Saturday, 21 February 2009

Cooking at school

One of my modules this semester includes cooking. We have three tasks: to prepare a main course meal for someone who is diabetic, for someone with coeliac disease, and for someone who is either over- or under-nourished (my subject is undernourished).

In fact, we aren't assessed so much for cooking, it's more about the accompanying justification for our choices, and evidence of research. I suspect that the cooking has to be included because the majority of the class has only a year or two of cooking experience, having only left home a year or two ago. Some of them have surprisingly little interest in cooking, considering that they are training for a profession that has everything to do with food. One girl had never cooked an egg in any way until one of our practical cooking sessions last year.

The meals that I'm supposed to be adapting are corned beef hash for a diabetic, chicken pie for coeliac disease, and fortified macaroni cheese for an undernourished man.
  • The food rules for diabetes pretty much match the healthy eating rules for the general population, although the limits for protein consumption should be more strictly applied. I'm cutting the amount of corned beef and adding extra vegetables.
  • The chicken pie only has gluten in the pastry and a little flour for thickening the filling, which is easily replaced with cornflour. I made a test pie-crust out of polenta, and it worked pretty well - Mr A ate it without leaving any, so that really is a solid endorsement. It would have been even better if I'd grilled the top to make it even more crusty.
  • Fortifying the macaroni cheese shouldn't be too difficult either, given the potential for adding cream, more cheese and even salami or other fatty meat.
Home news: Mr A's mood fluctuates with, well, something that goes up and down a lot. I got home late on Thursday after the Computing lecture was late finishing, and he was almost continuously on the phone right through until bedtime. Then he had such a high temperature that I thought I might wake to find just a blackened crisp in bed next to me (he's better now). On other evenings, he just sits opposite me on the sofa, often looking rather downcast.

My schedule of half day lectures every day and the whole day on Monday is making it very difficult to get the coursework done, given that I'm having to spend about 12 hours a week sitting behind a steering wheel. If I don't spend the whole weekend working, I'm going to be in trouble.

Rabbit and foliagePhoto taken through the SB library window


aims said...

Okay Lola. Your recipe for the chicken pie would be just the ticket for me.

That's one thing I really miss is a good pot pie. I do love polenta so that sounded very interesting.

I had my fingers crossed that you had to do the celiac meal...sigh. It's always good to see something else - even though I've been living like this since diagnosed in 1992.

I read the other day that little research is done on celiac disease as most celiacs don't donate to research of the disease because they are too busy trying to find something to eat. I thought it was a very interesting - and true - statement.

Anonymous said...


I love your blog. Very entertaining and also very tactful. I love seeing you write about the "bad lecturer", knowing exactly who you mean.

Lola said...

Someone from school is reading my blog?? I'll have to be even more tactful now!

Anonymous said...

Don't hold back! Your tact is wonderful and it's fun working out what you really mean.

Brett said...

I Missed the rabbit, then just as i'm clicking of i saw it for a second and had to come back to check if i was seeing things. (normal for me in a morning)