Havering College

Puds and Pies Ahoy 2

(With a touch of the mousses and tipsy cake for Hornchurch!)

What - go back to school to learn what I've been doing all my life? Your're joking!

That's the sort of reation you might go to a cookery class.

But the Hornchurch College of Further Education did promote the idea in the local Press. And several dozen local matrons and young wives tool it up and enrolled for the college's "Cooking for Christmas" course.

The better to prepare the family's Yule nosh-up (and perhaps to declare, "We're college-trained"), the first batch started their six weeks' apprenticeship last Tuesday.

 Such has been the response it has been necessary to start a second class on Thursday afternoons. A third - on Monday mornings - is being considered.

Showing her elders - if not betters - some of the finer points of culinary capers is attractive Mrs. Moira Davidson, sensibly dressed in white smock and pony-tail hairdo. She lives in Upper Brentwood Road, Gidea Park, with her sculptor husband and baby Aaron, almost two.

In her first year as a full-time lecturer, 22-year-old Moira normally takes girls of 16-plus for home economics, cookery, needlework, and laundry.

Her first job with the housewives was to get them in the mood, with a taste of things to come. This was a dish of hot sweetcorn stuffing. We each had a spoonful ... and gave it a "highly-commended" rating.

From her worktable in front of a battery of gas and electric cookers, the lecturer dished out recipe. And instructions: "Prepare some flaky pastry mix and bring the other ingredients next week. Don't worry if you haven't got mincers and mixers - you can use ours.

Moira Davidson promised a varied bill of fare, including traditional items for Christmas Day and parties and new ways with Christmas left-overs.

But, she added: "We want to do some different and interesting things - like mousses, souffles, rum babas and tipsy cake."

Sounds as though some families in the Hornchurch area are in for some good "stuffing" this Christmas. And speaking of stuffing, here is the recipe for the sweetcorn one.

Ingredients: 6oz. breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, ½ teaspoon thyme, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, one 12oz. tin whole kernel sweetcorn, 4oz. margarine, and 1 onion, finely chopped. Method: Combine breadcrumbs, thyme, parsley, sweetcorn. Melt margarine and saute onion until soft. Stir onion into breadcrumbs mixture. Use as required.

Havering College