Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Hi everyone!
Sorry for the delay in writing this, but I have been very busy.
Mr Langton is kindly going to let me know of any interesting food related programmes on TV each week. The Great British Menu is on every evening this week, BBC2 7.30, and you can always catch up on i player.
I like the Hairy Bikers which is on Tuesday Evenings. I particularly enjoyed the one where they toured Austria, watching or helping out with the preparation of many of Austria's famous pastries etc.
The Benedictine monks they visited in a beautiful monastery ate better than most of us, thanks to the skills of a little rotund cook who spoke no English but chuckled away while the bikers tried to make some pastries for the monks' breakfast!
I had another slight accident in food tech last week. I dropped a bottle of expensive vinaigre du miel (honey vinegar) which I bought in France last year. It rolled off the trolley and smashed to pieces during a Yr 7 workshop.
We soaked up all the vinegar with paper towels and carefully picked up the glass and binned it; we even steam mopped the floor with great excitement at yet another gadget being put to good use,  but the lingering smell in the bin and on the floor made visitors to food tech think we had opened a fish and chip shop!
I bought the vinegar in a shop on the site of a French 'place of interest' called 'the Abbey of living Bees'!
I mean, what are bees if they are not alive?!!! Visitors to the place were taken on a tour of bee hives. If bees are dead, there wouldn't be any honey would there?!!
The shop was wonderful though. They sold 4 different types of honey, because even though they are the same bees producing honey all year round, the honey differs according to the season. The pollen that they collect as they go foraging around the area is from different plants and flowers that are in season either in the Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter.  Each of the 4 honeys were available to taste and each had a totally different flavour!  I bought some for my Dad who swears by the stuff and eats it every day on toast.
In the shop we also sampled delicious honey cake, made each day by the owner of the site. I speak reasonable french so I asked him for the recipe.  He wrote it down - the first ingredient was 20 kg flour!!
Then 10 jars of honey etc.!!  I realized that he must make about 60 cakes each morning so I had to divide his 'recette' by 60 to get a more realistic amount for one cake of my own!
Competition this week is to find Dr Ramillo and find out the Portuguse word for 'taste'/'flavour'. Come to me with the answer and win a chocolate bar.
Another prize is for the taking if you can tell me what my favourite animal is. The clues are all around the food tech room/building.
Disappointingly only a few year 7's entered the spelling competition but the 2 winners did extrememely well and scored high marks. They won Easter eggs.   Other boys only managed 7 out of 30!!  Obviously hadn't learned the spellings that I gave them in advance.  Hope they do better at remembering things in their exams next week!

I am just sorting out a few recipes to print on the blog each week; I hope you will try some of them when you have time.
I am also going to run a House Masterchef competition as I think I have already mentioned.
~Even a staff round!   
Keep blogging on to my blog, or else I'm just wasting my time doing it!!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Hi everyone
I am on holiday at the moment, but as I have promised to post a blog each week, I will write a few words today.
Very shortly, a number of recipes will go onto the shared area, where I intend to create a new Food Technology Section.
These will be the recipes that we have been using in KS3 lessons, and those which we use in the sixth form classes.
Then, in time I will add other stuff to the area, as well as more recipes that I have tried or adapted, or invented and which work well.
Do keep cooking at home whenever you have the opportunity, and if your parents will allow!
There's an old Chinese saying that goes 'I hear, I forget; I see, I remember; I do, I understand'.
And it's so true, particularly with practical subjects like Cookery - you only really learn when you do it for yourself.
And sometimes, if it goes wrong, you learn more from it!
Much of what happens to food when you cook involves science - particularly Chemistry - and you have to know the science and apply it. I am often amazed in my Food Tech lessons here at school that you don't seem to realize that a lot of what you learn in your other lessons needs to be recalled and used when you come to mine! Some of you do the most weird things; it gives me a lot to laugh about though, so don't stop doing them!
You may recall that, in my last blog, I asked for some contributions to the questionnaire I gave out on Open Evening - where I ask you what your last meal would be, should the world end tomorrow(because Bruce Willis isn't around), where you would eat it and with which 2 famous people.  Well, no one came forward to do so, even though there is a prize for the best one!  The submisions at Open Evening were varied but not particularly interesting - one entrant wanted a carvery, at the Toby Carvery, with Toby!!! (Dan Benton from Tech Crew)!!
One other wanted to eat a Chinese Takeaway in his garden shed, with no-one else at all!
Interesting, too, that several visiting parents didn't want to fill in a questionnaire for me because they were ashamed of their poor spelling ability.......
Well, here's my effort...
I would have a sea food platter for starter that included smoked trout, salmon, prawns, mussels, roll-mop herring, smoked mackerel, scallops.   Brown bread and butter to accompany.
Main Course - Rump steak(medium rare), egg and thick-cut chips, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms.
Dessert - a jug of custard all to myself.   My family, in the main, just love custard! My father was the eldest of 4 brothers and his reward from his mother, whenever he had been helpful, was a jug of custard all to himself, which he ate on the back kitchen doorstep where his 3 younger brothers couldn't find him and ask to share it!
As for whom I would invite to share my last supper, other than family and friends - I think I would chose Nelson Mandella and Bob Geldoff.
The place for my last supper -

We stay here every year for a week- not long enough!- and it is very tranquil and beautiful. I would share the meal in the conservatory/dining room, overlooking the Irish Sea, with the sun setting to the right, and the waves crashing on the rocks. This is where I am at the moment, writing from the dining extension and seeing the ferry boat heading out to Ireland. And, if the world isn't ending tomorrow, I won't be having steak tonight, and I'll see you in school on Monday next!
If you have time, write me your answers to the questionnaire and bring them in to me at school. There is a post-Easter prize.
Enjoy the rest of your holiday break.