What was great about the baking classes we did with the mums, was that the kids were always around to lick the bowl out or wash up for us (they offer they don’t have to be asked out here) but at the same time they were keenly interested in what we were doing.
They were doubly interested when the mums had finished their first batch of shortbread that first day and they got to share in the spoils. So much so they asked Demetria for their own class.
Over the next few weeks, there were a few kids that came and went but there was a core couple that stuck with it and proved to have a real knack for it too; Ruth & Emanuel who are cousins, Jonathan and Alejandra.
So Monday afternoons became Youth baking classes & that first lesson we also made shortbread, just to see how it would go.
I started every lesson with the same format – “Lavan manos” wash your hands! Very important especially with this group who are used to playing outside all day.
A few of them tried to pretend they had, but not one to be fooled easily – I wanted to see those hands wet! After this and when they realised they couldn’t make cakes unless they did, it was no trouble getting them to do it every lesson.
I really wanted the lessons to be fun too , hopefully so it would really spark their interest in something for those less academic and who knows, it may even provide one or two of them with a means to make some pocket money if they keep it going.
They actually did really well and their shortbread turned out great. After that we made a victoria sponge cake which was yummy. They loved beating the cake mixture and everyone took turns. And at licking the bowl out!
On our third lesson I had to move it to a Tuesday as I had to go to the dentist on the Monday.
Unfortunately this meant it clashed with Bryan’s swimming lessons. Everyone was given a choice – the beach or ‘posteria’. In the first heat posteria won 5-3.
However when Bryan turned up first and everyone else was getting excited, 2 of the young bakers switched sides and I only had 3 for my class. Boo!
At the last minute we were joined by Jean-Marco (yeahy) and the 4 of them made gingerbread men shapes and hearts (honestly…these girls!)
I thought would be great for them to ice these biscuits too. We had great time doing that. We knocked up a bit of icing, made a piping bag and they all took turns to ice their biscuits. Wow – I’d never known them so quiet as when they were concentrating hard doing that!
Then as they were were finishing off icing, the swimming team turned up and disrupted us big time. But the groans of horror could be heard resounding all around the yard when the bakers realised what they had been missing! Jonathan was gutted!
But we had plenty of biscuits to go around so (after they had washed their hands of course) we let them join in and ice some gingerbread men.
We had a little bit of icing left in the bag at the end and I started off by piping it out onto their fingers so they could eat it. This soon became pipe it straight into their mouths which soon became ‘ice my face!’ It was hilarious – even Bryan joined in with the face icing and they were queuing up to be iced in the end – they loved it!
Who knew such a little bit of icing could go such a long way and give so much pleasure!
Well the final lesson was less chaotic (back to it’s regular slot on a Monday afternoon and no sign of the swimmers!) Demertria had requested more shortbread again as she wanted to sell it. A good turn out for the last lesson – we had 6 this time and they all got stuck in again.
Their shortbread looked and tasted great which was a good session to end on (I managed to get the girls away from those heart shapes this time too).
This has been a great experience and I have surprised myself about how much I have enjoyed teaching this group of teenagers. They have been fun and funny, attentive and attention seeking, creative and created chaos.
I do hope they have enjoyed it as much as I have. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll see them on tv on ‘The Great Peruvian Bake-off!”