In this segment of the school newsletter, we’ll look into what some students and teachers have been cooking during lockdown. We will also explore how their cooking and baking has benefitted others in the community.
Krishna Kulkarni in UMB has used his CAS periods to complete a wide range of activities, as he will share in a future newsletter. One activity he enjoys is cooking. Below you will find his first guide to making some delicious Dosa. I am sure this will be the first of many!
What inspired you to start cooking?
I sit in the kitchen every day while my mother cooks. While cooking, she talks about what she’s preparing and memories associated with them; the aroma, the appearance, the sizzling sound and her stories excite me and make my mouth water. My mother and her cooking inspire me to try to make scrumptious food.
What dish was your favourite to make and why?
I like to bake cakes and prepare different types of omelettes and fried eggs, but my favourite dish is dosa, a South Indian delicacy. They look like pancakes, but don’t taste like them. Dosas can be roasted crispy or made soft. They are also very nutritious as they have the right proportion of protein and carbohydrate. They are usually eaten with curry and chutney which have various spices and vegetables.
How did you get the idea to make the dosa video?
Making dosa from scratch is a laborious process; it takes a lot of time from soaking the grains for a few hours, allowing it to ferment overnight, grinding for an hour to roasting for a few minutes. Hence I wanted to make a video to show the complexity of making dosas, which is quite difficult to explain on a page. At the same time, I wanted to learn another skill, during lockdown, of creating videos, which involves scripting, direction, and editing. Additionally, I wanted to provide a service by uploading it on YouTube, so that others can use it to have fun making and eating crispy dosas. As dosas are vegetarian and do not contain any dairy products, vegans can also enjoy them.
What impact has lockdown had on your cooking?
I have been learning basic cooking skills for a few years now. Lockdown provided me an opportunity to learn more complex cooking, such as dosa. Both of my parents are NHS workers and I have been trying to reduce their workload at home by helping my mother with the cooking. As our school introduced CAS into our distance learning timetable, I have been motivated to learn new skills such as cooking elaborate dishes, creating videos and sharing with others. I thank my teachers for bringing CAS into the curriculum which I think has helped me to become a better person.
Toby Painter in Rem N has been spending some of his CAS sessions baking cookies for elderly neighbours and key workers in his community.
What inspired you to make cookies for your community and key workers?
I think the other KES students and teachers doing all of their tasks to help the community inspired me to make the cookies, and also my mum as she is an NHS worker. The creativity and service booklet on the firefly page also gave me the idea.
Do you have a recipe for the cookies for anyone who also wants to make them?
I used a recipe from a cookbook we have at home. I halved the ingredients but this still made about 30 cookies to share! I am sure there are lots of good recipes out there on the internet.
Toby has shared a picture of one of his delicious cookies:
Zuhair Ahmed in SHF has spent some of his timetabled CAS time creating a dessert cookbook with a total of 13 recipes for people to try and make.
Who cooks with you?
My mother cooks with me and she was the one who taught me how to make everything I can make.
Would you say that you have a special dish that you make?
I have made many dishes, my strong point being sponge cakes.
What inspired you to make the cookbook?
I realise that there are lots of people with time on their hands at the moment and wanted to help others to have fun by baking with my recipes.
How did you find the time to make a cookbook?
I have found that the Activity and Service periods added to our timetables has freed up time to pursue my interests. One of which is baking!
What impact did lockdown have on your cooking?
During lockdown, getting flour has been hard, so I have been making more main dishes rather than desserts.
The Removes Cupcake Challenge
Ms Sigston has challenged our Removes to make cupcakes for others during the lockdown. Our students have embraced this challenge with gusto!
Tom Hattersley in RMD made 66 cupcakes, along with 2 bigger cakes.
Tom needed additional help from his siblings to carry them all!
Tom’s cupcakes reach their destination at the Royal Star and Garter Care home in Solihull.
Bilal Chaudry prepares his cupcakes and boxes them up ready for sharing in the community:
Ms Sigston is a keen baker and has been producing a variety of treats for the elderly in her community.
What inspired you to bake some cakes for your elderly neighbours?
When I was a little girl I used to love baking with my mum. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love cooking. I was already cooking ready meals for my parents and have done so for many years. However in these difficult times I can’t cook for them as they live 180 miles away from me. So I thought I’d cook for the elderly on my road instead. I have two widowers over 90 years old who haven’t got family nearby, so I take roast dinners to them. I have now extended this during lockdown to cakes as well. It keeps me busy and they enjoy their afternoon tea and cake. Another elderly couple gave me tomato plants for cake to express their gratitude.
What exactly have you been making then?
I’ve been making traditional Victoria sponge cakes, with jam and cream and yesterday cupcakes. Next week it’s going to be Bakewell tart, scones or possibly carrot cake. Who knows what might get baked! I’m just enjoying providing a little something to those in my road.
Mrs Higgins has been running cooking sessions for students and staff during lockdown in an effort to keep the school community connected.
What inspired you to run the cook along sessions?
I thought it would be fun. I love cooking and baking for relaxation and I thought it would be a great way of getting the whole school community together. We started with a breakfast cook along for the Divisions (although that was a little early for some boys). Now we have a baking cook along on a week B Friday afternoon with lots of boys from different year groups. Many have members of their family joining in.
What was your favourite to make and why?
So far we have cooked: chocolate eclairs, plain scones with cream and jam, American style blueberry pancakes, chocolate brownies and cheese scones. The cook along takes place at the end of week B Friday at 1pm. I most enjoyed cooking the eclairs for the cook along as these are technically demanding and there were some fantastic results.
Do you have any recipes to share?
200 g quality dark chocolate (70%) – you need good quality dark chocolate 70% cocoa
250 g unsalted butter
50 g chopped nuts (optional – I will be using pecan nuts)
80 g cocoa powder
65 g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
360 g caster sugar
Equipment – 24cm square tin (or similar proportion, a pan, wooden spoon and spatula)
60g plain Flour
1 tsp caster sugar
5fl oz cold water
275ml double cream
2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts (optional)
100g Chocolate (70%) – for topping
Equipment – a pan, electric whisk or wooden spoon, if you have a piping bag that would be great, if not a metal spoon, a baking tray, a bowl that will sit over a pan (but not touch the bottom of the pan).