I taught them to cook vidya4 - Flipbook - Page 51
I joined friends at a gig to hear a lively folk group called Steeleye
Span and I arrived at school a bit late and muddled today.
We roll and fold the cold dough then roll and fold some more,
creating magic layers. The ovens must be hot, very hot, ready for
this baking bonanza.
We make the pastry into so many things – sausage rolls,
cheese straws, Eccles cakes and jam puffs, to display our high
levels of skill for the EXAM. Spare pastry is cut into strips and
twisted round cream horn tins. These rusting metal pyramids
have been lurking in the school storeroom since the school opened
in the fifties. No amount of scouring with Brillo pads removes the
brown dust which lingers in the cracks and I just hope the heat of
the oven kills off germs.
Next year I’ll throw them away, along with the iron griddles
for drop scones, fish kettles for unaffordable salmon, raised pork
pie moulds and chocolate éclair tins. I’m sure one day they will
appear in an antique shop window at an astonishing price which
reflects their culinary history.
Sausage rolls are glazed and snipped, sugary milk is brushed
onto Eccles cakes, jam puffs and cream horns and baking trays
are stacked with pastries then into the scorching ovens.
Suddenly we’re ready. The Eccles cakes have a crusty,
sugary topping, ooze currants and mixed peel and the spicy
fragrance of cinnamon. They outshine the golden gloss of the
‘Put them on cooling racks for marking and collect after school.’
The bell rings.
They grab their coats and rush.
Onto the next lesson.
Mustn’t be late.
‘Mr Smith in Maths gets cross, Miss.’
No amount of feeding Mr Smith tidbits can persuade him that
my class should stay and clear up.