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Cookery courses could incorporate FoodCycle

This is just a though, right – yes, before you say it, I did position myself over something soft when I felt it coming on – but FoodCycle and cookery courses across the country could literally do not only our young folk a massive favour, but also all of those who’d love to learn to cook but find that the price of the average cookery class is just a little bit beyond their reach.

Now, I’m not saying that the average cookery class is over priced by any stretch of the imagination.  When you think of the prep time involved for each class (kitchens, calendars, guest chefs, advertising), the chefs themselves, their expertise and the liability insurance costs involved with opening up their premises, especially with all of those sharp, hot, boiling objects just waiting to go in the accident book, you can see why they charge what they do.  And that’s before you consider the cost of the ingredients themselves.  It’s just that with the current financial climate and austerity measures hitting home more and more every month, the average family budget may not stretch to a few cookery classes, even if the proven long term benefits suggest that families may actually save cash and eat more healthily by learning to cook fresh.

Now, this is where the whole thesis of my bright idea kicks in – hang on, I need a couple more paracetamol…ah, that’s better.  Now, where was I?  Yes, my spark.

The cost of food all through the chain, from originating countries demanding higher (or just fair) wages, to transport costs, to fodder for the animals and the rise in petroleum taking its toll on plastic packaging (believe me, I know where I’m coming from), has risen far in excess of inflation, hence at a lot greater rate than the average salary in the UK.  And the food is a very real cost incorporated in the price of your cookery school fees, especially if you’re taking on a three- or four-course meal in your given class.

This is where FoodCycle could well and truly come in, if only there was a mediator to bring the two together.  Set up a FoodCycle group or brand purely designated to design cookery courses and recipes around the most common food-stuffs thrown away by supermarkets at the end of every shift and find a cookery school willing to take the chance of staking their reputation on using said food, rather than purport simply to offer cookery classes in the art of exotic cuisine and/or fine dining.

Join me tomorrow when I bring this earth-shattering idea of mine to a logical conclusion – c’mon, I’ve had the thought and written the theory behind it in one day…what do you want, blood?

See you bright and early in the morning for part deux. Keep in touch with yourself, now. xxx

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Cookery Course

Eating fresh needn’t cost the earth with M value range

As with last week’s Vegetarian theme, there seems to be a bit of a theme running through this week’s cookery courses blog, too. Yesterday, we perused sending your dad back to school for a Father’s Day gift, and, lo and behold, parents in Coventry have already had a pop at it. Going back to school to learn to cook, that is, not sending your dad to Coventry.

As part of Morrisons M Saver Recipe Challenge program, where you get your recipe card and learn to cook from fresh ingredients from their value for money brand, parents of Coventry’s Park Hill Primary School were invited along to Tile Hill Wood School for not one but two feeding purposes.

First and foremost, the thirty parents who attended the special cookery course were ably abetted by the professional chefs who work with Morrisons to design and implement the range of meals and ingredients on offer as part of the scheme. With their whites on, the parents were given a reminder of the importance of getting as much nutrition from fresh ingredients into their children and, by opting for the M Saver range, it need not stretch the budget.

The other reasoning behind hosting the cookery class at the Tile Hill Wood venue is because the primary school from whence the parents came acts as the feeder school for the secondary school and language college, in turn, working in partnership with Coventry University. By opening up their kitchens, staff believed it was an unmissable opportunity to show the parents the facilities that will be availed to their offspring when the time comes to graduate up the educational ladder.

With professional and celebrity chefs getting more and more involved with what children eat whilst they’re at school, opportunities like this are essential to ensure that the work that goes on behind the scenes at education level are not wasted by the kids being fed an unhealthy diet once they get home.

By emphasising that cooking fresh needn’t cost the earth, in more ways than one, it is hoped that by ingraining the message into the parents, their children will pick up good habits to help bring down disease and obesity rife in the modernised world, today. If this is important to you, check out our cookery courses page and simply choose the class from our hand-picked selection of cookery schools that suits your needs best.

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Cookery Course News

Oxford students to teach elderly healthy cooking on a budget

Two Oxford Brookes University students are turning their hands to helping elderly residents of one Oxford estate learn to cook nutritious food on a budget following a similar class they held recently for moms and children to achieve the same with resounding success.

The cookery classes will be held once a week for the pensioners who are not only stuck for ideas due to lack of local choice but are feeling the pinch in their purses for the exact same reason.

Monika Kozlak and Julie Hayes, studying nutrition and business at the local university, are not just putting together a cookery course that their curriculum dictates they ought, either. Their cookery class has a real community spirit feel to it.

Once a week the elderly residents of Alice and Margaret House hold a coffee morning. Next Tuesday, 28th Feb, the two students will pop along to discuss the residents likes and dislikes in order to put together the cookery course on a shoestring as many locals are extremely concerned that their pensions, given the adversity they face to get to a supermarket of any renown, do not stretch to a healthy budget.

Cooking healthily is not so easy on a budget

This scenario is so prevalent that the Rose Hill residents, the estate in question, recently rallied around for one senior couple to aid their application for debt relief after they ran up bills of £8,000.

A local Rose Hill and Donnington Advice Centre spokeswoman, Carol Roberts, echoed the pensioners’ plight, underlining how tempting it is for them to nip to the shops to get out once a day with the adverse affect of impinging upon their budgets.

This way of thinking is one of the aspects Julia and Monika hope to change, encouraging a bulk-food shop rather than fresh produce bought daily. To run alongside that is the cookery course; many of the widowers have not truly grasped the concept of cooking at all, let alone on a budget, since their wives have passed away.

Details have yet to be finalised and will hopefully be concluded following next week’s tête-à-tête with the residents. If things go to plan, the communal kitchens will be the venue for the cookery classes at the nearby Desborough Crescent sheltered accommodation flats. Sainsburys will provide the ingredients from its local Heyford Hill store, although, long-term you’d maybe proffer  cheaper alternatives, if they’re truly serious about saving, drawing upon other chains’ value/store brands to fill their larders and pantries.

If you want to see the type of things the girls will be considering for the cookery courses, they’re holding a demo tomorrow (Fri 24th) at The Oval, courtesy of The Health Bus.