Cooking for a Cause

So today was our Company’s annual charity day- Talent Day and it was an absolute blast!  Every year our company spends a day working  in the community to help people in need and every year it’s a fantastic day out!

This year was by far my favourite though—we did Cook for a Cause run by OzHarvest.  I cannot say enough good things about what we did.   Cook for a Cause basically is a 4 hour session where you’re in a commercial kitchen and you make food that’s going to be distributed to those in need later in the day.  It felt really good to do something I love anyway but knowing that the food was going to people who don’t have the means to cook for themselves. 

What made the experience even more enriching was that we were paired up with kids who were pre-apprentices.  These were kids mainly between 16-18 who were doing a 3 week program before they start their hospitality/cheffing apprenticeships .  The guy who runs the program said that they have kids from all walks of life and who have often had troubled backgrounds.  I was paired with a 16 year old girl who didn’t like school but wants to be a pastry chef and is doing the program to figure out if she wants to become an apprentice or if she wants to finish school.  I was also paired with an 18 year old boy who has been doing work experience in a pub and is dreaming of being a head chef.  It was amazing to talk to these kids who are so young but yet are figuring out what to do for the rest of their lives and starting to make their dreams come true.

And these kids- even though they’ve spent the last 3 weeks learning the basics of chopping, dicing, etc, you can tell that they’re going to be excellent chefs one day.  I made apple pies with the aspiring pastry chef and she had fantastic eye for detail and for a 16 year old  was really switched on in the kitchen.  They were the easiest apple pies I’ve ever made and delicious!

The recipe (if I can remember it):

Apples

Sugar (100g per kilo of apples)

Butter (1 stick per kilo of apples)

Frozen shortcut pastry (defrosted)—I can’t remember the name but it’s the kind you can only buy at Woollies.

Coconut

Lemon Juice.

Vanilla extract

Mint

 

Basically we cooked the apples, butter and sugar until they were glossy, put some lemon juice and vanilla in.  Once they were cooked we took them off the heat and folded coconut through it to soak up the moisture.   We tossed torn mint through it and made cups out of the frozen pastry and then filled the cups with the apple mixture.  We made a glaze for it with some cut up lemons, butter and sugar which we melted and then brushed on the pastry cups.  We cooked it for about 20 minutes at 180C and that was it!  Yum!

The only downside is that in tasty the yummy apple tarts and other treats the team made, I broke my gluten free challenge!  Doh!!!!!!!!!!!!  6 days in and I’ve used my first of three cheats…….. oh well!

It was all for a great cause!  Will post pictures as well.

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