Caribbean Cooking in the Classroom

Friday 27 September 2013
I am so behind with my blogging at the moment. Lots that I want to share with you but life is somewhat hectic. All good though and exciting developments afoot. However, I just had to make time today to share the contents of an email I received yesterday from the P5/6 Class that I've been cooking with. Their topic this term is the Caribbean and I spent two afternoons with them bringing some Jamaican sunshine to an otherwise driech week.
On Tuesday two groups made Levi Roots Sunshine Vegatable Patties. Bright yellow in colour due to Turmeric pastry.

Patties are the most widely available street food in Jamaica: the Jamaican answer to fast food. This is an ‘ital’ version – i.e. Rasta-style, meaning it’s meat-free. It uses bright, healthy veg and the yellow Jamaican patty pastry. The colour matches the feeling you get from the patties – like sunshine.

The third group waited patiently until Wednesday afternoon to make Jerk Chicken with Rice and Peas. Here's how we made our Jerk Sauce. The Rice & Peas recipe is courtesy of Jamie's 30 Minute Meals.

4 spring onions
small bunch thyme
2 Tsp Allspice
1 Tsp Cinnamon
Knob of fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic
1 Tsp nutmeg
1 red Chilli
Salt & Pepper
3 Tbsp Honey
3 Tbsp Oil
80ml White Wine or Cider Vinegar

Blitz everything together in a food processor. Coat chicken and leave to marinade for a couple of hours or ideally overnight (in the classroom we only managed 5 minutes!)

The whole class were fantastically enthusiastic in both their cooking and eating. They surprised themselves (and me) by eating every last piece of food made on both days. Amazing what hands on involvement in cooking can encourage kids to taste. I'm handing the rest of this blog post over to them to share what they learnt and enjoyed from the experience.

“I learnt that you can make lots of colours of pastry. I liked the pastry and the fillings”

“I really liked the sunny vegetable patties and the jerk chicken. I would give marks of 10 out of 10”

“Thank you so much. It was so fun cooking the sunshine patties. I really loved it. I don’t like butternut squash but it was delicious. I learnt that something that does not look nice always tastes nice”

“Thank you Mrs Jessiman for cooking something I’ve never heard of”

“Thank you Mrs Jessiman I loved mixing the dough”

“I really enjoyed cooking, it was lovely. My favourite bit was chopping the vegetables. 10/10”

“I really enjoyed making sunny vegetable patties and the taste of the patties. I would rate the food 10/10”

“I never knew you could make pastry by hand”

“I really enjoyed making the patties. I never knew you could get vegetarian cheese. I liked it so much that I got the recipe off my teacher!”

“I really enjoyed making the dough into circles. Even though I was pretty bad at it. I gave it a 10/10 on taste and smell.”

“I enjoyed rolling out the dough and it tasted very nice.”

“I enjoyed the sunny vegetable patties. I would say it was 10/10”

“Dear Claire, thanks for making a great meal.”

“Thank you for using your time to teach us how to make sunny veg patties”

“I learned how to make patties at home and I enjoyed cooking very much. Thank you”

“Thank you for cooking with us. I enjoyed pouring the rice”

“My favourite part of cooking was blending up the jerk chicken sauce”

“Thank you for coming to cook jerk chicken. I loved it, it was so delicious. The chicken was cooked beautifully, the rice was nice but I didn’t like the black beans”

“I didn’t know that cooking was so fun. The jerk chicken was better than the one in the Bahamas”

“I enjoyed cooking and mixing the sauce with the chicken”

“Even though I did not try the patties I liked making them. Thank you”

“What I enjoyed about cooking the jerk chicken was touching the chicken. When the jerk chicken was ready I gobbled the chicken and it was delicious.”

“I really liked the part where we grated the ginger”

“Dear Mrs Jessiman, I did not know I would like the patties because I don’t like cheese but with it mixed all together I really liked it.” 


  1. Sounds like the kids had a great time cooking with you and so good that they are learning about different cultures through food :)

  2. Some inspiring comments from the kids there! :-)


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