Monday, 6 February 2017

Aaaaand ... They're Off! Away They Go!

It is a new semester.

It is a new start.

New everything.

We always begin with the same challenge ... results vary. I offer ONLY the recipe and a fully-stocked and loaded kitchen. No advice, no support (except for safety challenges), no directions, no questions are answered. This is a day to explore a new learning area, investigate and meet each other. And try to make something edible.

The challenge is always the same ... "Make Me Cookies!", and a recipe is given out from the 1949 Purity Flour cookbook, for Oat Meal Cookies (with raisins).

Teamwork is introduced, with the emphasis on communication. Always communicate!

The recipe seems so simple ... blend sugar into butter, add an egg or two, stir in measured dry ingredients, form as chosen and bake in a pre-heated oven.
So ... Pre-heat an oven.
First, figure out how an oven works.

Second, start mixing stuff
Third, put stuff together
Fourth, prepare cookie baking trays

Fifth, form cookies
Sixth, stick trays into ovens
Seventh, watch cookies bake
Eighth, figure out how to remove cookies from oven

Ninth, try out cookies.


Results this time were ... um ... variable. The concepts of 'crust' and 'crumb' were introduced, along with what a barely-baked outside and a raw inside look (and taste) like. Also, deficits in measuring (like 8 times the amount of baking soda used), and technique challenges (such as walking around the kitchen carefuly trying to balance a measured teaspoon of vanilla extract) were outlined and proven.

Today, all the cookies went into Mr Dumpster. This WAS, however, a very successful class ... everyone got to analyse what they did, and what needs to be improved. Tomorrow there will be a demonstration of technique and results from Chef, whose start-to-eat speed record is 27 minutes flat ... and then students, in their same groups, will be given 40 minutes to do the same.

This chef predicts a VERY good class tomorrow for everyone ... there was good learning today! And the cookies will be eaten!

A good first day, everyone.

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