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Sarah's Blog: Learning to cook

Hello again, for those who don’t know me, my name is Sarah and I am enabled to live greater independence in Leeds. If you read my blog last week you'll have seen that I‘ve carried on going to Jamie Oliver’s cooking class; I’ve been again this week and now I’ve so much more to tell you about.

Last Saturday, I woke up bright and early and got ready to go to Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food. When we got there we all put our aprons on and went over the knife skills that we’d learnt in previous weeks.

When using the knife you should either use a rocking motion or the ‘bridge’ technique. It’s best to use the rocking motion when chopping long cylinder-shaped foods, like carrots. Always start slowly though, you don’t want to speed and hurt yourself. Practice always makes perfect. The ‘bridge’ technique is best for chopping round foods like onions or potatoes. You tuck your fingers as much as you can so you don’t cut or chop yourself. No one wants a finger in their food do they?

I learnt some new tips this week too. One is that you don’t need to use a knife to get garlic out of its skin, you can just push down firmly with your thumb and it will pop out!

So, this week we made leek and potato soup to help us prepare for the cold winter. The process was so much easier than I thought…

  • First, wash your hands. That’s a must.

  • Put a pan of water on the hob to heat up.

  • Chop up your onion, garlic, carrot, potato and leek and put it in the pan.

  • Crush up some vegetable stock then put that in too.

  • Wait for the water to boil then turn it down to a simmer.

  • Let it cook until it reaches the consistency you want, for example some like chunky soup but I like a more fluid soup.

It was fantastic because we also made our own bread to have with our soup. I’m definitely going to be making home-made bread from now on. You make the mixture with corn starch, self-raising flour, water, a pinch of salt and pepper but don’t put yeast in! You knead it all together, which is the fun part. It was hard work but it was so worth it because after about 30 minutes in the oven it was ready!

The warm bread and soup was just perfect. I couldn’t wait to go home and have a go at making other soups to keep me warm this winter. I took whatever I had leftover into the Hub to share with some of the ubu team members I work with and they slurped it down!

At the class the teacher suggested I should lead the class next time, but I said no… this time, but maybe in the future though if everyone keeps gulping down the food I make.

Cooking is an important skill that I think everyone should have. I’ve had so much fun at these classes and every time I go I come away with even more skills. Now I’m feeling much more confident in my own kitchen. I love sharing my dishes with my friends and it makes them happy too., which is a good thing.

Not only do these classes teach you great skills in the kitchen, it makes you think about what you don’t need to waste and how to use up things you might throw away otherwise. So go on everyone, have a go at cooking something for yourself and see what fun and delicious food you can bring to your family and friends.


Why not, sit back and read more about some of our great successes.

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