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Enough of the cakes!

(17 Posts)
SEmyarse Wed 05-Feb-14 16:26:24

So, for the fifth week running dd1 (yr7) has come home with instructions to bring in ingredients for baking cakes. So 4 weeks of krispie cakes/fairy cakes/rock buns/something else, and now just general instructions to adjust one of the previous recipes to change the flavour. i asked dd1 what she meant and she shrugged and said cinnamon or something.

I don't bake at all, ever, so have had to buy all the flour, sugar etc, which isn't hugely expensive, but is still an expense to be accounted for. The first week I didn't realise there would be a series of cakes, so bought small packets of stuff, and told her to share the rest with anyone who didn't have some. So i ended up buying the same stuff the next week and weighing it all out. Despite naming all the pots, apparently everyone had helped themselves to her ingredients in a free for all, and we lost all the tupperware.

But mainly, why are they repeatedly teaching them to cook things that they have been told are evil right through primary school? We eat plenty of shop-bought crap here, so no judgement on that front, but it just seems completely bizarre to keep doing virtually the same things each week, with a very sweet result at the end (Extremely sweet in fact, I swear the recipes have too much sugar in, and I've got a sweet tooth).

If we're trying to improve kids diets, and give them life skills why aren't they peeling potatoes/boiling eggs/learning safe meat handling/making pasta sauce? I get that's really the job of the parents, but I still think it's a darn sight more useful than baking cakes which is a niche skill that's not important.

jacks365 Wed 05-Feb-14 16:30:33

It is a niche skill but it is also one that really appeals to children so gets their interest in the subject.

LEMmingaround Wed 05-Feb-14 16:33:00

I think that shows a lack of imagination on behalf of the teacher

SEmyarse Wed 05-Feb-14 16:34:43

5 weeks of cakes though?

They don't do 5 weeks of fun stuff for the hell of it in other lessons. And this being the one I've got to pay for, and figure out how to transport. Why can't I pay an amount to towards bulk ingredients?

I'm trying to complain about paying at all, but I really don't rate cake baking. No-one ever asks us to provide sulphuric acid for science.

LaurieFairyCake Wed 05-Feb-14 16:34:44

Because cakes aren't junk food and we have got very confused about what's healthy and what's not.

They're eggs, flour and usually small amounts of sugar. The processed ones in the shops have all sorts of crap in them.

Baking is a precise activity so the weighing out and measuring is a large part of the education. And baking precisely leads to the fundamentals of bread baking.

Joysmum Wed 05-Feb-14 16:36:47

I agree. Schools have to be Healthy schools yet the school dinners have puddings everyday, sweets are given in class as incentives, and cooking is mostly cakes and biscuits. Hardly joined up thinking.

SEmyarse Wed 05-Feb-14 16:36:49

I agree cakes aren't evil, primary school went too far the other way, which is giving out very strange messages.

But they're not very useful either. i'd rather they did useful stuff, especially if I have to pay for it.

shinynewnickname Wed 05-Feb-14 16:40:49

I agree kids generally enjoy making cakes but also think they should be learning something a bit more practical too. Dd1 is 7 and in primary 3. They have make&bake once a week. They do a range of things from baking cakes, making bread rolls, pizzas, pasta sauces etc to basic stitching. She's currently making an interesting pin cushion which she is really enjoying.

Have to say it's made me think twice about what I serve up and I've started putting a bit more effort in. I am not a great cook or baker but I've taught myself loads in the last month or so. Don't want shown up by my 7 year old grin

HoratiaDrelincourt Wed 05-Feb-14 16:42:25

On balance, YANBU. How long is cooking compulsory at that school? If they only learn cakes they haven't learned to cook.

Knife skills and the principles of basic cooking (eg five things to do with mince and onions, five things to do with tomato sauce, five things to do with white sauce, etc, but learning the core thing each time and taking away inspiration cards/handouts for the complicated bit) would serve them far better and result in less waste.

LaurieFairyCake Wed 05-Feb-14 16:47:02

The worst thing dd ever had to make for Home Ec was fruit salad. I complained bitterly on here about it.

They were each given 2/3 exotic ingredients to buy for the whole class - dd's cost £7.

I was annoyed about them being out of season and the environmental impact, the schools obsession with 'healthy ' eating (fruit is not that healthy), the prohibitive cost for families.

CouthyMow Wed 05-Feb-14 16:52:19

Wait until you have a DC that decides to do Catering GCSE...

This week's food for an assessment is a 3 course meal, to serve four...She is doing a mini risotto thing made all pretty on the plates, homemade ravioli, and individual tiramisu's for pudding.

The cost of ingredients is ££ this week - has added £24 to my weekly shopping bill.

bodygoingsouth Wed 05-Feb-14 16:57:32

load of old cobblers op, agree with you. 5 weeks of baking is too much. how boring as well.

MadBusLady Wed 05-Feb-14 17:00:09

I disagree that it's a niche skill. Baking in particular does not reward sloppiness so you learn to follow recipes quite precisely, which is what you have to do in all cooking at first - you can freestyle later when you know what you're doing.

Also it stops me buying biscuits and cakes and scarfing down chocolate except mini eggs because having a nice sweet thing to eat is something I associate with an activity. It is more effortful and "slow food" than buying sweet stuff from a shop whenever I fancy it.

5 weeks on the trot is a bit lacking in imagination though, unless they are going to spend the next five weeks on sauces or egg dishes.

UniS Wed 05-Feb-14 23:01:56

DH spent a term making pastry - every week a different pastry, he was about 13 at the time.Every week his ingredients will have been flour, fat and maybe sugar or a flavouring or filling He is still a great pastry maker, short, rough puff, choux..... and he makes great quiche and apple pies.
I can see how a term spent focusing on the skills in cake baking could be just as useful. different types of dough and batter, different recipes, different textures and tastes all created from very much the same basic ingredients.

Maybe next term will be 6 things to do with mince or 7 ways to cook spuds.

MrsCakesPremonition Wed 05-Feb-14 23:12:22

My first Home Ec lesson at secondary was "Tea and Toast"

ZingSweetApple Thu 06-Feb-14 17:06:41


hth wink

Scholes34 Thu 06-Feb-14 17:12:42

You can't have too many home made cakes. Baking is a very useful skill. You can raise ££s on a cake stall at school.

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