I taught them to cook vidya4 - Flipbook - Page 4
then blob in red tomato ketchup and enough water for the sauce.
Lid on and simmer. Fancy ingredients like garlic, tomato purée and
oregano are off the menu – I’m not risking more Yuks today.
The large saucepan of water is boiling on the gas ring.
‘Stand back and I’ll show you how the spaghetti cooks. Italians
have been doing this for years. It’s easy.’
I push long stiff strands into the steaming water. Bits snap
off and it takes ages to soften. It looks so easy on TV.
‘Class – get ready and I’ll call you when my spaghetti is done.’
They clatter out equipment and measure ingredients.
‘Come and watch.’
Just like the TV cook, I fork out a long pasta strand and fling
it at the wall. It sticks into a satisfying S bend.
‘See it’s cooked. Strain the rest through a colander – let’s get on.’
The room fills with meaty, saucy smells. The boiling pans of
water steam up the windows.
It’s time for their cooked spaghetti test.
‘Miss, the water’s so hot. I can’t get it out.’
Bert sucks his scalded fingers.
‘Use a fork, spoon, anything but your fingers, Bert. Boiling
Strands of pasta fly to hit the nearest vertical surface and
soon my walls and ovens are coated in snakes of spaghetti while
the stiff uncooked stuff falls behind cupboards and scatters over
the floor. This may be fun but my spaghetti test is turning my
classroom into a modern artwork.
We’re ready to serve. Twirls of spaghetti onto a take home
dish, topped with a mound of sauce and sprinkled with grated
Cheddar cheese. It’s always Cheddar cheese. Parmesan is off the
shopping list as it’s another exotic ingredient that could send the
meal dogwards, and anyway, we can’t afford it.
They bring their dishes for a mark out of ten to reflect effort and
more importantly, how much washing up is left in the sink. Then it’s
covered with foil and put into baskets for collection at home time.