Swapping travel for cooking

Something a little different and for those local to us in South Staffordshire.

My youngest is 4 and started full time school in September and whilst we did lots of activities and clubs whilst I was on maternity leave once I went back to work they obviously had to stop.

Although I was more than happy that she was getting the stretch and support she needed from her lovely childminder I wanted to find something we could do together each week on my day off from work that was just the two of us but also something she would benefit from.

I started looking around at the local classes for pre-schoolers and debated many but the one that stood out was Budding Bakers, which is a cooking class. So, we arranged a trial (once the session was available) and I have to say we have both enjoyed every minute.

Before we signed up, it started me thinking, dangerous I know! How often do we really spend time teaching our little ones to cook and handle food? I know I certainly don’t. We may do the odd batch of fairy cakes or cookies but we don’t usually have time to allow them help prepare dinner for a variety of reasons, which I won’t bore you with.

We have trotted along each Friday morning now for coming up to a year and the five of us (we took a friend with us too, I am not sharing any new news with you!) also went to the Summer Workshop in July, which I will share with you…

On the menu was Courgette and Lime Flower Pots and Mocktails – yum!

The workstations were set up on arrival of course and the ladies at Budding Bakers have everything ready, hats, aprons, utensils and most importantly the delicious ingredients so you literally rock up with your little ones with a smile on their face. And if they don’t have a smile on arrival they sure will when they leave.

Jo and Katrina walk you through the steps of the recipe and hand out the ingredients as they go, the children measure out the right amount using the scales before adding to their mixing bowls, using their little muscles to mix it all in until ready to be poured into the flower pot to be baked.

Obviously, the oven in controlled by Budding Bakers opposed to the children for safety and delivered like magic back to the workstations once ready.

Next, they made their flowers for their pots from marshmallows and skittles, always a favourite. Using icing sugar to stick them all together.

Whilst the baking and setting of the flowers took place we headed over to the mocktail station, shame there was no gin to be added for the adults but it was 11am after all. Our kiddies chose to make the Lemon Fizz and Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade. Again, each of the ingredients were handed out and the children walked through the steps of the recipe, from chopping and mashing strawberries to juicing lemons before they enjoyed sipping on their mocktails after they had added their umbrellas and fruit for decoration of course.

As the flower pots were browning we enjoyed some delicious handmade cake and coffee to devour and it’s a nice opportunity to mix with the other parents and children.

Once the pots were browned and flowers set the final step was to add the flowers to the pots, decorate with icing and voila courgette and lime flower pot complete. They looked great and tasted delicious, surprisingly the children had forgotten about the fact they had added the courgette and I love that the children get to taste and cook with ingredients they wouldn’t usually expanding their taste buds. In the weekly classes, the menu usually entails one sweet and one savoury, one of which they enjoy in class whilst listening to a themed story whilst the cooking happens.

The classes and workshops are for 10 children so it is really focussed and means all of the children and or adults get the attention they need during the sessions.

Some of the families who came to the workshop shared their thoughts on the workshop;

‘Isobel 9, really enjoyed the workshop. Her parents found it very organised and loves that the sessions allow the children to try different foods without it being a big thing and is good for all ages’

Jo and Katrina really get to the children’s level and Jo’s attitude and bubbly personality is really engaging for the children. Love that the mess is left in the workshop rather than at home and the children enjoy eating the foods they create, forgetting what is in there on occasion’

‘Pudding club is great; the children try everything and encourages them to get their hands dirty. Grown up classes would be good going forward!’

I must say that I agree with all of the comments above and all 3 of the children really enjoyed the session, even though I was a bit dubious about our 8 year old and whether he would enjoy it, as you will see from the photos, it is fair to say he really did enjoy it.

Thank you Budding Bakers for the fun and creativity over the last year, we have both loved it and we look forward to Pudding Club in September. I really can’t recommend the class enough, you and your littlies will love it.

If you live locally and would like to enquire about Budding Bakers sessions here are the details;

Mobile 07765 406598

Email buddingbakers@yahoo.co.uk or find them on Facebook