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May 23 13

Real Cooking Classes for Real People

by Beverley Glock

Beverley GlockI launched Splat Cooking in 2001 as a cooking party company to encourage children to learn to cook and show them how much fun cooking is.  The natural progression to the parties was after school cooking clubs and cooking workshops, then I was asked by their parents to teach them so they could help their children cook at home too.  My cookery school was born.

Over the years I’ve built on the school, making the courses bigger, longer, more intense, more adventurous, offering lunch, wine, very nice cookery folders, etc, and of course, more expensive to cover the costs, lunch and an assistant to help with the food prep and washing up.  However, it’s still located in the kitchen of my 17th Century mill house as I’ve always backed away from suggestions to ‘get a unit’ or ‘develop a purpose built cookery school’ as my passion is encouraging and inspiring normal people to learn different techniques or just learn the basics so that they can cook a basic or more flash meal for their family and friends. The fact that the cookery school is in a home kitchen has always gone down well, usually met with a sigh of relief from people expecting a fire breathing stove and stainless steel everywhere.

The point I’m getting to here is that I want to get back to basics, I want to teach real people how to cook real food and inspire them to be little more adventurous with their everyday routine meals.  So I’m reinventing the courses we offer to be just that – REAL COOKING FOR REAL PEOPLE.  In order to do this I’m paring down the courses and in doing so bringing the prices down.

I ran a taster short course a couple of weeks ago, Pasta with Three Sauces, it was 3 hours long and was half the price of our normal full day courses, there was no fresh homemade cake, freshly brewed coffee and tea on arrival and no lavish lunch with wine.  Just 3 hours of learning how to make pasta and sauces to go with it with a cup of coffee and tea in the middle when we needed it, if my guests wanted lunch they were pointed in the direction of M&S on their way home.  The feedback was incredible and the course sold out in 2 weeks flat.

Everyone on the course couldn’t believe the price was so low (my overheads were massively reduced and I didn’t need extra staff to help out, no fancy cookery folders either, everything on email afterwards), most of the guests had children and had time to drop them at school, come to the workshop and collect them afterwards, even though two of them had over an hours drive each way.  They all said that they had been put off by the prices of workshops at other cookery schools and that they would only go on those courses if it was a special treat and as a special ‘day out’ rather than learn to cook, they loved the pasta course and said they’d like more courses like this that were short and affordable….

That’s when it hit me, I’ve always wanted to get people cooking and learning about food, so by offering more of these Real Cooking courses I can do that, so here we go.  The first of these courses run in June with Breadmaking,on Friday 21 June, Healthy Summer Cooking on Friday 28 June and Summer Baking on Friday 5 July, all these courses run from 10am-1pm and are £40 per person, held by me, in my lovely farmhouse kitchen and if the weather is nice you get to have your cup of tea or coffee by the mill pond.  You don’t get lunch, but there’s an M&S Simply Food in the village, but you will learn to cook amazing food and take a little home with you too, you’ll get the recipes but they will be on email or paper copies, if you’d like a nice folder then you can choose your own at another time, I’m going to teach you to cook.  Real Cooking for Real People.

Tell all your friends and get booking to start cooking

MEbreadsmall

Written by Beverley Glock - Visit Website
Apr 12 13

What’s in Season for April

by Beverley Glock

APRIL

Easter usually falls in April, lambs are everywhere in the fields, spring flowers in the meadows and it’s hopefully getting warmer with lovely light nights and mornings.  A wider variety of home-grown fruit and vegetables are becoming available too.

Fruit Vegetables Meat
Kiwi fruit* Asparagus Spring Lamb
Strawberries Broccoli Wood pigeon
Jersey royal potatoes Cockles
Purple sprouting broccoli Cod
Radishes Salmon
Rhubarb – outdoor Sea trout
Rocket
Rosemary
Sorrel
Spinach
Spring onions
Watercress
Wild garlic

 

There are lots of new vegetables coming into season, especially green vegetables.  Home-grown asparagus is only around for a very short time so enjoy it while it lasts, it tastes wonderful and makes your wee smell funny!

Jersey royal potatoes are not to be missed, eat them with the skins on so you get the benefit of all the lovely nutrients.  Cook them with a little mint and serve with a knob of butter.

Watercress is very high in iron and vitamin C, it’s quite peppery to taste and mixes well with salads, try some raw with baby spinach and a squeeze of lemon or make it into watercress soup.

Strawberries coming in from the Mediterranean appear from April.

Make the most of children being on holiday from school for another few days and make Beverley’s Garibaldi biscuits, or dead fly biscuits, always popular in our house.

Written by Beverley Glock - Visit Website Edit

Written by Beverley Glock - Visit Website
Feb 11 13

What’s in season for February? Blood Oranges?

by Beverley Glock

FEBRUARY

Nights and mornings are starting to get lighter, citrus fruits are still available from Spain including blood oranges with their gorgeous blood red juice.  Try our Sweet Potato and Blood Orange Cupcakes recipe, the pink icing is made from the juice of the blood oranges.

 

Fruit                                          Vegetables                            Meat

Blood oranges                           Beetroot                                   Guinea Fowl

Kiwi fruit                                    Brussels sprouts                    Hare

Lemons                                       Cauliflower                             Venison

Oranges                                       Celeriac                                   Clams

Passion fruit                              Chicory                                    Haddock

Pomegranate                             Jerusalem artichoke            Lemon Sole

Walnuts                                       Kale                                         Mussels

Leeks                                            Oysters

Parsnips

Potatoes

Purple Sprouting  Broccoli

Rhubarb – forced

Squash

Swede

You’ll notice that rhubarb is in the vegetable section not the fruit, rhubarb is the only vegetable we eat as a fruit as we eat the stalk of the plant.  At this time of year we eat ‘forced’ rhubarb that is deep pink in colour and has been grown in the dark over the winter.  Forced rhubarb has a lovely, sweet flavour and is nice eaten raw dunked in a little sugar.  In spring we’ll eat outdoor rhubarb that has a green stalk, this has a slightly more ‘tart’ flavour and is not quite as sweet but is great made into a crumble or compote.

Written by Beverley Glock - Visit Website
Feb 11 13

Pancake Day

by Beverley Glock

The days are getting longer, it’s silly how excited I feel when it’s still daylight at 5.30pm but at least it feels like coming out of hibernation.  Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday is tomorrow and we have just uploaded our pancakesSaturday morning cooking club video making pancakes to help if you would like to have a go, we’ve also got some lovely pancake recipes to share as well.

Blueberry Pancakes – a drop scone recipe with blueberry compote, lovely for breakfast or an afternoon snack

Chocolate Banana Pancakes – chocolate drop scones with a delicious chocolate sauce and bananas so you can kid yourself that it’s slightly healthy.

Classic pancakes – the original pancakes, lovely served with lemon and sugar, freshly squeeze blood orange juice in season at the moment or something wicked like nutella

History of Pancake Day

Pancake Day’s proper name is Shrove Tuesday and this is the night before the beginning of Lent. Traditionally an evening when families used up flour and eggs to mark the beginning of the fasting period before Easter.  This year Shrove Tuesday falls on 12 February.

Pancakes are a flat, thin batter cake cooked in a hot frying pan – hence the name ‘pan-cake’.  They are cooked on one side then flipped (or tossed if you’re feeling brave) to cook the other side.  They can be sweet or savoury and can be eaten at any time of day and not just on Shrove Tuesday.

My childhood memories are of spending two weeks persuading my Mum to cook pancakes for Pancake Day, helping her mix up the batter and seeing if I could eat the pancakes faster than she could make them.  In the winter months pancakes are a standard Sunday breakfast in our house – what do you like on yours?  Lemon and sugar?  Maple syrup?  Freshly squeezed orange juice? Nutella?  Grand Marnier? Ham and cheese?  My vote is for lemon and sugar.

Pancake races take place all over Britain, this is one those classic British traditions like the Pantomime, Boxing Day Dips and Morris Men, slightly mad but lots of fun (I know Morris Men aren’t mad and there are amazing traditions to their dances, I love them so please no letters!).

The pancake race originates in a place called Olney in Buckinghamshire; the story goes that a housewife was cooking when she heard the shriven bell at church calling for the start of the service.  Not wanting to be late she dashed out of the house still holding her frying pan.  Olney has held a Pancake Day race since 1445.  In other parts of Britain men dress up in aprons and bonnets and run whilst tossing a pancake in a frying pan.  They have to toss the pancake at least once at the beginning and end of the race and the first across the line wins.

 

 

Written by Beverley Glock - Visit Website
Nov 18 12

Edible Christmas Gifts and Christmas Cooking Workshops – let’s make Christmas

by Beverley Glock

It’s that time again, Stir Up Sunday is Sunday 25 November the classic day to make your Christmas pudding and we’ll be making these in Saturday Morning Cooking Club on the 24th November.

Splat Cooking’s Edible Christmas workshops are up on the website, we’ll help you beat the recession and inspire you to make your own Christmas Gifts, from Christmas Muffin Mixes and Lavender Sugar in a gorgeous kilner jar to learning how to temper chocolate and make popping candy chocolates, chocolate bark and tipsy truffles.

Everything will be wrapped ready for you to give as gifts and you’ll take home the recipes to keep recreating more edible goodies so you can carry on making edible Christmas presents at home too.  The children have their own workshops to make goodies for family and friends on Saturday 15 December too.

Our Christmas Baking workshops take you through making your own Christmas pudding, mincemeat and pastry, stollen and incorporates some delicious edible gifts such as biscotti too.

We have classes for children as well as adults so check out the workshops and date and book quickly as these are really popular.

Christmas Baking  - Silverstone on Friday 30 November and Friday 14 December £65

Christmas Cake Decorating – Princes Risborough – bring your own marzipanned cake and we’ll teach you to cover and decorate it Friday 7 December from 10.30am-2.30pm

Christmas Cookies – Princes Risborough – royal iced biscuits like Peggy Porshen makes on Wednesday 12 December from 10.30-2.30pm £75

Edible Christmas Gifts (adults) – Princes Risborough on Friday 14 December from 10am-2pm £75

Edible Christmas Gifts (children) – Princes Risborough on Saturday 15 December from 10am-1pm £37.50

Gingerbread chalet and biscuits (children) – Princes Risborough on Saturday 15 December from 3-5.30pm £37.50

come on, let us help you make your own Christmas this year

 

Christmas Muffin Mix

Making Christmas Puddings

Written by Beverley Glock - Visit Website