Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Cooking lesson Australian style.

There's lots to love about living here, and yesterday I spent the morning at school helping with a cooking lesson. Not just a cooking in a kitchen lesson  - the whole class were outdoors in the school garden, picking and preparing the ingredients before cooking and eating a meal together. Cooking wasn't like this when I was at school. I'm thinking more stainless steel, stuffy rooms....?

I guess that this is a kind of a reward lesson after learning how to look after the school gardens. The children were certainly excited about the prospect of cooking from scratch...or maybe that was the eating part!

part of the school garden
The edibile garden at school has grown (no pun intended) into a great space for an activity lesson for the kids. It has inspired us to set up a small herb garden at home and to enjoy the pleasure of  picking fresh salad leaves for tea.
Yesterday morning the children worked in small groups identifying and picking the silverbeet, basil and rosemary. Everyone wanted to do everything and I had to keep sharing out the tasks amongst my group of enthusiastic masterchefs!

This was a rare quiet moment listening to the instructions under the rotunda before the mad dash into the garden with their bowls.

First the focaccia bread was made and then it was taken to the pizza oven for cooking.
Bread and pizza tastes so much nicer from a wood burning oven.

 Then the washing and chopping continued to make the tomato salad and the silverbeet balls.

Junior Masterchef has made cooking cool here in Australia and it was so lovely watching them sharing ways of crushing garlic or chopping tomatoes.
"You do it this way..."
No, it's better this way...."

Of course the highlight of the morning was getting to eat the fruits of their labour. After clearing away the preparation mess, each group had to lay the table with plates and cutlery, even a table cloth. They didn't quite make it to sitting down to eat and it all became a bit of a mad dash to pick the biggest bread piece!

After a little coaxing, the washing up was completed and then it was back to class.

Not a bad way to spend a morning with my girl.

This is my 'good life Wednesday', so linking up with Sarah down there on the Sydney beaches.

Good Life Wednesdays

Recipe for silverbeet balls:

500g Rainbow Silverbeet
2 eggs
100g fresh white breadcrumbs
50g parmesan
1 garlic clove finely minced
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons of olive oil

Wash, blanch and finely chop the silverbeet.
Combine with breadcrumbs, parmesan, garlic, eggs, salt and pepper and nutmeg, and mix well.
Roll into balls (approximately a teaspoon size)
Cook in a little oil in a frying pan.

9 Comments and thoughts:

  1. What a wonderful learning experience for the students and to be outdoors too. I love it

  2. Wow looks delicious. Your school has a pizza oven?!!! What a great school experience. My daughters school has a garden, which is also amazing, but the children take home the produce and sell it after school. This is such a great idea, seed to table.

  3. Great learning for the students Beth, Masterchef look out!
    Cookery lessons when I was a youngin involved dishes like rice pudding or junket. Blah.
    Annie xx

  4. Yum, what a brilliant concept. Much better than cooking class when I was at school. The food looks delicious!

  5. That sounds like a great day with the's nice to be able to do stuff like that outdoors. I'm getting my daily fix of Aussie cooking via Donna Hay at the moment, as Sky is showing her series here...although I must admit I'm looking forward to all the pre-xmas food I'm going to stuff in, along with the mulled wine etc....not long now. Robx

  6. How fab, think Jamie Oliver is going to have to "up" his game!! Can't recall seeing silverbeet over here Beth but all looked very tasty, First frost here this morning so don't think, even if they did, cooking would be outside. Bonfire night praps a few jacket potatoes and of course chestnuts as Xmas approaches xx Al & Wend

  7. Wow! What a wonderful day for you. Thanks for sharing it at Beach Cottage Good Life Wednesdays.

  8. The vegetable garden looks fantastic. It's great that these things are being encouraged in school, eating well is so important - and it looks like it was loads of fun! (I'm so jealous of all that sunshine!) - Melissa xx

  9. Great photos! I can smell the Pizza oven from here!