March 7th 2012

Autumn – bang! And it’s here – the definite chilly mornings & nights, and crazy weather patterns of rain, rain, floods and more rain… and all the banging and thudding going on in the street outside makes me glad to be huddled inside the cottage with the ovens on, throwing pizza dough!

We’ve had such a great response from the wonderful volunteers so far this term – both connected to the school and also from the wider community – and so we’ve been able to make loads of delicious dishes with the children, and in smaller manageable groups. They love being with their mum, dad, gran, auntie, next door neighbour, best friend’s mum etc in the class, and amazingly, even cheeky behaviour suddenly seems to stop! And the mums themselves have been shocked to find that their allergic-to-vegetables child is wolfing down the autumn salad and the eggplant dip!

With loads of requests from the students to pair the pesto with some pasta I felt compelled to dust the pasta machines off & we’ve been rolling, rolling, rolling this week in one group, whilst another pounds the pine nuts, parmesan, garlic and basil for the pesto; we’ve been baking the little Lebanese eggplants and parsley to make a spicy & garlicky dip and then using our knife skills to create beautiful and neat crudités with which to dip; the potatoes that we pulled up at the beginning of the term have been put to use on our crispy potato & rosemary pizza with landcress and wild rocket; and our now Autumn salad has been garnished with the last of the cucumbers, crunchy dwarf beans and the addition of brilliant-yoked (boiled) eggs the chooks are providing now that they are laying! They must be very happy in their new palace… Alas for them though the children eat pretty much everything on their plates!

So thank you to all the lovely students, let’s hope the rest of the year is as dynamic and inspiring! And thanks too for all the superb volunteers who are giving up their time to make our Kitchen Garden classes such a success in 2012! I look forward to seeing you all soon,

Yum! Melissa

PS I’ll have the coffee on in the cottage by 9.30 (at the latest…!) on Saturday if you’re dropping in to help with the garden working bee… and might even rustle up some banana cake too 😉

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