Record breaking with Jamie Oliver.


Jamie Oliver is one television chef, I could quite happily have on my custard pie list – I never want to cause people physical harm, but there are many people in this world I could happily put a custard pie in their faces, and he is most definitely on that list! There is just something about him that winds me up. When he was the face of Sainsburys, I was quite happy to be an Asda shopper!!! He has however led many high-profile campaigns, and while I might sometimes wonder about his motives, bring things into the public forum is a positive thing.

I will tell you a funny story about how we were given vouchers for Christmas to go for a meal at the Jamie Italian restaurant in town. The vouchers are still sitting as I looked at the menu and could find nothing I wanted on there. Hubby even tried to sell the vouchers for a reduced price on his works bulletin board, and nobody wanted them! Said it all in my opinion!!!

Anyway, as usual, I digress!

Last week a form came home from school, to say the upper school were taking part in a project headed by Jamie Oliver. I cringed but read on. They were to take part in a world record attempt for the largest cookery class. There would be a live feed from London where he would be, and school across the country would be following his instruction and then making something. They had to take in a grater and a chopping board. Immediately the thought of a room full of kids with graters made me wonder how many plasters would be needed!!! We had to sign a release as photographs had to be taken to verify the participation, as well as the local press having been invited.

During the week they were looking for volunteers to help supervise the children. I said I would as I thought something like this might be quite disturbing for M being so different from anything he had ever been asked to do in the past.

An army of Mums turned up half an hour before it was due to start and helped set up the tables. The day before all the prep had been done so the kids had everything they needed at hand. We were each assigned two tables to oversee. Each table was for six children. Then the noise level rose by several decibel as the kids filed in. They had to be counted in, and independent witnesses – the vicar, and a local councillor, verified the numbers. I am sure M’s teacher made sure he was at one of my tables, so I could calm him if need be. Then hush fell as Mr Oliver started talking. It was very hard to hear as the sound quality wasn’t the best, and the link kept going down, but most of what was said was heard, punctuated by the odd grater being dropped as some couldn’t be left alone until it was time to start making. M was very cuddly towards me while we were listening, but if that kept him quiet then that was alright!

Finally it was time for the kids to start making. They were making a rainbow wrap – carrot, apple, pear, and cabbage in a yoghurt dressing. Each child at each table grated something for the bowl. At one point I lost three kids, all off for plasters as bits of finger were also grated! They then made the dressing and stirred it in. It looked horrible! One child did comment it looked like someone had been sick in the bowl and I had to agree with him!!! They then put some of the mixture into a wrap – I was amazed how many of the kids didn’t know how to fold a wrap, but maybe its just my kids that insist on fajita every week! They were allowed to eat them or put them in a bag to go home. Only one child at my tables was brave enough to try it, and that was the boy who said it looked like sick!!!

The kids had all enjoyed the experience, and seemed to have had a great afternoon – but anything would be better than lessons on a Friday afternoon! The kids all trailed back to their classrooms with their dirty chopping boards and graters, and most of them with a bag with a very squashed creation!

Things like this are what kids remember from school. It’s the fun and different things that make memories. When I was this age, I remember the shows we put on, and the places we went to, rather than my hatred of spellings and PE – OK, I remember them too, but they aren’t the strong memories! In years to come they will hear someone talk about a world record attempt and rattle off about the afternoon they took part in an event that got the schools name in the book!

Yesterday evening the teacher posted on the school Facebook page to say the paper was going off and it was believed the record had been smashed. That’s great news! I still don’t like Mr Oliver, but if he has given my son something that will be a happy memory then I will let him off this time!


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