School Cookery Lessons

A list of those things that schoolchildren should be able to cook:

Carrot dippers and cheese and chive dip.

Potato and cauliflower cakes.

Vegetable soup with swede or turnip.

Cottage pie with parsnip topping.

Cucumber raita.

Spring greens stir fry.

Purple sprouting broccoli and fish parcels.

Spinach mushroom and onion lasagne.

Spring onion, smoked fish and new potato salad.

Veggie kebabs.

Peas and beans in tomato sauce.

Summer berry fruit salad

Sweetcorn on the cob.

Curried squash.

Chicken, leek and mushroom bake.

Poached pears.

Looks like a fairly political little list don\’t you think? No pork (and if you\’re learning to cook, pork is one of those meats that you do need to learn to cook properly), one beef dish (although not very much. 1lb of beef for 4-6 people is hardly lavishing it on people). Mucho mucho veggie stuff.


14 thoughts on “School Cookery Lessons”

  1. This is a wholly confused, committee sort of plan. Is it about cooking, or eating healthily?

    Getting children cooking is at odds with getting children to eat healthy food. What encourages children to cook is getting them to cook the food that they like eating.

    What child is going to relish the thought of eating curried squash or spinach and mushroom lasagne? I’d rather stuff myself full of turkey twizzlers than eat that shit.

  2. Give a schoolboy a bag of chips and you feed him for a day. Show him how to cook chips and you feed him for life.

  3. Yeah,

    Get home from work at 7, feeling knackered, and put together a quick feed of Purple sprouting broccoli and fish parcels, Curried squash and poached pears.



    The more they micromanage the more thay screw up.

    How about a sunday morning fryup?

  4. > How about a sunday morning fryup?

    One of the hardest meals to get right.
    Hash Browns and
    Black Pudding.

    All hot on the plate at the same time is v v difficult.

  5. Never mind all those whingeing school heads who complain they weren’t consulted and claim their schools have no room to accommodate cooking classes – bring on the builders.

    Now is the time for strong leadership. As David Blunkett used to say, a day without a new initiative is a day wasted.

    How about making a GCSE in Cooking an essential requirement for participation in higher education to underline the government’s commitment to promoting healthy eating practices?

  6. “Carrot dippers and cheese and chive dip.”

    Eh…? Peel a carrot, chop into batons, and stir grated cheese and chopped chives into seasoned sour cream (or creme fraiche).

    Where’s the cooking in that…?

  7. I wince whenever I’m confronted with the realised vision of a standard British salad: a lettuce leaf, a few slices of cucumber, half a tomato and a dollop of salad cream.

    There are other kinds of salad.

    By several accounts, all those TV programmes on cooking and all those books by Delia Smith and Nigella Lawson have dramatically improved the British cuisine – ask Tesco about their increasing sales of ingredients for ethnic cooking.

    Ethnic restaurants and take-aways are doing splendidly – take a look along the nearest high street for confirmation. Hardly a day passes without another leaflet coming through my postbox with enticing pictures of super pizzas for only £19-99. There must be an emerging career of arranging mortgages for pizza purchases.

    The trouble with all this is that folks got the idea that eating is a good thing, which is why we now have an obesity epidemic.

    Why do the Japanese have such long life expectancy yet we don’t see many Japanese restaurants?

  8. “Why do the Japanese have such long life expectancy yet we don’t see many Japanese restaurants?”

    You wot? In every place I’ve lived there’s always been plenty of Japanese restuarants around (and that’s not including Wagamamas). They’re not hard to find.

    Bit of an odd list. Surely it’d be better for a reasonably generic brief and schools themselves decide what’s best to teach to cook.

    Although spinich and mushroom lasagne sounds delicious! Cucumber raita though? Odd.

  9. Within walking distance from my place in London suburbs, I’ve a wide choice of pizza dispensaries, kebab places, burgeries or McDonalds and Indian, Chinese or Thai restuarants or take-aways but, sadly, absolutely no Japanese restaurant. I know of several places where I can find one but then I would have to take at least one bus journey to get there.

  10. Are you sure, Bob? I have six within range, three within walking distance, and they sell sushi in the supermarket (they have a full time sushi chef making the stuff). I live in Costa Rica.

  11. “Are you sure, Bob?”

    Yes, absolutely – although I can buy packaged sushi for a lunch snack from the sandwich cabinet in my local Tesco superstore.

    The fact is that in Britain, Japanese restaurants are nowhere nearly as popular as Indian and Chinese restaurants, the pizza dispensaries, kebab places, McDonalds, chippies etc. Most of the people I know are quite unfamiliar with Japanese cuisine.

    I get almost daily promotional leaflets dropped through my postbox from the range of local ethnic restaurants or takeaways and especially from the large number of local pizza dispensaries but I’ve never had any leaflet promoting a local Japanese restaurant, something I would have noticed as I visited Japan several times during the 1980s and am familiar with the national cuisine.

    Btw, did you see this in the FT last November?

    “Michelin launched its long-awaited restaurant guide to Tokyo with a set of rankings likely to cause some food critics – and French traditionalists – to choke on their amuse gueules.

    “In its first Asian guide, announced on Monday, Michelin has awarded more of its famed stars to Tokyo restaurants than any other city, with a total of 191 stars compared with 64 for Paris and 42 in New York. . . ”

  12. A Google search has just located three Japanese restaurants within a c. 4 mile radius of where I live but in that area there must be dozens of Indian and Chinese restaurants and takeaways.

  13. You guys are looking at it the wrong way. The penetration of foreign restaurants doesn’t arise because of the popularity of their cuisines. Rather, cuisines become popularized in relationship to two factors, one being the extent of an immigrant populations (and its enclaves) and the other being the relative frequency (within that immigrant population) of the “small entrepreneur” type.

    Pizza is an almost perfect example. Though based partly on a (rural) Italian dish, the basic pizza was “invented” by a specific (known) guy who worked in a bakery in NYC. Unable to persuade his employer to make them, for quite some time he made them at home and, sneaking out of workhere and there, sold them to employees up and down the street (who cooked them on the ubiquitous steam-pipes). Later, he opened up a shop for himself on that same business street and did very well (and the shop is still there, managed by the same family). I believe it was several years before even a single other shop opened.*

    Further (and I suppose I’m going “out on a limb” here), I’m of the definite opinion, formed on the basis of long observation, that interest in food preparation and interest in the food business (not entire congruent entities) have a strong genetic (literally) component, as do interest in or affinity for many other occupational specialties, intellectual pursuits, and personalities.

    *As evidence that this story is true, I’ve been to NYC and have seen with my own eyes that the street is there.

    Tim adds: Well, yes, except that pizza comes from Naples….

  14. No, Tim–it was his grandmom that came from Naples. He was just making something similar to what he remembered.

    Besides, Naples doesn’t deliver! (Unless you refer to my local “Naples” pizza shop–they do deliver, as a matter of fact.

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