I Taught Them to Cook – my food memoir of teaching cookery in 1970s in an east London comprehensive school. It was a first time for many things – cooking spaghetti, recipes in metric, boys learning to cook, just like Nigel Slater might have done. It’s a story of a cookery year, as me made things through the seasons – pickling in the autumn, Christmas cakes in December, marmalade in January, rhubarb crumble in early spring, pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. The summer term is judgement time when my students take their 2 hour practical exam – much harder than the Great British Bakeoff. New foods like avocados arrive in London food markets and the diverse communities open restaurants with food from around the world.
Reviews from Amazon
Elle – This is such a wonderful memoir that reminds me of my food lessons at school, but also so much resonates today.
Lesley – You don’t have to be interested in food or education to enjoy Jenny Ridgwell’s page-turning account of teaching a disruptive and unwilling class of teenagers how to cook food in the 1970s
Jenny – Really good book that is easy to read and gives a fascinating insight into life in the early 70’s and the stereotypes that existed within the educational system especially in the subject of home economics.
Thompson – For those of us who went through this teaching era can completely identify with the outdated attitudes of the day. Jenny did something about it.
Caroline – I am a food teacher so I can relate to a lot of the content. Very inspiring!