Surrey Square School

Children making pesto

Craft & Cooking Sessions 

October 2021

It has been really refreshing to spend time with the young people at Surrey Square School, they are inquisitive, eager to learn and all are so encouraging to one another when working as a group. 

Our last two sessions we have focused on making a pumpkin seed-pesto together and preparing a salad. Our collaboration with Surrey Square School focuses on skills that children can reproduce at home – so after every practical session, we’ve written down a recipe card and spoken about which ingredients we could substitute to create different outcomes and our own unique tweaks of the recipes! 

The pumpkin-pesto making session, we used fresh basil grown in the polytunnel to prepare our pesto’s, using a nutrition food chart (thank you Brixton Wholefoods!) to discuss the ingredients we were using and how they support our bodies. Everyone took away their recipe cards and pots of pesto to eat – but most were spotted being eaten in the playground straight after!

For salad-making we split into partners who focused on preparing individual ingredients for the salad, we spoke about why we support British produce and the air miles of our food. Next was our focus on how to use our knives safely, discussing what our favourite meals to eat at home are, writing up a recipe card and then taking the session outside! Everybody had an opportunity to see the hot composter on the site and this was when I became familiar with Peppa Pig’s grandad, who is quite the keen composter. We fed the hot composter together with our leftovers from the salad and drained the juices to show everyone how the fertiliser is created. 

Last year, there was justified outrage at the potential withdrawal of free school meals, but less about the quality of the meals being prepared. A small amount of time spent preparing food can have young people feel more inspired to create their own recipes, have the knowledge of basic meal preparation and think more about what they feed their bodies with. 

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