Years 4 and 5 learn how to cook British food

DSCF2379On Wednesday 12th March 2014, Years 4 and 5 were lucky enough to spend the day with Mary Reader and her associates. They came in to do a cooking demonstration and workshop with the children to teach them how to prepare British food.  Both classes really enjoyed it and lots were surprised that they liked the food that they made!

The next day, Year 4’s and Year 5’s Big Write was to write a recount of the day. Here are some examples:

On Wednesday 12th March, Year 4 had a special visitor come in and cook with us. Her name was Mary Reader and she had three lovely volunteers with her.

First, we all put on our aprons and washed our hands.  We came into the hall in a very neat line. Before we even made it into the hall, we could smell the pork sizzling and our mouths were drooling with lovingness.  When we sat down, Mary spoke to us about the Rotary Club.  She had a map on the wall and asked us questions about food from around the world.

After speaking to us for about twenty minutes, two chefs demonstrated to us how to make four dishes: goats cheese and watercress salad, leek and potato omelette, seabass and vegetable casserole and fruity pork steaks.

Next, Miss Thomas split us into three groups and we had a go for ourselves.  We were making the goats cheese and watercress salad and the seabass and vegetable casserole.  We were each given a job to do. There was lots of chopping different vegetables.  We were taught how to chop carefully using a sharp knife.  When the chopping was done, we all had a turn at stirring the food in the pan.

Finally, it was the exciting part.  We all got to try the food we had made.  The salad was delicious.  We were all encouraged to try the food, even if we thought we didn’t like it.  Lots of us were surprised that we really liked the seabass. It was a really fun afternoon.  I bet you wish you could have tasted the food!

By Izzy, Year 4

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Here are the recipes that the children made, so now you can taste it for yourself!

Best of Britain Produce

There is an enormous choice of food produced in Britain and much it is from both Dorset and Hampshire. Most of it is available from local farm shops and delicatessens. By buying local food you are supporting small business entrepreneurs and artisans, which provides employment for the local economy. You also save an enormous amount of food miles as transport costs are kept to a minimum. Food is fresher and tastes better. These recipes give some ideas for using local produce.

Goats Cheese and watercress salad

10 Cherry tomatoes

2 apples

50g Corn Kernels

4 spring onions

100g Hampshire Watercress

200g Dorset Rosary (or other local) soft Goats cheese


1 tsp English mustard

2tbsp Dorset cider vinegar

6 tablespoon Dorset rapeseed oil

chopped chives

Halve the cherry tomatoes. Core and quarter the apples, then thinly slice. Remove the dark green tops from the spring onions and then finely slice the remainder.Pick the watercress into bite sized pieces.

Arrange the watercress, corn, tomatoes, apple and spring onion in a salad bowl. Crumble over the goats cheese.

For the vinaigrette, whisk everything except the chives together in a small bowl. Stir in the chives. Sprinkle over the salad


Seabass and local vegetable casserole

1 lemon

1 clove garlic

½ teaspoon ground cumin and coriander

60ml olive oil

 2 fillets Mudeford sea bass

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

200g onions, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 medium carrot, finely diced

2 sticks celery, finely diced

450g fresh tomatoes, peeled and de-seeded

2 tablespoon tomato purée

black pepper, ground cumin and ground coriander seeds to taste

35g fresh coriander, chopped

35g fresh dill, chopped

Combine olive oil, lemon juice, ground cumin and ground coriander in a bowl. Add 1 clove of garlic.

Lay the fish fillets in a baking dish and pour the marinade on top. Set aside to marinate for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, heat the sunflower oil in a flameproof casserole and use to fry the onion, remaining garlic, celery and carrot. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft. Add the tomatoes, tomato purée and season with black pepper, ground cumin and ground coriander seeds. Simmer. Stir in the coriander and dill. Cook for about 5 minutes. Drain the fish and lay it on top of the tomato mixture.  Cover with the lid and allow to cook gently for about 10 minutes until the fish is cooked through.


 Leek and Potato Omelette

 3 Dorset Free range eggs

salt and pepper

25g butter

1 leek, top removed, finely sliced and washed

3 new potatoes, cooked and diced

chopped chives

Dorset rapeseed oil

Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat well with a fork or whisk. Lightly season with salt and pepper.

In a preheated non-stick frying pan, add the butter, then place the leeks in the pan. Sauté gently for 3-5 minutes until softened. Then add the potatoes. Sauté for 2 more minutes.

Add the eggs to the pan and keep everything moving until eggs are nearly set. Then stop stirring, add the chives and allow omelette to finish setting. Roll up and serve, with a local salad.


 Fruity Pork Steaks

4 Hampshire pork loin steaks, fat removed

2tsp Chinese 5 spice powder

1 tbsp sunflower oil

1 red onion, cut into wedges

4 red apples, cored and cut into eighths

2tbsp redcurrant jelly

1 tbsp Dorset cider vinegar

200ml chicken stock

Dust the pork steaks with the 5 spice powder. Heat half of the oil and fry the pork for around 3 minutes on each side, until browned and cooked through. Remove from the pan and place on a plate.

Add the remainder of the oil to the pan and add the onions and sauté for 2 minutes, then add the apples and cook for a further 3 minutes.

Next add the redcurrant jelly, vinegar and chicken stock. Bring to the boil and simmer rapidly until lightly syrupy. Add the pork back to the pan to reheat and glaze the meat on both sides. Delicious served with mashed potatoes.