We were really excited to be contacted by the team at Turning Heads CIC recently, we're collaborating on some new recipes aimed at young families. The first recipe is Hidden Vegetable Pasta Sauce, Lexie has added the recipe and also filmed it - and we've added it to a new YouTube Channel LexieCooks!
Turning Heads CIC provide benefit to people in Devon with learning disabilities, who are homeless, who are furthest from employment and education and the long-term unemployed to develop skills, find employment, attain qualifications, gain work experience and increase social opportunity and wellbeing.
Turning Heads run a number of cooking programmes each year, both in person and virtually, the recipes and interactive video tutorials can be found at www.turningheads.org.uk
After what seems like a long and challenging process, we're delighted that Lexie will be starting training for catering and hospitality at a specialist college in September!
What a fantastic opportunity to build her employability skills, as well as her independent living skills. And of course to make new friends and enjoy student life!
There's so much learning in cooking!
It's pretty amazing when you think about it, but there's actually so much to learn when you cook. And with a young person of Lexie's age and learning profile, it's pretty fundamental to follow her interests. Here's a quick summary of the key areas of learning that we've focussed on so far:
There are lots of other ways to connect cooking to parts of the curriculum including:
Writing a recipe book from scratch felt quite daunting, so we asked friends and family for some help. We started a facebook group amongst our closest family and friends and asked them to donate a favourite family recipe - preferably one that had been passed on through the generations. We were immediately rewarded with lots of different recipes and Lexie was able to choose her favourites to have a go at.
Lexie chose Malcolm's Carbonara first. We read the recipe together and talked about it, and as we did I was able to make slight adjustments in the instructions to ensure Lexie's understanding was sound. We modified the quantities, because we're a family of 5 - we talked about the maths but I didn't labour on this as the main focus of this first recipe was creating it, tasting it and writing it up to share.
Next we set about making the dish, Lexie was able to do it pretty much independently, with a bit of support to drain the pasta. Everyone loved the meal. We took lots of photographs throughout the whole process.
I signed up for a Weebly account and chose a blog template. And we set about writing up the carbonara recipe.
Lexie was really motivated to see the photographs and to use the computer to write up the recipe.
We talked about the recipe website being published, and I explained that we'd need to have a few recipes available before we published (and we had work to do to design the home page etc).
Gradually over the past few weeks, Lexie has chosen a recipe from the bank we've collected, and we've been through the same process - reading through it, modifying it, trying it, tasting it and finally writing it up.
And now it's live Lexie's been re-motivated by seeing it online and reading comments on social channels. We're aiming to add at least one a week.
Lexie said she wanted to write a recipe book, that's why!
For as long as I can remember, Lexie has shown a keen interest in cooking, driven mainly, I think, by her love of eating! In fact, sometimes Lexie's only interest is cooking. Sometimes, other interests develop, often intensely, and then subside. But cooking remains, thankfully, consistent throughout.
Like me, I think Lexie gets a lot of pleasure from the process of creating food and, I think she finds it relaxing, reassuringly structured and often rewarding.
Making food together is straightforward, it's a comforting way to spend quality time with one another, often we work quietly, side-by-side. Sometimes we stick the music on loud and dance about too.