Advanced search

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?

starfishmummy Wed 26-Mar-14 18:01:56

Staff ratio

Roseformeplease Wed 26-Mar-14 18:02:19

They have already covered some other, more useful, cooking skills - fruit salad (knife usage) and stir fry. Home made soup. Rock cakes. Quiche.

It just doesn't seem to actually teach anything.

1. Put potato in microwave.
2. Add cheese

Also, the stuff she makes are things she does herself. Plenty of others make things at home or bake for bake sales. I don't do much cooking (DH does it all) although I taught her some basic cake recipes and crumble etc. she just follows recipes.

I am not sure how healthy a meal it is either - just carbohydrate and fat. Surely, a lesson where they bake a potato and plan and make healthy fillings would be more useful.

Pleasejustgo Wed 26-Mar-14 18:04:35



GertTheFlirt Wed 26-Mar-14 18:06:53

I have massive (parental) issues with food tech. I also know that what I consider 'normal' kitchen practices are not generally practised in a lot of homes.

If I make pizza, I make pizza dough etc. School requests a pizza base be sent in. However that is still about 8 quid shy of ordering in a Domino and a lot healthier as the topping will be fresher

So, for families that might live on 'smash' or the supermarket frozen potato pellets, or the uni student who has to use a microwave .... is a nuked spud and cheese a viable option compared to other alternatives?

CountessOfRule Wed 26-Mar-14 18:22:09

If I were in charge of the food tech syllabus the basic six-week course would be "five ways with" six things. So each week would be a thing - eg mince (beef, turkey, lamb, quorn, soya as preferred) - with a basic idea of how to fry it off, what to add, and five things it could become, so mince & tatties, cottage pie, bolognese, chilli, curry. The next week might be apples, another week potatoes, another week tomatoes, and so on. Basic ingredients that are available all year round and which make nutritious, filling food with minimal equipment.

Because I think that's a realistic way to get basic food knowledge into children. They'll get knife skills doing potatoes, learn how to use a hob safely doing potatoes, and so on. And when like the rest of us they're in a shop going "huh, tomatoes are cheap this week" they'll immediately have five ideas for meals.

Pixel Wed 26-Mar-14 18:29:50

I was making my pizza dough in the bread maker but now I use the pizza base mix you get in Aldi as it's so much quicker and really cheap (I can make a huge pizza that does for four of us out of half a packet).

I know it's still 'cheating' but you have to add the warm water and olive oil and knead the dough so surely must be more educational than buying a pizza base? I suppose the 30 mins it has to stand might be an issue but they could spend the time chopping vegetables/grating cheese etc so should easily be doable in an hour lesson. They could probably eat it as well in that time!

6cats3gingerkittens Wed 26-Mar-14 18:29:55

When at a grammar school and queuing for double physics, very badly taught and therefore quite incomprehensible, we asked the opposite queue for domestic science what delights they were going to cook.... Hardboiled eggs for egg and cress stuffed finger rolls. A sound basis for a lifetime of skilled kitchen craft We were about fourteen at the time, 1962ish.

Roseformeplease Wed 26-Mar-14 18:35:11

I remember in my own HE days doing breakfasts, (scrambled eggs, full fry up etc) then learning lunches and baking and then moving on to stews and roasts. We were ready to make any man a lovely wife.

spilttheteaagain Wed 26-Mar-14 18:35:29

Why oh why can't they teach general basics, like say, a number of ways to cook eggs, steaming/roasting veg techniques, safe prepping of meat & how to check it's cooked/how long to cook it for, how to do mashed/roasted potatoes, how to cook rice/pasta. How to make porridge.

Then they could progress to shepherds pie/bolognaise/chilli/casseroles/curries etc. A basic tomato pasta sauce. Risotto. Homemade bread, soup.

It seems such a wasted opportunity sad

Waltonswatcher1 Wed 26-Mar-14 19:38:26

Why in a ghastly microwave ? Don't they have cookers ?agree with you it's crap .

Waltonswatcher1 Wed 26-Mar-14 19:39:42

I hate hate hate delia , but think she should / could tackle home ec in schools .

adeucalione Wed 26-Mar-14 19:50:05

I wonder whether the teacher was illustrating how quickly you can prepare a reasonably filling and nutritious meal, rather than resorting to a takeaway or micro chips?

The fact that you didn't have to supply the ingredients suggests that the school is aware that it isn't proper cooking and that parents might object.

buddyfingy Wed 26-Mar-14 19:56:07

My grandpa (ex chef) used to do online tutorials aimed specifically at teens and students to do simple home cooked meals from scratch using cheap and basic ingredients. It never quite took off sadly but the principle was great, no fuss meals that someone living off a tight budget (student loan or minimum paid job) would be able to afford.
From memory the lessons consisted of how to do eggs in a million ways, cheap baked rice, spag Bol and pretty much anything you can make in bulk.

TheGreatHunt Wed 26-Mar-14 19:57:46


How bloody unambitious. Give the kids something to aim for ffs.

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Wed 26-Mar-14 19:58:55

I do agree that it's a waste of time for some, but other children really won't have a clue for lots of different reasons. They do need to be learning basics, budgeting, using leftovers, etc. In an ideal world, they could 'stream' cookery like they do for maths, but that's not realistic.

I went to university with someone who didn't know how to make toast shock Literally, had never put bread in a toaster.

Schools do waste opportunities for life skills, though. In Sewing (I think it's called Textiles nowadays), they made and designed all sorts of useless things. Not once did the teacher check they could all sew on buttons.

I did like food tech though... Purely because I skived off for an entire six months and still got a C grin

Pleasejustgo Wed 26-Mar-14 20:45:42

I will never forget my HE teacher marching into the room and snarling, 'This isn't bloody happy housewives, this is the science of food.'

fuzzpig Wed 26-Mar-14 20:50:18

It must be frustrating for children who are already doing more advanced/complicated meals at home, but it's good to cover the basics I think - not everyone will have any encouragement at home

BigRedBall Wed 26-Mar-14 20:53:03

Well, when she has a baby (far into the future) and is starving, half dead and the little one is finally sleeping, she'll thank her cookery teacher for showing her how to make a hearty quick filling dinner in under 10mins. She won't be making meringues and quiches then will she?

I'd like to think we should be thankful for everything we're taught.

UrsulaBuffay Wed 26-Mar-14 20:55:47

That's like saying 'my child can read Shakespeare so why bother teaching the class to read'

kmc1111 Wed 26-Mar-14 21:26:34

YANBU. It takes less than a minute to prick some holes in a potato with a fork, put it in the microwave and grate some cheese, so what did they do for the rest of the lesson? Even if you assume the class required detailed instructions and assistance, still, it's a max of 5 minutes work and then a little longer watching the microwave count down.

I think it's fine to teach this type of thing in class, but not as the whole lesson. If it was part of a lesson on potatoes and they also made say, mash and gratin, that would be good. This is just a gigantic waste of time.

BumPotato Wed 26-Mar-14 21:34:36

My first HE lesson we did cod in cheese sauce, all from scratch. I remember also making coleslaw (made some lately, gorgeous) and an upside down pineapple cake. I did HE for two years, there must have been more.

I think it is a pity that it's not a subject at my DDs' school.

Roseformeplease Wed 26-Mar-14 21:38:20

No, I don't think it is like the Shakespeare analogy. All her class have already done rock buns, stir fry, fruit salad, soup. Quite a good range of foods. Suddenly, today, they put a potato in the microwave and put cheese on top. It came home in a plastic tub so they couldn't even eat it at break time (straight after the lesson) It was clearly an, "Oh fuck, I promised them they could cook lesson" not an, "Oh, one day they will thank me that they can put a potato in a microwave"

And these are kids who use complex computers and phones every day. They don't need a lesson in turning the dial on a microwave. And there are ovens there.

And most of these kids are very able at cooking. Honestly, my DD is not amazing or special.

And we never pay for ingredients (Scotland) or have to send anything in.

Surely, they could have made Rossi, cheap dauphonoise. All tried to come up with something interesting to do with a potato.

This teacher hates spice as well (even sausages with a bit of taste) and previously failed my son on a baked potato lesson (a better one) where they had to plan a topping that was healthy. His included chilli - instant fail as "no one will eat it".

riskit4abiskit Wed 26-Mar-14 21:40:39

Countess that is a genius idea! You could write and sell pamphlets to students!

riskit4abiskit Wed 26-Mar-14 21:40:47

Countess that is a genius idea! You could write and sell pamphlets to students!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now