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Les Petits Chefs make bread, butter and jam!

We’re back! That’s right, since school is back in session, so are Les Petits Chefs! We’ve got a great group of boys this year, a few new to the school, some who are graduating from two years of Cooking Basics and some who have been in cooking club already for a couple of years. Having “return customers” certainly keeps us on our toes thinking up new recipes and skills/techniques to teach but it’s also great for the “old boys” to be able to teach the new boys some of what they have already learned. There’s no better way to solidify one’s skills in any area than to teach someone else how to do something!

For our first session, I chose not one but three recipes to work on. Ambitious? Of course but that’s what we do in cooking club – raise the bar high, expect a lot and the boys will always rise to the challenge. The recipes I chose are what I would consider fundamentals – basic recipes that it’s good to be familiar with – bread, butter and jam. Since we only have an hour, a couple of those elements are obviously challenging – bread and jam. But over the summer I discovered a really easy, fast-to-make brown soda bread that I thought might work well as bread rolls (made in muffin cups) and a bit of Googling discovered a “quick jam” recipe that I thought might work.

Though the boys were initially a little sad that we weren’t making muffins or cupcakes (I let them guess the recipes from the ingredients set out), they were excited at the prospect of making bread. I personally love how not one boy thought it was a crazy thing that we were even attempting not just bread but two other recipes in the hour (though some of the parents thought I was “courageous”!).

We practiced measuring ingredients with cups and teaspoons…

Cooking with kids levelling flour on eatlivetravelwrite.comMeasuring oil cooking with kids on eatlivetravelwrite.comand cracking eggs (everyone’s favourite task!)

Cracking eggs cooking with kids on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd scooping the batter into even-sized portions so the rolls would bake evenly…

Scooping bread dough into muffin tins on eatlivetravelwrite.comBrown soad bread rolls cooking with kids on eatlivetravelwrite.comThen we divided into groups to make the butter and jam whilst the rolls were baking…

The jam is a super easy recipe (and we even forgot the lemon juice and it turned out ok!) – basically you chop the strawberries either in a food processor or by hand then cook down with some sugar.

Kids chopping strawberries for jam on eatlivetravelwrite.comMaking strawberry jam on eatlivetravelwrite.comIt turns out to be a runnier jam that you might be used to but firms up (apparently – there was none leftover for me!) in the fridge. It was delicious just cooked and slightly cooled on the warm rolls though…

The butter was something I have never made but always wanted to so I figured who better to make this with than the boys. It was actually much more interesting than it sounds to watch cream whipping into butter – there were definitely different stages it went through… From liquid to whipped, to really thick whipped to separated fat and liquid then ….. butter…

Making butter from scratch on eatlivetravelwrite.comChurning butter in a food processor on eatlivetravelwrite.comButter churned on eatlivetravelwrite.comKids making butter on eatlivetravelwrite.comButter ready to spread on eatlivetravelwrite.comThen it was “reveal time” –  and the rolls were baked…

Brown soad bread rolls made by kids on eatlivetravelwrite.comAnd check out the crumb on the bread rolls!

Brown soda bread rolls on eatlivetravelwrite.comPerfect, right?

Meanwhile, our jams were being jarred up in tiny spice jars – just enough for the two rolls each boy was taking home…

Strawberry jam made by kids on eatlivetravelwrite.comNot pictured here are our little butter packets – I had imagined they would look like those individual butter pats you see in hotel breakfast buffets. I can’t say they looked that neat but they got packed up and put in hands/ Tupperwares and were heading on out the door on time at just over 60 minutes for the session from start to finish!

As we cleaned up, Miss Carter and I had a little sneaky taste of some of the leftovers…

Brown soda bread roll with butter and jam on eatlivetravelwrite.combefore the rest was distributed amongst my colleagues….

I’d say this was a huge success and am so pleased to have shown the boys how easy some really basic foods are to make from scratch!

You can get the recipe for quick strawberry jam here and the recipe for the homemade butter here.

Modern Irish Food cover

 

The brown soda bread recipe comes from Kevin Dundon’s Modern Irish Food which you can buy on Amazon, Amazon Canada or for free worldwide shipping on The Book Depository.

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Please note: The product links from Amazon, Amazon.ca and The Book Depository are affiliate links. If you click on these links and purchase the product I have linked to or any other product, I will receive a small percentage of the sale price.

 

 
Canadian Living Dinner in 30 Minutes or Less

 

Canadians – win a copy of Canadian Living’s Dinner in 30 Minutes or Less. Closes Wednesday September 17th 6pm EST. Details here.

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10 Responses to Les Petits Chefs make bread, butter and jam!

  1. Mr. Neil September 17, 2014 at 07:23 #

    HOORAY – welcome back, LPC! Looking forward to another exciting year.

    And of course, my lunch treats. 😉

  2. Ann Mah September 17, 2014 at 21:46 #

    Wow, all this in one hour? Seriously impressed!

  3. Paula September 18, 2014 at 07:31 #

    Bravo! You and LPC should be very proud of your accomplishment. What a great way to kick off a new year in the lab kitchen. The newest LPC must be quite excited to see what challenges you have in store for them this year 🙂

  4. Coco in the Kitchen September 18, 2014 at 18:20 #

    There is nothing I would rather have for dinner than fresh bread, HOMEMADE strawberry jam and butter!
    In fact, last night I had freshly brewed tea (earl grey, of course), barbari (Persian sesame seed bread) and feta cheese.

    Life is good!

  5. S September 21, 2014 at 15:44 #

    Welcome back, Mardi and LPC. It is always very heartening to see the amount of love and hard work you and your little chefs put into these cookery activities. I really hope my boy grows up to be like this. Your students/chefs are lucky to have you as their mentor. x s

    • Mardi Michels October 26, 2014 at 08:54 #

      With you as a mum Shayma, he is bound to grow up with a love of cooking!

  6. Geoff September 22, 2014 at 00:36 #

    LPCs have to stop making things that make me hungry.
    When I got to the final pics, I really wanted some of this.

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