Another year rolls by ...

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Another year rolls by ...

Happy New Year from Travelling Kitchen. With schools closed over the festive period we’ve taken a break and looked back over the past year at what Travelling Kitchen achieved in 2018

The beginning of the year saw the final couple of workshops as part of phase one of the Meadows to Meaders project in Southmead. We’ve absolutely loved every minute of working in Southmead with some lovely people and had two great days at the Greenway Centre and the Southmead Community centre doing two adult cooking workshops. Once again we looked back to some recipes from the 1930s but also added some modern twists and after cooking we all sat down together to a three course meal. We also spent a great morning with young adults from the the 3 Trees Community Support making pizzas and salads for a shared lunch. In June we returned to Southmead as part of Bristol Food Connections festival, cooking with local residents and pupils at Badock’s wood primary school for ‘A Picnic through time’ at the Greenway Centre. It was lovely to see so many people coming together to share some delicious food in the sunshine, with some nostalgic tunes from the gramophone playing in the background.

Over 800 children from 8 schools in Bristol, Bath and South Gloucestershire have benefitted from our schools workshops. Through our cooking with them we travelled the globe, went from field to fork and looked back in time from the Ancient Mayans to the First World War. We continue to be amazed by the enthusiasm of the children we teach and the speed with which they pick up new cooking skills and by the dedication and passion of their teachers in what are challenging times. Thank you all for welcoming us into your schools. We are really looking forward to 2019 and working with you again and to cooking with some new schools over the year.

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A festive feast

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A festive feast

Season's Greetings from Travelling Kitchen

Last week we did our last school workshop of the year cooking with Year 3 at St Barnabas primary school in Montpelier, Bristol. It was lovely to finish the year off on a celebratory theme with our cooking taking in recipes that are used to celebrate Christmas as well as  Hanukah and Diwali. The children had plenty of opportunities to develop their knife skills as they chopped through beetroots, potatoes and cabbage for a beautiful borscht and carrots, onions and sweet potatoes for a vegetable biriyani. They tried their hand at making and flipping blinis and grated mounds of sticky potatoes to shape into latkes. This was the third year that we had made bread with them and we challenged their skills by making some festive-looking Fougasse breads and some towering Italian Pandoro which provided a beautiful centrepiece for the meal they sat down to at the end.

The workshop encompassed many of the things that we try to include in all our workshops; new skills and tastes, a perspective on food's place in the wider world and a few challenges to build confidence and leave children with a real sense of achievement. Whatever skills the children take away with them we hope that the workshops give them an appreciation of joy of cooking and eating together not just at times of celebration but all through the year.

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FOOD CONNECTIONS 2018 AND A PICNIC THROUGH TIME

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FOOD CONNECTIONS 2018 AND A PICNIC THROUGH TIME

The Bristol Food Connections festival is from 11- 17th June this year.  There are loads of fantastic events across the city, the details of which can be found at bristolfoodconnections.com. Travelling Kitchen are delighted to be celebrating the festival in Southmead with our A Picnic through Time. In keeping with the festival's theme of time, we'll be cooking dishes that reflect the history of Southmead from when it was established in the 1930s to the present day. We'll be doing cooking workshops with the children at Badock's Wood community primary school and an adult workshop at the Greenway centre. For the final free event on Thursday 14 June from 3-5pm we'll be opening the doors at the Greenway centre to everyone in Southmead for a celebration picnic.  Bring along your rug and join in the fun. There'll be delicious food to try to the sounds of yesterday on the wind-up gramophone.

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BLAS O GYMRU AT ABERGAVENNY FOOD FESTIVAL

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BLAS O GYMRU AT ABERGAVENNY FOOD FESTIVAL

We're heading over the Severn Bridge this weekend to the Abergavenny Food Festival. We'll be doing a children's workshop 'Blas O Gymru' (A taste of Wales) on Saturday morning.

 I was born and brought up in South Wales and I'm delighted to be cooking some of the recipes familiar from my childhood. People often ask me who taught me to cook. I honestly can't remember being 'taught' cooking at all (apart from uninspiring domestic science lessons in school). What I do remember is watching my mother and grandmothers whilst I was drawing or playing in the kitchen and being recruited to stir the gravy whilst Sunday lunch was dished up. My maternal grandmother, Mary, was a very good home cook and I still wonder how she managed to produce delicious tarts and pies from a very temperamental  Rayburn. My mother recalls her family keeping pigs and how they used every bit of the pig in good 'nose to tail' fashion. By the time I came along, the pigs had gone, but my grandmother still made her own faggots, the taste of which I've been unable to match. She prized her bakestone and arrival at her house was often greeted by the sweet spiced smell of Welsh cakes. I also recall Teisen Lap, a pale lightly fruited cake which she made when she had milk or cream that had soured.

Travelling Kitchen aims to inspire a new generation to cook but also to explore how their own history and background has influenced what they eat. We're looking forward to hearing the family recipes of the participants of the Abergavenny workshop and what Welsh dishes and ingredients they like to eat and cook with. The workshop is from 10.00 until 12.00 at the Dome in the Castle on Saturday 16th September and is free with a festival wristband. The workshop is for 7 to 12 year olds and is on a first come first served basis (arrive from 9.45am to register) Come along and say hello! More information can be found on http://www.abergavennyfoodfestival.com/programme/blas-o-gymru-travelling-kitchen/

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A MEADERS SUMMER PUDDING

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A MEADERS SUMMER PUDDING

Over the past year Travelling Kitchen has been a partner in the Meadows to Meaders project which has been exploring the history of Southmead, Bristol. We've loved working with Local Learning CIC, Bristol Old Vic, Wildman and Herring, Calling the Shots and Orchard Secondary School and getting to meet some of the fantastic people of Southmead.

As part of the project we ran a series of intergenerational workshops with Orchard Secondary School exploring 1930s food culture and recipes. We also worked with Fonthill Primary school and cooked some authentic dishes from the period for a meal to share with their families. One of the favourite recipes was Summer Pudding which many of the children tried for the first time. It's a delicious pudding at this time of year and designed to be economical, using leftover bread and surplus fruit from the garden or foraged blackberries. It can also be made using frozen soft fruit. This recipe is adapted from an original recipe by Marguerite Patten,

INGREDIENTS: 900g of seasonal soft fruit (raspberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants, strawberries), 150ml of water, 70-100g caster sugar (to taste; it will depend on what fruit you use), 8 large thin slices of white bread (crusts removed)

METHOD

1. Simmer the fruit in the water for 2 minutes. Stir in the sugar until it has dissolved and then simmer a further couple of minutes or until the juices start to run. If you are using strawberries add them now before taking them off the heat. Leave to cool. Be careful not too overcook the fruit as it will spoil the flavour.

2. Lightly grease with butter an 850ml pudding basin. Line the basin with the slices of bread (keeping back one slice), overlapping them slightly and sealing them by pressing the edges together. Fill in any gaps with small pieces of bread.

3. Strain a cup full of juice from the fruit. Use the remaining fruit and juice to fill the bread-lined basin. Cover the top with the last remaining slice of bread, again filling in any gaps with small pieces of bread. Place a small plate or saucer on top to fit exactly inside the rim of the bowl.Place some weights or a tin of beans or similar on the plate. Place in the fridge for at least three hours but preferably overnight.

4. When you are ready to serve, turn the pudding out on to a large serving dish, spooning over the reserved juice to cover any bits of bread that remain white. Serve with cream or yoghurt.

For more information about the Meadows to Meaders project see http://www.locallearning.org.uk/meadows2meaders/

 

 

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GLOBAL PULSE DAY

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GLOBAL PULSE DAY

Happy Global Pulse Day!

Nearly all the recipes that we cook in our school workshops are vegetarian and dishes including pulses such as our falafels, vegetable dhansak and bean chilli are some of the favourites with the children. This soup uses red lentils but with the addition of sweet potatoes, tomatoes and spinach, it is a great one pot meal. It was my go to dish when my youngest was a baby. I would give it to him as a thick puree which he loved and then add some more stock and seasoning to make a more liquid soup for the rest of the family.

Ingredients: 1 medium onion, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 200g of red lentils, 1 large sweet potato (about 400g), a tin of chopped tomatoes, 900ml of vegetable stock (use unsalted stock or water if feeding babies and young children), 200g of spinach

Method

1. Chop the onion and fry over a low heat in a large saucepan until soft.

2. Peel the sweet potato and chop into small cubes about 1cm square. Add to the onions with the lentils. Cook on a low heat for another minute before adding the can of chopped tomatoes and the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil covered with a lid and then allow to simmer gently for about 20 to 30 minutes until the lentils and sweet potato are soft. Stir every few minutes to check that the lentils are not sticking to the bottom of the pan.

3. In the meantime wash the spinach. If you are not using baby leaf spinach, remove any coarse stems and lightly chop. Once the lentils and sweet potato are cooked, add the spinach to the pan, stirring gently into the mixture. Turn off the heat, allowing the spinach to wilt and lightly cook in the heat of the soup.

4. Liquidise the soup using a hand blender. Before serving, check for seasoning adding freshly ground black pepper and salt if needed. Add more stock or water if you prefer a thinner soup. You can also stir in a teaspoon of harissa or chilli flakes if you want to spice it up.

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YULETIDE GREETINGS

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YULETIDE GREETINGS

It's that time of year again and throughout December Travelling Kitchen workshops have been filled with the smells of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, citrus and dried fruits as we've cooked up some Christmas treats. We made over 190 mince pies with two classes at Iron Acton primary school for their Christmas nativity and carol service and have made lots of wishes as we've stirred Christmas cakes at several schools.

Throughout this term Travelling Kitchen have been running intergenerational cooking sessions with the lovely students at Orchard secondary school as part of the Meadows to Meaders project in Southmead. Keeping to the 1930s theme we all sat down to a 1930s style tea at the end of the last session. Our research into festive food from the 1930s confirmed that we are lovers of tradition and many of the recipes we cook today were favourites of our grandparents and great grandparents and often have a history that can be traced back centuries.  The centrepiece of our tea was a yule log. The yule log is traditionally associated with France and Belgium but we took our inspiration from a recipe given in a 1937 edition of Woman's Illustrated. A plate of crumbs and a sprig of holly at the end of the tea testitified to the appropriateness of the article's title of 'Cakes that children love'.

We're taking a break over Christmas but in truth are unlikely to be far away from the kitchen for long. We're looking forward to more food adventures in 2017 and wish you a happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

 

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MEADOWS TO MEADERS

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MEADOWS TO MEADERS

Travelling Kitchen is delighted to be a partner in the Meadows to Meaders project, working with the local community to explore the history of Southmead and its creation in the 1930s. Travelling Kitchen will be at the launch on Sunday the 25th of September 2016 from 10am to 4pm. Find us opposite Fonthill primary where we'll be sharing some tastes of the 1930s. We'll be collecting food stories from Southmead residents. We'd love to hear what memories people have of family meals in this period, where people got their food from in Southmead and what was the impact on their lives of new kitchen appliances. In November we'll be cooking some favourite recipes with young and old at Orchard Secondary School. To find out more about the project see http://www.locallearning.org.uk/meadows2meaders/

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PICK AND MIX

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PICK AND MIX

We've been making the most of some of the vegetables that are starting to come into season. A few weeks ago our workshop with Class 2 at Iron Acton Primary School focused on their topic 'How does our garden grow?' Some of the children enjoyed their first taste of broad beans and asparagus which we used in a bulgar wheat salad. As they made rhubarb crumble bars they also learnt that rhubarb is actually a vegetable rather than a fruit.

This Friday as part of Bristol Big Green Week we're holding a 'Pick and Mix' workshop at St Michael on the Mount primary school in the centre of Bristol. The children will be picking some of the vegetables and herbs growing in their school garden and 'mixing' them to make some delicious dishes including spinach and potato fritters, rosemary foccacia and a mixed leaf and herb salad. At the end of the day parents will have a chance to try some of the food their children have made and take away recipes to make at home.

 

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BRISTOL FOOD CONNECTIONS 2016

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BRISTOL FOOD CONNECTIONS 2016

There's less than a week to go now before the start of the Bristol Connections Food Festival.  We're hoping to make it to some of the fantastic events across the city (we've bought our Bristol Food Card) but we're also very excited to be running two events as part of the festival.

On Friday the 29th of April Travelling Kitchen will be with the 340 pupils at Glenfrome Primary School in Eastville for our Global Dip & Dough workshop. We'll be cooking a huge number of flatbreads, including Lavoush and Pitta Bread with Year 5 as well as six dips and relishes from around the world to go with them. At the end of the day Year 5 will explain how they've made the breads and dips to their fellow pupils and the background to the dishes, before everyone gets to tuck in. Our global culinary tour will take us from Egypt, from where we'll be sampling a broad bean and lentil dip, to tasting Caponata from Italy and a pineapple salsa from the Caribbean. We're hugely grateful to be working with some great local companies to deliver the event. Fresh Range are donating all the vegetables, fruits and herbs; Essential are providing us with all the dry goods such as pulses and bread flour (there's 24kg of this alone!) and Vegware are donating environmentally friendly plates, dishes and cutlery.

The following day we'll be at the Riverford Yurt on College Green taking a group of children on a global and historical food trip. We'll be exploring the history of Bristol through five dishes which the children will get to make and cook. We'll go from Tudor times making a herb and flower salad to the Twentieth Century cooking Jamaican vegetable patties. Along the way we'll be exploring how Bristol's trading links and history have influenced the foods we eat.

We're hoping that the sun shines and the dough rises!

 

 

 

 

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AN EASTER BRISTOL TRADITION

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AN EASTER BRISTOL TRADITION

We've been researching buns recently and in particular Ha'penny and Tuppenny Starvers. These were traditionally given out by St Michael on the Mount Without Church to choristers of the church on the Tuesday after Easter. It was thought that it was a reward for a busy schedule of singing over Holy Week. In more recent times the buns were given to all parishioners. Sadly St Michael on the Mount Without Church no longer holds services but the tradition has been adopted by St Michael on the Mount school next door. After Easter Travelling Kitchen are going to be doing a whole school baking session making the Ha'penny Starvers. The buns are not dissimilar to the more commonly known Hot Cross Buns or Bristol speciality Colston Buns and contain lemon zest and dried fruits. Traditionally the Ha'penny Starvers were given to the choristers to eat immediately whilst the larger Tuppenny starvers were taken home to be shared with their families.

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HIRAETH AND WELSHCAKES!

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HIRAETH AND WELSHCAKES!

Dydd Gwŷl Dewi Sant Hapus or Happy Saint David's Day!

There's a word in Welsh called 'Hiraeth'. It has no direct translation into English but is often used to express homesickness or a sense of longing or nostalgia for one's homeland or the past. Memories of the past and childhood are so often tied up with food; something Travelling Kitchen hopes to foster and capture with its workshops. For me the sense of 'hiraeth' can be brought on by looking through a book called 'Croseo Cymreig- A Welsh Welcome'. It's a slim volume of Welsh recipes published by the Wales Gas Board in 1957. It belonged originally to my grandmother and bears some of her scribbled notes and I remember her using it frequently.

One of my childhood favourites were Welshcakes, ideally eaten warm from the griddle. They are a simple recipe to make with children (younger ones will need supervision cooking on the griddle). They're also a great cake to cook if you don't have access to an oven. Don't worry if you don't have a griddle; any heavy-based frying pan will do.

INGREDIENTS: 350g of self-raising flour, 175g butter, 100g caster sugar, 100g currants, 1 teaspoon of mixed spice, 1 large egg, 2-3 tablespoons of milk

METHOD:

1. Measure the flour into a large bowl, add the butter and rub it into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Measure the sugar, currants and spice and stir into the mixture.

2. Break the egg into a jug and beat. Add to the flour mixture. Add the milk a tablespoon at a time until you have a stiff dough.

3. Roll out the dough on to a lightly floured work surface until it is about 5mm thick. Using a 7.5 cm cutter (or a small cup/mug) cut circles from the dough.

4. Grease a griddle or frying pan lightly with some butter and place on a ring on a low heat. Cook the Welshcakes for about 3 minutes on each side until they are goldren brown. Take care not to cook them too quickly as they'll be uncooked on the inside and burnt on the outside.

5. Once cooked place on a wire cooling rack and lightly sprinkle with caster sugar. Best eaten on the day that you have made them and warm.

 

 

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FOR THE LOVE OF ORANGES

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FOR THE LOVE OF ORANGES

Seville oranges have appeared in the greengrocers along Gloucester Road. There is something about the appearance of beautiful burnished Sevilles in the grey of winter that hints of warmth and sunnier days ahead.

I leave the Marmalade making to Clare but I always try to cook with Sevilles during their fleeting appearance. One my favourite uses is in an orange and almond cake. Many cookery writers and chefs have versions of this from Claudia Roden to Rose Prince and Nigella, but we use this recipe from Diana Henry. I usually use a dessert orange for this but a Seville orange gives a more tart, deep marmalade flavour. Although we don't usually cook with nuts in our school workshops, this is a simple cake to make with children at home (as long as an adult supervises the boiling and blending of the orange). It's also a great cake for those on a gluten-free diet as you can easily substitute the plain flour for gluten-free flour.

INGREDIENTS: 1 orange, 3 eggs, 250g caster sugar, 55g plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 200g ground almonds, icing sugar for dusting

METHOD

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Grease a 20cm round cake tin and line with baking parchment.

2. Place the orange in a saucepan and cover with water. Simmer for an hour before draining. Place the orange on a chopping board, cut in half and carefully remove the pips. Place the orange in a food processor (or use a hand blender) and blend until it is a smooth paste.

3. Beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is pale and creamy. Gently fold in the flour, baking powder, almonds and the orange puree. Spoon into the cake tin and bake for about an hour until the cake looks golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Turn out the cake on to a rack to cool.

4. When the cake is cool, sift icing sugar over the top of the cake. Delicious by itself or served with greek yoghurt.

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IT'S BEGINNING TO FEEL A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS

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IT'S BEGINNING TO FEEL A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS

We've been doing lots of Christmas cooking over the past couple of weeks. We worked with Year 6 of Westbury Park Primary School to make over 300 mince pies for their community lunch. Last week we spent a day baking with Reception class at St Barnabas Primary School for their celebration tea. Family and friends joined the children to share the cheese breadsticks, cannellini bean and garlic dip, Christmas cake and gingerbread.

It's been a busy year for Travelling Kitchen. Overall this year we've worked with six schools cooking with over 400 children. In June we participated in the Soil Associaton's Food for Life Big Picnic at Bristol Free School and co-ordinated a huge whole school world food picnic at St Barnabas Primary School. We've travelled on a culinary journey from ancient Rome and Egypt to Tudor times and all around the world cooking up dishes from every continent.

In March we became a Community Interest Company. A couple of months later our website went live thanks to the great patience and help of Dan Tagg and Kieran Holden who designed our logo. We'd love feedback on what you think of the website and how we could improve it.

Thank you to all those teachers and children who've joined us on our journey; chopped, stirred and baked with us and constantly inspired and delighted us! Thank you too to the School for Social Entrepreneurs whose year-long programme Sarah finished in October and whose funding has enabled us to buy equipment and get started. We're looking forward to taking a break over Christmas. In the meantime we'd like to wish everyone a happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.

 

 

 

 

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ROME WASN'T BAKED IN A DAY

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ROME WASN'T BAKED IN A DAY

We've been immersed in Ancient Rome over the past few weeks. When Ruth and Pete at Myers-Insole Local Learning CIC asked us to cater for their company's 10th anniversary they made a request that we cooked vegetarian Romano-British food. Loving a challenge, there followed several weeks of research into what food was available and how it would have been cooked. Admittedly we imagined that the clever Romans would have smuggled a few amphorae of olive oil and olives into Britain but we were amazed at how you could trace modern Italian food back to many early dishes and how delicious they were. Around sixty guests tucked into the spelt and flat breads and pulmentum or relishes at the anniversary celebrations at Hamilton House in Stokes Croft. This week we're cooking many of the recipes with year 5 at St Michael on the Mount School. We'll be sharing with them some of the fascinating facts that we found out, including that Romans had their own fast food restaurants called 'popinae' which served takeaways of sausage and fried fish. The above photo shows 'placenta' - cheese and honey pies being 'built' by year 5 at St Michael's.

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A SOUP FOR AUTUMN

Here's an autumn favourite of Clare's; a butternut squash and apple soup. It's a perfect soup to serve at Halloween or around a bonfire and a great way to use up those last windfall apples.

INGREDIENTS: 1 tbsp of oil; 1 onion, finely chopped; 1 tsp curry powder; 2 eating apples, peeled, cored and chopped; 1 butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and chopped, 1 litre of vegetable stock; salt and pepper.

METHOD:

1. Gently heat the oil in a large pan, add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes until softened but not browned.

2. Stir in the curry powder and apple and cook gently for 1-2 minutes; be careful it doesn't burn.

3. Add the squash and the stock and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the squash feels soft and is cooked. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes before liquidising. Taste the soup and add salt if needed and ground black pepper. Re-heat gently before serving.

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THANK YOU DARTINGTON SCHOOL FOR SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS

When we started Travelling Kitchen it seemed natural that we set it up as a social enterprise, with any profits being invested in our core work bringing cooking into schools and communities. Over the past year, Travelling Kitchen has been lucky to receive support from the Dartington School for Social Entrepreneurs funded by the Big Lottery Fund and Lloyds Bank. I've just completed the year long start-up programme which has provided study days on key elements of social business and inspiration by the bucketful from my fellow social entrepreneurs. After every meeting I never failed to return fired up with enthusiasm and with new ideas for how we could take Travelling Kitchen forward. The grant which accompanied the award has enabled us to buy the cooking equipment that we needed to take our idea into communities. Last week nineteen of us from the programme 'graduated' at The Station in central Bristol; a fantastic day which celebrated what we had achieved over the past year. So thank you School for Social Entrepreneurs for all your support and watch this space for the next bit of the journey!

 

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St Barnabas World Picnic Day

Had a great time last Friday with the fantastic pupils and staff at St Barnabas. Together we cooked 20 dishes from around the world. Travelling Kitchen worked with groups of children in the art room whilst the teachers cooked in the classrooms. The smells of Bombay Potatoes, Boston Baked Beans and Banana Bread filled the corridors. At the end of the day family and friends joined the children to share the delicious dishes they'd prepared, raising money for Refugee Action. Any extra food was donated to a local hostel.

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Food for Life Partnership Big Picnic

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Food for Life Partnership Big Picnic

We're hoping the sun is still shining tomorrow for the Food For Life Partnership Big Picnic at Bristol Free School, being held as part of Bristol Green Week. We're really looking forward to working with Henleaze Junior School and Westbury-on-Trym Academy. We'll be making some delicious seasonal dips including some tastes from Kenya and Egypt.

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