Sometimes things don’t always go to plan. Especially not in the last couple of days of school. Schedules change, and life gets hectic in June so I like to keep my cooking club running for as long as I can because routine is much needed (for me and the boys!) and really, if they still want to come and cook on the second last day of school, that says something, doesn’t it?
I had planned for Mairlyn Smith to come and work with the boys (she’s worked with them a few times before – she came to make butter tarts from her latest cookbook with them last Fall, Breakfast Grab ‘n’ Gos back in 2013 and a sweet potato salsa pie the very first time she came), but luck was not on our side a second time this term as she was not well 🙁 I was looking forward to Mairlyn coming to work with the boys since the focus for this year’s Food Revolution Day was about sharing the power of cooking, the benefits of cooking from scratch and, ultimately showing people that changing our food choices can make us both healthier and happier. Instead of one official recipe as there has been in years past, this year, we have a set of 10 recipes chosen by Jamie Oliver that he deems the “Starter Pack” of Cooking. Each recipe covers a different skill and technique that can give anyone the confidence to cook good, real, healthy meals for themselves and their families, for now and the future. Jamie has spoken about the idea of ten recipes to save your life since his TED talk in 2010 and this semester Les Petits Chefs have worked with chefs from around Toronto who will cook THEIR “must know” recipes with the boys.
I know Mairlyn was planning on making omelettes with the boys as one of her “must know” dishes (which I think is a must too!) and while I think she could pull off an omelette making-session in the face of the second last day of school excitement, I know myself better and didn’t think I could. All term the boys have been asking to make “something sweet” and so on this final day of cooking club for the year, I relented. But not just “sweet for the sake of it” sweet, you understand… I went back to my “go to” healthy snack – Mairlyn’s Breakfast Grab ‘n’ Go bars/ cookies. I figured since we’re teaching the boys “must know” and they’re about to head off on vacation for 2 months, why not teach them to make a healthy breakfast/ snack for themselves?
We divided into two teams and I gave the boys the equipment they needed, a pen and a recipe – asking them to check off the ingredients as they add them (something I highly recommend but don’t do as often as I should…) and let them at the recipe (with some gentle guidance along the way…).
This was an excellent recipe to clean out out cupboards before the summer holidays – we used up a lot of little quantities of dried fruit and oats and flour. Vanilla was nowhere to be seen so we went without that and my brutal schedule that day meant I didn’t have time to pop out for the secret ingredient – baby food prunes – so we added a touch of extra oil and honey to help these bind. The boys had fun forming and shaping the cookies…
And while they baked, we cleaned the lab (life skill!) and talked our way through the recipe, discussing the ingredients, technique and substitutions so they really (I hope) went away with a good understanding of the recipe. I know they went away with four of these:
Get the recipe for Mairlyn’s “Grab ‘n’ Go” Breakfast Cookies here.
Thanks for following along Les Petits Chefs adventures this year. I’ll be writing a few pieces here about cooking with kids over the summer so stay tuned! (I’ll be in France and Spain over the summer so follow along via Instagram!)