21 January 2013

GUEST BLOG: Cool for school

By guest blogger SIOBHAN KELLY

Thursday afternoon saw the first session at Benchill Primary School in Wythenshawe to engage with parents, pupils and teachers, and demonstrate and share savoury stuffed pancakes and lentil tarka dhal.

The aim of this session was to enable parents and children to taste some healthy food made by Kim, and give them the chance to sign up for subsequent cooking sessions at the school. There were a variety of options to choose from: homemade burgers with salsa, fishcakes, bread and pizza, fresh pasta sauces, curry and dhal with chapattis, pies and dumplings, and tasty but simple egg dishes. The three most popular will run over the next three weeks, when parents and children will get hands-on experience of food preparation and cooking in a social, relaxed environment and an opportunity to sit down together and eat as a group.

The participants will gain new skills and learn about nutrition and the preparation of healthy, colourful, tasty dishes from scratch, using locally sourced, organic (when possible), fresh ingredients - and hopefully they'll be encouraged to cook these dishes again at home, using the recipe sheets! Our handouts also show a breakdown of the cost of the meals, and it's always a surprise to see how cheap it really is to cook from scratch compared to buying processed dishes from a supermarket or takeaways. On the final week, a selection of herbs and spices and basic ingredients relating to the dishes that have been made will be given out as a starter pack. 

We hope that those who tasted the cheese and mushroom stuffed pancakes and beautiful lentil tarka dhal will help spread the word around the school of this exciting opportunity to take part in the cooking sessions. The dhal was delicious – full of colour, flavours and aromas that wafted down the corridor and enticed those passing to come in and join us.  One of the pupils said the taste was 10/10 – well, you can’t do better than that! We look forward to returning to the school next week for the first session of their choice.

For more photos from this session, please visit the Cracking Good Food Facebook page.

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