants class and the children honed their chopping skills with this simple dish that combined the complimentary flavours of raisins and cinnamon with the apple.

Earlier in the term the Juniors had a go at making their own bread rolls. They learnt about yeast and watched their rolls grow bigger as they proved. They all felt a great sense of achievement in the end result of real tasty bread that they had made themselves.

After the half term break the Infants learnt about pumpkins. They carved them with faces and used the insides in their cooking too. They found out how this versatile vegetable can be used to make both sweet and savoury dishes and sampled some different spices that compliment it well. They made a spiced pumpkin soup as well as pumpkin passion muffins with a yummy cream cheese icing.

The Juniors have taken on a big challenge, and tried some warming autumnal flavours, in making a delicious chicken and paprika stew with herby dumplings – flavoured with the school’s own homegrown rosemary. Lots of skills were combined to create this dish as well as having to face the hurdle of the dreaded onions as some have found it harder than others to fight back the tears!

Skills in peeling, chopping, grating, weighing, measuring, mixing, sieving, kneading, frying, stirring and rolling have all come together to create these culinary treats this term. It’s been wonderful to hear some of the pupils asking for the recipes to try at home and we hope that this is the first step towards being able to produce nutritious meals for themselves and their families.
20161109_144656

Cupcakes?

Cake sale 1It would be fair to say that a number of our pupils enjoy playing Minecraft.

It would not be an understatement to say some of them live and breathe the game! And before the holiday an impromptu cake sale enabled pupils not only to do this but also to eat Minecraft themed cupcakes.

 

The funds raised went towards work on the chapel.

 

Chef School

20141014_110856_resizedThis week we learned how to eat a huge lunch at 11-30 am.

We had a great time learning about vegetables and how food is prepared by the Toby Carvery in Harlow. This was a day to savour and learn about the way a business like this ensures consistent quality.

The staff were incredibly welcoming and showed a real enthusiasm for their product.

The meal we were offered was bonus to an exciting morning. It’s a hard life.

20141014_114011_resized

Pumpkin Carving

20141017_111912In an assembly earlier this month I spoke about why we did not celebrate Halloween at the school as some amongst us found it a contradiction to their faith. It was an opportunity to highlight the differences there are and how we can respect each other’s traditions and understandings but still have fun. God’s not grumpy.

At the time I had been impressed by the attitude of World Vision who have seen the tradition of pumpkin carving as an opportunity to highlight the plight of children in Syria where real fear punctuates their day.

 

And then today this happened…

20141017_144234

We are very fortunate to have Jenny an Early Years’ teacher brought up in Pennsylvania. This is what she told me.

When I was a child growing up in Pennsylvania, USA, harvest time was eagerly anticipated for the celebration of festivals. Part of the excitement was the annual pumpkin carving. We loved to scoop out the slimy insides and cut faces or stars into them, inserting a candle stub inside and setting them to glow on our table.We would sit around the the pumpkin singing harvest and thanksgiving songs as it smiled happily at us.

I never associated the carved pumpkins with Halloween or with anything scary or sinister but have such happy memoires of their happy grinning faces and the competition to carve the best one.

I think now of the pumpkin as a little beacon of light- it’s a natural lantern fashioned by our Creator to provide us with food… or a fun project to celebrate harvest time with our children. It’s good if we can redeem the pumpkin and its happy face and win it back and associate it with good things.

Take a look at World Vision’s way of redeeming the pumpkin…