Friday, 26 October 2012

School Cookery Lessons Stink.

My son cooked cottage pie at school today. "Good!" I thought " An easy dinner tonight!" How wrong I was!!

I really have no idea how his cookery teacher ever got a job passing her cookery skills onto the next generation, because she clearly has none to pass ...

Cottage pie should be a delicious, tasty meal of beef mince cooked with onions, maybe garlic, seasonings such as salt, pepper, herbs, and then perhaps some carrots, tinned tomatoes - all topped with creamy buttery mashed potato then baked in the oven until golden brown and a little crispy on top. Each family will have their own variation - perhaps cheese on top of the mash ...

photo courtesy of

My son's version consisted of fried mince, chopped onions and carrots from ... LAST WEEK ... when they practised their knife skills ... and instant gravy. It was then topped with a thin grey layer of mash.

I took one mouthful and really couldn't eat any more. It was gross.

We do quite a bit of cooking in our house. My boys are quite capable of cooking several meals including cottage pie and this travesty of a meal was revolting. My son said that as he cooked it he knew it needed seasoning and suggested that if he had used various ingredients, seemingly unheard of by his teacher, it would have been better.

What sort of cookery teacher, what sort of person, used carrots and onions that have been sitting around for a week?? No wonder people these days rely so much on instant meals, take away food. I see it as part of my job as a mum to teach my boys to cook and thank goodness I do.

They know how to whip up a cake, cook sausages, pasta. My eldest son can make pastry and won a cooking competition with his chicken pie a couple of years ago. He was 12. It doesn't have to be rocket science. I always cook from scratch, using the best ingredients I can. I try to cook vegetarian meals each week as well as meaty meals and yesterday they wolfed down a hearty stew of root veg, beans and pasta. I know I complain sometimes about their eating habits, but they are actually pretty good and I am proud of their ability to follow a recipe. We like tasty, healthy food and my boys know and appreciate food that tastes good. They might complain sometimes, but faced with a choice of grey, week old cottage pie or a version that actually tastes good and is made with good ingredients, they are not fools.

So why are they being taught such rubbish at school? Its not a new thing. I remember my own cookery teacher at school turned out tasteless slop week after week.I learned to cook from my mum and did my best to ignore the school lessons. But what happens to those children who don't have mums who enjoy cooking?

Perhaps its a prerequisite of secondary school cookery teachers? If you are absolutely incapable of cooking anything tasty and have no idea about how to create a fresh, delicious meal then you get shoved into Home Ec.

Jamie Oliver had a brilliant campaign over school dinners. Maybe I need to start a campaign to teach our children how to cook? Clearly if I rely on my son's teachers things are going to go horribly wrong. Oh, and maybe I should think of buying shares in the local chip shop?


Caz said...

Here, here! My son is extremely disappointed that his school doesn't even offer Home Ec - he absolutely loves cooking and learned everything he knows from me. I've recently made each one of my three (grown) children cook a family meal at least once a week. It teaches them how to make healthy meals as well as shows them the effort I used to go to seven days a week!

Nicki said...

Those kids who do not have a mom that teaches them the true way of cooking grow up to be Home Ec teachers!!