Wed, Mar 11 2009
Today was an experience and a half! Having worked for myself in food for 25 years, near enough, a conference on healthy school meals was really interesting. I happened on it by chance, at the last minute, so I took the opportunity to go. The venue was one not to be missed. Sheepdrove farm, Lambourn is the most extraordinary of venues. Owned by the Kindersleys - of Dorling Kindersley fame- Sheepdrove is a working farm and eco conference centre. The building is beautifully executed with features such as toilet cubicles made from toothpaste tubes and pens made from recycled car parts.
The subject matter is an enormous one but mainly focusing on weight and healthy eating. A subject close to my heart but a subject that I feel is not quite as clear cut as is made out. Children, especially, grow at different rates and grow out of puppy fat. Some children may be very tall for their age and have a large frame, some petite. Children are all weighed in Reception and Year 6 but often find this an embarrassing thing to do. They should not be made to feel conscious of weight at 4/5 years old. It can not be good for later life and I have met many heads of schools that do not agree with this obligatory chore.
Enough of my rant, we ate seasonal, local food, prepared with care. Most of it grown or reared on the farm, I tucked into a spicy daal and my luncheon companion had a pork crumble with roasted vegetables and mash. The view was wizard, across the ridgeway, dotted with sheep. A delicious carrot cake to finish and then off for some speed dating. Sorry did I say dating, I meant networking! Anyway, in my case, it was off to make lemon and berry cheesecake with year 2 at Eastrop Infants. Infinitely better!
You can make it by crushing 12-14 biscuits, like digestives or an oaty sort of thing- aldi does a fantastic one called Oaties- Add 2 heaped tsps good cocoa and 60g melted butter. Combine and turn onto a dish. Press down well. Mix together a tub of cream cheese- again try aldi for that, its only 59p a tub- 4tbsp greek yoghurt, 3 tbsp icing sugar and the juice of a lemon. Pour onto the base and top with some frozen fruits of the forest, or if it is summer time some seasonal berries. The lemon juice will set the cheese after about half an hour. It should make enough for at least 4 people! Yum!