I taught them to cook vidya4 - Flipbook - Page 43
first day back after his recent suspension, but he’s not subdued,
and he could make this lesson tough going.
I’m into my legends about food. The ‘Did you know?’ and
‘You’ll never believe this’ type of storytelling that helps them
remember the lesson and gets them settled, just like nursery
‘According to legend, cheese was invented thousands of years
ago when Arab herdsmen carried milk in bags made from sheep’s
stomachs. By the end of their journey, the milk had turned into
cheese. An enzyme called rennet in the sheep’s stomach curdled
the milk and made curds which then became cheese as the liquid
drained away. They’d discovered the art of cheesemaking.’
Please Gavin, don’t ask why they put milk in a stomach. Or
why the Arabs carry a stomach bag around.
The wooden stool legs squeak. They’re getting restless.
‘Let’s make some cheese. Gavin. Hold this sieve and pour the
I can’t risk leaving Gavin amongst the stools – I need to watch
what he is doing. As Gavin pours, I chant Miss Muffet’s nursery
rhyme about her eating her curds and whey to distract from
the stench of the sour milk. The muslin-lined sieve fills up with
‘Gavin, show the group your curds.’
Gavin tilts the sieve towards the class.
‘Can the rest of you see Gavin’s curds?’
No-one wants to see anything of Gavin’s. He might pin them
against a wall later and threaten them.
‘Gavin – tie the muslin bag with the curds to the tap and let
it drain over the sink, please. At the end of the lesson we’ll have
a look and taste it.’
‘I ain’t eating that. It looks like sick.’
It’s Liz, the only girl who speaks when Gavin’s around. I
wonder if something is going on between them. He’s huge and
she’s tiny. If he lay on top of her, she’d die from flattening.