Jack O’Donnell, at age 13 is one of our youngest students. Jack came on one of our teenager’s pizza making courses and he’s written a blog about his experience. Jack now does a regular monthly blog about his baking and cookery exploits…
2013 comes to a close, I thought I’d share with you some of my culinary successes and (ahem!) not so successful recipes of this year!
For Christmas I was given a burger press so every Friday for weeks it was a not so healthy burger and chips (home-made mind!) – we had spicy chilli burgers, cheesy-stuffed burgers, lamb burgers – yum yum!
Then for my birthday in May my Aunty brought me a mortar and pestle so my family endured (“enjoyed”) salsa with everything! We had fahitas, the burgers got re-invented again, fahitas, burgers again all with my delicious home-made salsa. I like experiementing with different flavours so I added a dash of chilli flakes one week, basil the next, coriander etc.
I also had a pizza stone so was keen on trying it out, therefore I made pizza bases for a meal with friends who came to visit. I decided to make a lasagne accompanied by home-made garlic-cheesy bread and caramelised pizza bread. The food looked perfect but as we tucked in we all began to look around and smirk…. The caramelised pizza tasted incredibly sweet……I checked the quantities on the recipe and realised that instead of using 1/2 cup of sugar…..I’d used 1 1/2 cups!!!!! Hopefully this is a good lesson learnt for when I do my GCSEs….READ THE INSTRUCTIONS.
On another ocasion I thought I’d be really adventurous and make a baked alaska. My sister is the Victoria Sponge Queen so I persuaded her to make the cake base and I set to work whisking the egg whites, whisking the egg whites, whisking the egg whites. They wouldn’t peak and ended up just a watery soggy mess. “Google” came to the rescue as to why this was happening and I tried again… another 2 eggs and lots of sugar…careful not to get any yolk in it – yet another “clean” bowl out of the cupboard and more mess over all the kitchen sides. Bit more gentle on the whisking this time…..still all to no avail. Oh well, had to improvise – cut the cake into nice shapes, few rasperries on the side and dollop of creme fraiche and dessert for all – phew! Needless to say I still haven’t tried anymore recipes which use meringues!
I am secretly hoping for a blow-torch for Christmas this year then I can really get to work! Will let you know if Santa is kind to me.
Happy New Year and Happy Cooking in 2014.
Next month…hear how I got on at the Rotary Club Young Chef of the Year Competition