Oops Sorry!

Yes, apologies if you have been missing me (Thanks for your plaintive little comment, PomPom...it spurred me on to post about something!)

These last three weeks have been hard work, but nothing like as manic as the first week. I have certainly enjoyed myself at times, and although I'm aware my teaching style probably needs to change - I'm too didactic and "school like". After all, this is a holiday for the students too, so should be fun! - I think I have generally done reasonably well. I was awarded the "Star Teacher of the Week" on Friday, for my "organisation, dedication and Fantastic Gastronomy Workshops"! Blush.

My Gastronomy Workshops have been going quite well, again, after the first week. That was chaotic and awful...but, as I've said before, the ice cream in a bag worked. For those who want to know, ice cream in a bag is very simple:
  • 150ml full fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6 tablespoons rock salt
  • lots and lots of ice
  • 1 pint-size plastic food storage bag (e.g., Ziploc)
  • 1 gallon-size plastic food storage bag (or, in my case, a Sainsbury's Bag-for-Life)
Put the milk, sugar and vanilla in the Ziplock bag. Some of the groups chose to add lemon curd, strawberries, and other flavourings. Put the rocksalt and ice in the big bag. Put the ziplock bag in that and shake,shake,shake for 5 to 10 minutes. You then have ice cream. However, here is a hint that some groups chose to ignore: In order to avoid disgustingly salty ice cream, don't put the unwiped Ziplck bag  (covered in rock salty water from the previously mentioned shake,shake,shaking)  in the bowl that is meant for your ice cream, take it out again and tip the ice cream into it without washing it first!!

The following week, our theme was based on our trip was to Hampton Court. Very loosely based... Hampton Court was built in Tudor times. Queen Elizabeth 1 was a Tudor. She had bad teeth because she ate a lot of sweets. So let's make sweets!!! We also looked (a bit) at dental hygiene, but mostly we just made sweets: chocolate rice krispie bars, chocolate truffles, coconut ice and fruit creams (should have been peppermint creams but I forgot to buy peppermint oil!). That week was very popular!

The fact she had rotten teeth is, apparently, why she is never shown smiling in portraits. That may not be true, but equally, it's perfectly possible. You might enjoy this Horrible Histories clip - the students did!
File:Queen Elizabeth I by George Gower.jpg

The third week we went on the worst Educational Trip ever to the London Bridge Experience and the Clink Prison Museum. The London Bridge Experience was a "Horror" fest which had some of our children (and teachers) refusing to go in, and others running out screaming in terror. Though to be fair, many of the students loved it...but it was hardly educational! Anyway, the link was "In the past, in  prison you didn't have healthy food. You didn't have much food at all. We have food. We're lucky. Let's make scones."
So we made sweet scones (choice: dried fruit, chocolate chips or plain. Surprisingly, everyone chose choc chip!) and savoury scones (choice: tomato puree, cheese, paprika, mixed herbs.) We forgot to put salt in the savoury ones, so they were a bit bland, but quite successful. The ones with tomato won the competition, as theirs was the least bland.

Last week was Medieval cooking, as we went to Warwick Castle. That was a great trip out with loads to see and do. If you want a day out with children, I'd thoroughly recommend it - it's probably expensive, but we had a packed day, and I wanted to stay at least another hour, as we'd not done everything I wanted. And the jousting knights were really very cute!!

So we made two (slightly adapted) Medieval dishes. We made Tartys in Applis

2 apples
2 pears
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried fruit
2 Tbsp. butter,                                                                                                                                       
1 tsp. mixed spice
saffron, to colour
Take all fruits and cut them up into small pieces. Mix fruit, spices, and butter in a bowl until well combined. Place filling in a pie crust, and bake for 25 - 35 minutes or until golden brown. Eat. 

And we made Frytour Blaunched
  • Finely ground almonds
  • Ground Ginger -
  • Sugar
  • Salt - use to taste.
  • Pastry dough
  • egg
  • Honey
  • Red grape juice


Mix almonds with sugar, ginger, and a little salt - this should be a sweet, slightly spicy blend.
Roll out the pastry dough.
Cut the dough into circles pastry, placing filling in the middle of one piece and then covering with the other side sealing the edges; and make sure the edges of the pastries are securely sealed. Brush with egg
Bake the pastries in the oven for about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile warm a little honey and grape juice to make a sauce.
When the pastries are baked, pour a little sauce over the top.

They were both suirprisingly tasty! The frytour should have been fried, as the name kind of suggests, but I baked them instead. The sauce should be red wine too, but I substituted grape juice, because of the youth of my chefs!

Our final week is Romans, as our trip is to Bath (I wonder if I'll get the chance to slip into Long Tall Sally !!) But the cooking also has to try to use up the leftover ingredients...of which there are many, thanks to the rather profligate ordering of my collerague in the Junior Gastronomy team! For their breadmaking she asked our Shopping Person to get 4.5 kg of flour (3 bags) and used half of one of them!!! We're left with almost 4 kg of SR flour to use. I don't think we'll manage it! So we're making a Roman-style Lemon Cake (using ground almonds and flour), Chocolate fudge (which the Romans would have loved, but wouldn't have had, because it uses condensed milk, chocolate and sugar) (Spot the very weak link!) and Fairy Cakes (because we bneed to use up what's left!)

So there you are. While I've avoided tasting most of their creations, I still have put on weight, as the food here is so plentiful and so good. I will struggle going back to smaller meals - and at more civilised times! I'm eating breakfast at 8.00, lunch at 12.15 and dinner/tea at 5.30. I'll have to get used to different times again...

And next week I'm off up to Liverpool to see Mum. She fell about 6 weeks ago and broke both her wrists. She's been staying with my brother, and then at home with my suister. So I'm going up to stay for a while. I'm not sure when I'll leave yet - I've booked my flight for 16th August, but it depends on how mum is. I'll probably just have to let that flight go and rebook later, but we'll see.. With Judy and Mike doing all the hard work, I feel I can't really just breeze in for four days and then breeze out again. However long I'm there I may not be posting, as my Tabby appears to have completely conked out. Mr FD is posting the receipt (we only bought it at Christmas) so I may be able to get it mended, or exchanged, but I don't know. Let's wait and see.

Thanks for your comments Guys. See you soon.


  1. Hi Mouse!
    Wow! The children are very lucky! Your teaching sounds fantastic!
    You're right when you say education is changing and our approach changes with it. It's always a challenge and makes me shake in my boots as the school year looms so near now.
    I'm so sorry about your mum. That must be so frustrating for her. You're a good daughter to spend time with her. You've been so busy! I hope you are finding a bit of reprieve for creativity for YOU.
    Thank you for posting!

  2. This sounds like an amazing variety of things to do and cooking to associate. I could happily eat the coconut ice in particular. You also made me glad we didn't have time for the Clink prison museum last time in London when we walked past. Memo to self: don't do it!

    I hope your trip with your Mum goes well -I'm sure she'll be thrilled to see you, and so will Mr D when you get home. Not to mention the VBKs.

  3. What a treat for the kids to be able to learn a bit of history and make foods to go along with the lessons. It sounds like a creative time and lots of fun they will long remember.

  4. I have yet to get to Warwick Castle [despite spending 40% of my life living within spitting distance] but I DO know that if you hunt around there are always vouchers available [2-for-1, child goes free with adult etc] to bring the cost down.


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