I was very lucky to be invited along to the preview day of the new Plum cookery school last week. I won the place with a previous post i wrote about weaning Oliver which i linked up to the Tots100 Blog competition
The Plum cookery school is hosted by Beverley Clock in her gorgeous home and huge kitchen. Beverley is a children’s food expert and author of 500 Baby and Toddler Foods and has 11 years experience in cooking with mums and babies.
Plum Baby understand that there are enough sleepless nights when it comes to little ones, without having to worry about weaning too. So they have decided to open the doors to the new Plum Cookery School, where they will reveal some of the tasty secrets behind Plum’s recipes and help support parents through the weaning process. They will be their to offer mums exciting recipe development classes and informal chats with child food experts. It’s not all about the parent neither as their babies will get to taste-test a range of new recipes designed especially to give little ones the best possible introduction to the wonderful world of food. Also on hand at the cookery school will be Celebrity chef, Rachel Allen. She will be their to give her recipe suggestions, answer any cooking-related questions and tell her own anecdotes about weaning her little ones. Together with Rachel, parents who attend the school will even get the chance to work together to help to create the next range of Plum recipes. How exciting!
I attended the cookery school preview day with 3 other bloggers Bex from mummadventure, Laura from thelifeandtimesoftheworkingmum and Lilinha from Lilinhaangelsworld, all lovely ladies, you must read their blogs. We had all arranged to meet up first at the train station and take the time to have a little chat with each other whilst taking the short walk to the plum Cookery school.
We was greeted at the front door and was made to feel very welcome, the atmosphere was very relaxed and comforting. We all sat round the kitchen table with Beverley to introduce ourselves and talk about our weaning journey. In the middle of the table was some lovely yummy looking muffins, which Beverley had made herself, now i love my cake so i couldn’t wait to indulge in eating some, they were delicious, very moist and so tasty, Beverley then told us that she had made them from Plum Baby blueberry fruit purees and she had even reduced the amount of butter from 75g to 25g showing us instantly that Baby’s can enjoy sweet tasting food the same as us adults but healthier than shop bought. After the tea, cake and introductions we put on our aprons ready to make our way to the kitchen to re-create one of the Taste Adventures recipes Beef Cape Sweet Curry. I have tried this one before as well as Oliver and it is really tasty and the texture is just right for my 11 months old. This is one of Oliver’s favourite meals at the moment so i couldn’t wait to see how Beverley was going to cook it and also as i love my food, i couldn’t wait to test it. Beef Cape Sweet Curry is based on a Cape Town style Bobotie – sweet, with gentle hints of spice, and a delicious fruity tang from the mango puree and raisins. This delicious dish is also packed full of protein – essential for your baby’s growth and brain development.
Beverley began dicing, slicing and frying away, including us and informing us along the way of what to do and sharing her tips with, i even learnt a new way to peel a piece of ginger, it was simple but something i had never thought of, (You use a teaspoon to peel off the garlic shell, by dragging it down the skin) I know! why i had never done it this way before i dont know! Simple and easy.
Once the curry was cooking away we started on the next recipe which is one i had submitted, It is a recipe i had grown up with and love, Ross Fil Forn, or what we call it Rice in the Oven. the recipe is from Malta and consists of rice, mince meat, tomatoes, eggs, cheese, basil and mint which is baked in the oven and gives it a lovely crispness on the top. Beverley had served up both the dishes the previous weekend when she had visitors over for dinner and both went down a storm, she told them once they came back for seconds that in fact they were eating a baby food recipe. This just goes to show that baby food needn’t be boring and tasteless, they need to explore with their taste buds and sample new textures.
Once the food was cooked we had the chance to taste them in the surroundings of Beverley’s gorgeous garden, the sun was shining and the company was lovely. I had a spoon full of food from the pot of Sweet cape curry, which was nice and sweet and very flavoursome and then i tasted the recipe creation that Beverley had just cooked up, sweet, flavoursome and very tasty, both the same but with a very slight difference in the texture, although the baby food was very lumpy the food that we had just cooked was alot more lumpier also more spiced up. Oliver didn’t care he liked both of them, in fact he finished off my bowl of food and still licking his lips for more.
I had a really lovely relaxed day which was very informative and i thoroughly enjoyed myself. I learnt that we could make one meal for all the family including the baby just by dishing up the children’s first and then adding more spice, salt and pepper into the adults portion after. I also learnt an invaluable lesson – always wash your eggs prior to cracking them. Next time you get an egg out of the box take a good look at it, you will see small white speckles and a clear translucent smear on them, this is chicken poo, Yes! gross eh! So wash your eggs first before cracking them otherwise a pooey bit of shell may just fall into your food Yuk!
Thank you to Tost100 for hosting the competition, thank you to Baby Plum for creating such a brilliant idea and a big thank you to Beverley who invited us into her lovely home and for making Oliver and I very welcome.