Incredible Edible Wilmslow Herby Cooking Workshop

A couple of weeks ago I led a children’s cooking workshop for the brilliant community project –  Incredible Edible Wilmslow –  at Intoto Kitchen Showroom, Wilmslow.

fruit kebab

Grilled fruit kebabs with mixed spice, chocolate drizzle and lavender flowers

I wanted to use ingredients from the Incredible Edible beds dotted around Wilmslow town centre.

IE Wilmslow

One of the aromatic herb beds in Wilmslow town centre

It’s October, and although many of the vegetables were over, there were plenty of herbs so I decided on herby vegetable pizzas and fruit and flower kebabs –  both easy, fun recipes for children and, most importantly, delicious fresh food! P1010355ie picie pic 9ie pic 7 ie pic 6ie pic 8 We had a lot of fun – with children as young as 6 and a few grown ups joining in as well! Jay, director of Intoto Kitchens Wilmslow (http://www.intoto.co.uk/showrooms/view/in-toto-wilmslow) was incredibly relaxed whilst we created a lovely mess in one of his state – of – the – art kitchens. (I’ve never used such high quality appliances and they really were so easy and brilliant to cook with). All my workshop participants were very adventurous and creative – we ended up with calzones; nasturtium decorated pizzas and very heavily chocolate dipped kebabs…. So thanks to everyone who came along; helped with the washing up; took pictures or just joined in the fun! Incredible Edible is a brilliant community project that provides the town with herb and vegetable beds for anyone and everyone to enjoy and connecting us to our food from ‘plot to plate’. I’m now thinking of ideas for the next workshop….   ie pic 10

Sensational Salsa by the Bethnal Green Brownies

ImageOn Monday I had the privilege of running a Seasoning Works spice workshop for a group of Brownies in Bethnal Green, London.

Fifteen lively 7 – 10 year old girls formed the group, and the task I set them was to create a herby, fresh tomato salsa.

It was a delight to see how positive and capable the girls were at making their salsa entirely from scratch, requiring just the lightest guidance from me and the adult leaders.

“Does anyone know the names of these herbs?”  I asked the girls, as I held up bunches of coriander, oregano and parsley.

Their replies and guesses proved that many had more than a little knowledge of these aromatic ingredients and their willingness to chop vegetables, taste and mix spices, whether familiar or unfamiliar to them, was fantastic to see.

Some followed the recipe exactly. Some free-formed it and added rather generous amounts of lime juice and pepper! After all, it’s great fun to bash spices in a mortar and pestle and squeeze a lime till all the juice runs into the bowl, so why stop at a teaspoon…

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Everyone loved their own finished salsa, however citrusy and they learned how to add more tomato to balance their finished dish.

If children are going to grow up being able to cook well and healthily, knowing how to turn some humble vegetables and herbs into a delicious, fresh dish is essential.

This group prove it’s never too soon to let children loose in the kitchen!

Thank you very much girls – you were brilliant.