Daily Archives: 2 July 2012

School Dinners

Have school dinners improved?

Tomorrow, we have been invited to lunch at my son’s school for his first visit.

I must admit, I am quite looking forward to it. It’s nice to be able to see the environment he will be eating in, but also to taste the food. I have high hopes!

After Jamie’s revolution of the school dinner, surely we must be in for a treat? Will it be like dining at Fifteen?!!

Possibly not. I doubt that they will serve the stunning shiraz I enjoyed when I ate at Fifteen many years ago. And perhaps beef carpaccio followed by goat’s cheese and pumpkin ravioli may be a little exotic for the palate of a four year-old!

In all seriousness though, after the many campaigns it does seem that food in schools has come a very long way since my day when the “salads were reserved for the teachers” and the chicken supreme looked like cat sick.

I was partial to the chocolate pudding
and lurid mint custard though!

In my son’s school the pupils help to devise the menu, which is healthy but realistic. It’s all well and good producing fabulous food, but it has to appeal to children too. Nowhere on the menu have I seen the infamous turkey twizzler, but instead there are nutritious dishes such as spaghetti and meatballs and lamb & vegetable kebabs with rice.

Some local councils still have some way to go with their ethics on school meals.
In the case of Martha Payne, her local council tried to ban her blog on school dinners, as they claimed it could lead to some catering staff losing their jobs. Martha built up an audience of more than six million people after she started posting pictures and marking her school meals out of 10. After the support of many children, parents and celebrities the council did a U-turn on their original decision and the blog has raised nearly £100,000 for the charity Mary’s Meals, which sets up school feeding projects in some of the world’s poorest communities.


Cherry Cupcakes recipeThis weekend heralded the school summer
fair and my offering comprised these lovely
Cherry Cupcakes for the cake table.

I think they were quite a hit (but not as
popular as the prize-every-time brantub!)




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Cherry Cupcakes

Cherry Cupcakes recipeA favourite with children of all ages!

Makes 12 cakes
Time 30 mins
Calories 265 per cake
Fat 14g of which 8.5g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Butter 175g (6oz)
Caster sugar 110g (4oz)
Eggs 2, beaten
Self-raising flour 110g (4oz)
Glacé cherries 50g (2oz), chopped
Icing sugar 110g (4oz)
White chocolate buttons and halved glacé cherries to decorate

1 Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Spread out 12 paper cases on baking sheets, or put them into patty tins.

2 Cream 110g (4oz) butter and all caster sugar together until pale and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs, beating well after each addition. Fold in flour, then chopped cherries.

3 Fill paper cases half full and bake for 15–20 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

4 Beat remaining butter with icing sugar for butter icing and spread over top of cooled cakes. 5 Decorate with white chocolate buttons and glacé cherries.

A Dairy Diary recipe.


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