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To think that microwaving a potato

(118 Posts)
Roseformeplease Wed 26-Mar-14 17:10:48

and putting some cheese on it is hardly a worthwhile Home Economics lesson?

Just that, really. DD made that today in her S1 (year 7) class. We don't have to supply ingredients but what a waste of time.

At home she makes cakes, meringues, quiches etc. Is it any wonder she is choosing Chemistry?

Well, there are plenty of children who don't make meringues for fun. I agree it's a pretty low level of cooking, but plenty of people would be more likely to do chips than a jacket potato, so it does help them to know there are quick and cheap things that are easy to do.

MmeMorrible Wed 26-Mar-14 17:19:02

Suppose it's better than the kids growing up thinking you have to buy pre cooked frozen baked potatoes?

StarGazeyPond Wed 26-Mar-14 17:20:24

Well, your DD is extremely lucky that her mother teaches her to make cakes, meringues and quiches. Some children don't even know what they are let alone how to make them!

MmeMorrible Wed 26-Mar-14 17:21:49

And actually has just reminded me of my Uni roommate standing pathetically in our shared kitchen holding aloft a raw potato and beseeching me to tell her how to turn it into a baked potato.....

Sirzy Wed 26-Mar-14 17:23:22

Making sure children can do basics is much better than teaching them to make meringues really

whowherewhen Wed 26-Mar-14 17:23:28

Unfortunately I don't think schools are taking Home Economics seriously. My children only do 1/2 a term of it in the year - about 6 lessons. Cookery was supposed to have been made compulsory in 2011. Kids need to learn enough to eat healthily in later life. I think it was Mary Berry who suggested that they be taught how to cook 10 main courses. That would certainly be a good start!!

LettertoHermioneGranger Wed 26-Mar-14 17:23:54

In my grade seven (age 12) Cooking, Sewing, and Life Skills class (formerly known as Home Economics) we once made packets of Top Ramen. confused

I would have welcomed a potato.

(To be fair, I think the class had almost no funding at that point, and the "ingredients" were likely of out the teacher's pocket - a very kind woman, she must have struggled to budget for her students. We did a lot of cheap cake mixes and such.)

CountessOfRule Wed 26-Mar-14 17:24:49

It's better than fruit salad (£5/portion) or smoothies (£3/glass) that some schools seem to do. Starting with the very basics so children know you can make food (albeit easy, boring food for now) from ingredients rather than getting a takeaway to do it for you...

ICanSeeTheSun Wed 26-Mar-14 17:25:15

Better than when I done cooking in school all cakes and scones.

I often chuck a potato in the microwave and put grated cheese, it quick and heathy as part of a balance diet.

napoleonsnose Wed 26-Mar-14 17:30:33

I agree Countess. DD once had to ice a ready-made cake with ready roll icing to look like a garden. Cost a bloody fortune and was hardly 'cooking'! At least a jacket spud with cheese is nutritious and healthy.

Jinty64 Wed 26-Mar-14 17:31:03

I think baked potato and cheese is a more important life skill than meringues. Ds did soup, chilli etc. I think the basics are what should be taught.

InAGrump Wed 26-Mar-14 17:32:06

Yabu - I agree with MmeMorrible

TheBigBumTheory Wed 26-Mar-14 17:33:28

I think it's fantastic you didn't have to supply ingredients.

TheProsAndConsOfHitchhiking Wed 26-Mar-14 17:37:13

Yabu. They have to start somewhere and personally I would prefer my dc to cook a baked potato over a meringue or cakes.

Not all dc have a mum who will teach them how to cook basic things such as a baked potato.

HappyBungleBear Wed 26-Mar-14 17:37:45

Jacket potatoes cooked in the microwave are horrible! They should have been watching it bake in the oven for 2 hours!
Seriously though... at that age at school we used to have to carry all our ingredients in and were baking sausage rolls, Victoria sandwich etc. Actual cooking (i.e. weighing/mixing/rolling etc). Not stick a couple of fork holes in a spud and watch it going round and round....
I agree, it was a total waste of time. Did they eat the potatoes? Otherwise it was a total waste of money too...

LoonvanBoon Wed 26-Mar-14 17:42:54

YABU. Back in the '80s when I was at secondary school we were taught every method of making sponge cake, every type of pastry bar filo, elaborate cake decoration etc etc.

We only ever did a couple of everyday meals, & one of those involved making a meat pie with a tin of corned beef & a tin of condensed tomato soup as the filling. I agree with others that it's better to start with practical, basic skills that may actually come in useful.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Wed 26-Mar-14 17:43:53

That sounds like a good basic start, especially for children who aren't taught anything about cookery at home.
When DH and I got together he didn't even know how to boil an egg. His parents were not big on cooking from scratch or even basics like eggs, jacket potatoes etc. So a class like this would have been good (he knows how to cook most things now - he is currently making a loaf of bread from scratch).
I remember cookery at school was all biscuits, cakes and lemon curd.

Personally I dont think it should be up to schools to teach life skills such as cooking. However, as they do it, good that they can show the dcs how to whip up something healthy and quick at home. If you were lare in from work and asked the dcs to feed themselves, good that they can do a quick hot tea and preferable to meringues.

I do agree that sticking a potato in a microwave isnt really a lesson. She could have told them that! That said, i also agree that its pointless learning how to bake fancy cakes when you cant cook a meal.

First meal i made in food tech was tomato pasta sauce. Learnt some stupid things over the years, but couldnt disagree with that one

GoblinLittleOwl Wed 26-Mar-14 17:50:45

I was very cross when my son was told to take in a tin of mince and a packet of Smash to make a Shepherds Pie. ( I made him cook mince himself at home for the lesson. When I complained at Parents' Evening I was told there wasn't enough time for them to peel, boil and mash real potatoes, and cook mince. In a double period. I wish I could say my son grew up to be a clever cook but he didn't; at least he never uses Smash.

thebody Wed 26-Mar-14 17:53:18

our first cookery lesson was making an orange cream pie, girls grammar 1977. bollocks.

personally I think showing kids how to make quick affordable and nutritious meals is bloody sensible at long last.

after all meringue cakes and quiches are nice but full of fat and not healthy foods.

starfishmummy Wed 26-Mar-14 17:56:04

Ds is at a special school. The classes are small and have a high stuff ratio because many of the kids are physically disabled. They make one batch of cakes or scones or biscuits between them. So I guess he gets to weigh out one ingredient every few weeks and has one stir of the mix...
Sometimes they make bread. Which means putting the ingredients in a breadmaker and he brings a slice home.

Doing a baked potato would be much more useful!

moobaloo Wed 26-Mar-14 18:00:24

In the last ten years when I was at high school I learnt how to make a white sauce properly from scratch (didn't know there was an 'unproper' way until Mil told me she does it in the microwave). This was the most useful thing I learnt, probably in the whole of high school! I use it all the time.

However, everything else we did was rubbish. Nothing useful and the focus was on (incorrect) health advice.

I grew up without a microwave and only use mine to warm plates. If you make your dinner using a microwave that's fine, quick and easy, safer than kids using gas oven etc if they're on their own, but it's not really 'cooking' is it? Wouldn't be impressed if schools taught it as cooking.

ImAThrillseekerHoney Wed 26-Mar-14 18:00:48

I think it's a reasonable lesson for an 11 year old although I personally think microwaved jacket potatoes are rank. DD can make very creditable cakes and biscuits, but actually I think she'd look at me blankly if I asked her to do a baked potato, or even a "baked" one.

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