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An Independent Day and Boarding School for Boys and Girls aged 3 to 18 years

Training the chefs of the future – time to move over Delia and Jamie!

Having helped Mrs Ainley unload her car when I arrived on Saturday morning I was worried that there could be a food shortage at Morrison’s!  We were expecting approximately 16 pupils for the Saturday Activity billed as Junior Masterchef.  As the carrier bags piled up on the classroom tables it looked as though we might be preparing a banquet.  However it was clear the menu had been planned by health conscious ladies with the amount of fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and natural low fat yoghurt that was clearly visible – no evidence of chips and double cream!

This particular Saturday activity was open to all members of the Junior School from Reception up to Year 6.  It was great to see the younger ones enjoying themselves and equally good to see the way that the older ones (Year 5 and Year 6) helped the younger ones. Mrs Eves nominated each infant to an older pupil as their ‘buddy’ for the morning.  The morning started with a severe scrubbing of hands and nails to ensure all were clean before embarking on food preparation.

Mrs Eves and Mrs Ainley then explained the 3 elements of the ‘meal’ the chefs were going to prepare.  Firstly a very healthy smoothie made with a selection of fresh fruits with either yoghurt or milk.  Second course was a pizza with selection of toppings.  The meal was finished with a chef’s creation based on a knickerbocker glory.

The room was soon a hive of activity with fruit being expertly ‘pulped and mushed’ by Hamish (the blender was not available!).  On another table kiwi fruit, grapes and strawberries were being chopped as healthy additions to the meal.  I have to say that the ‘smoothies’ I tasted made with vanilla yoghurt were very nice indeed, although without the blender they should have been renamed  ‘lumpies’!

A second table was the scene of pizza preparation.  Pizza dough was being made in a machine and as if by magic Mrs Eves announced ‘..and here is some I prepared earlier’ – long live Blue Peter!  Knives were soon frantically, (and carefully), chopping the ingredients for the pizza topping – green and red peppers, onions, salami, anchovies, tomatoes, olives and grated cheese.

The third table was the site of the great knickerbocker glory creations!  How many different ingredients and how much can be added to a small desert dish?!  Jelly, chopped fruit, mushed fruit, cake sprinkles, mini jaffa cakes, chocolate fingers and cream seemed to appear in many of them.

This was a fantastic morning of fun and learning.  At one point I think there was more topping on the carpet than on the Pizzas!  The blue carpet transformed into white from the flour, yoghurt and cream, to red from the raspberries and redcurrants and back to blue as blueberries made an appearance before the original blue was restored following frantic scrubbing with brush and dustpan!

Very many thanks to Mrs Eves and Mrs Ainley for all their planning and preparation as well as their patience and enthusiasm on the day.