THE CHILTERN CHATTER VERDICT: BLOSSOMING COOKS
My daughter and I were lucky enough to be invited along to try out some Blossoming Cooks classes and we jumped at the chance. Blossoming Cooks was started in April 2013 by Susan Jarman, (a biology teacher) shortly after the birth of her second son (you can read all about how Susan started up Blossoming Cooks here).
Blossoming Cooks really appealed to me as I liked the fact that the classes combine cooking and nature. My daughter is a bit of a tom boy (what else can I expect with 2 brothers ☺), so I wasn’t convinced that just a cooking class would cut it with her! The classes last for 90 minutes and take place in Susan’s home, so it’s very relaxed. Each class has a specific nature theme, which in turn inspires the cookery part of the class and the outdoor activities.
At the beginning of each class the children sing the Blossoming Cooks song and then wash their hands. Susan introduces the week’s theme (recent themes have included Super Squirrels, Lovely Leaves, Pumpkins Galore & Animal Tracks) and then the real fun begins ☺. The cooking takes place around a big table in Susan’s kitchen and each child’s ‘work’ station is a different colour (eg purple mat, purple spoon etc) so it’s easy for them to know
which things ‘belong’ to them. All of the ingredients are already measured out and placed in front of each child’s place. The children (assisted by the parents) work together through each step of the recipe with Susan on hand guiding you through each step. My little one had great fun mixing & mashing, cracking eggs etc (we need to work on her egg cracking technique, as I would describe it as similar to a Greek person smashing plates at a wedding ☺). When the cooking is completed and the food is in the oven everyone heads outside for about 30-40 minutes, for a fun educational game or activity that links to the week’s theme. Having let off some steam, everyone then heads back indoors to finish off their creations .
At the end of each class your child gets a sticker, certificate, cooking & nature activity instructions and you get to take home the lovely goodies you’ve made that day. Plus within 24 hours of the class Susan emails you a photo of your child during the cooking & nature activites.
The Chiltern Chatter verdict:
The classes have an intimate feel as they are held in Susan’s home and are very friendly as there’s a maximum of 8 children per class. It’s brilliant if you’ve got younger children / babies as they can come along too as there are plenty of toys for them to play with.
I was amazed at how much planning and thought went into each class. The classes are educational, fun and good value for money. Susan is a true professional and amazing with the kids – go on, give them a try!
Cost: Blossoming Cooks offer a trial class for £5, and then you could try booking a couple of classes in advance to see how it goes. Advanced bookings (pay in advance for a number of classes you know you can attend) cost £10 per class. Drop in classes cost £12. Siblings receive a 50% discount.