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From planning recipes for Christmas day and festive parties to thinking up the perfect gift idea, the buzz of Christmas planning can sometimes be a little overwhelming. But this December, the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School (ENTCS) has a feast of festive foodie courses to help keep that buzz at a pleasant simmer. From ‘Christmas Baking’ to ‘Easy Entertaining’ and ‘Children’s Baking’, these courses are designed to inspire festive flavours, add some Christmas sparkle to a party, or simply distract the kids while Christmas shopping gets completed.
Fiona Burrell, principal of the school, said: “Christmas is a great opportunity to slow down the fast pace of everyday life and enjoy time with family but the planning can easily sweep you up and seem almost overwhelming.
Our festive courses aim to inspire and instil confidence; to teach preparation skills which can help alleviate the stress and allow participants to enjoy the festive period to the fullest. On our courses everyone works together in a relaxed atmosphere, learning useful tips and recipes and enjoying tasty treats along the way. It’s the perfect way to get in to the swing of Christmas.”
Attending a course is great fun, but the joy can be spread further by giving a gift voucher for any of the school’s many courses. Vouchers are valid for 12 months and start from £25. ENTCS also stocks a small selection of kitchen items, aprons, tea towels and books which are perfect stocking fillers.
The school’s stunning new range of Texturas extra virgin olive oil from Western Spain is another great gift idea. The range of four different oils comes in beautiful one litre tins for £15. The oils are also available in a stunning gift box, containing 4 x 500ml bottles of each of the four different oils ranging in strength.
The school also sells the award-winning, unfiltered extra virgin olive oil Oleosetin. Price starts from £8 for 250mls.
Christmas Baking. Saturday 3 December and Wednesday 7 December, 0945 – 1600
Get into the spirit of Christmas and get your Christmas baking done on this 1 day course. Recipes include: Christmas Cake with a ‘chocolate’ difference, stollen, mince pies, cinnamon shortbread stars and pear, pecan and cranberry muffins. You will end the day full of festive spirt and laden with wonderful baking for you, your family and friends to enjoy.
Three day Essentials. Wednesday 7 December until Friday 9 December, 0945 – 1600
This three day course is intended for complete beginners and teaches the basic cookery skills which are essential and particularly relevant in the run up to Christmas. Each day students cook a variety of dishes some of which they will eat for lunch and the rest they can take home. As the days progress everyone’s confidence increases and by the third day they will leave with new recipes and new skills.Techniques covered will include: knife skills; browning meat; pastry making; cooking with eggs; cake making; bread making; roasting; fish cookery; and cooking vegetables.
Festive Fizz. Thursday 8 December, 1830 – 2100
Come and join us for an evening full of festive fizz and learn of the many ingenious ways man has sought to put bubbles in wine. By comparing proseccos, champagnes, cavas and New World sparklers, you will discover the fizz for you. This will be a fun and sociable evening and would be the ideal opportunity to get together with friends an alternative to a Christmas meal or an evening at the theatre.
Easy Entertaining. Saturday 10 December, 0945 – 1430
Get ready for the party season and make a great impression on your guests by learning to cook easy but impressive dishes. The day starts with coffee or tea and a short demonstration and introduction to the day’s recipes, which are beetroot and smoked salmon salad, herb crusted lamb and chocolate and orange pots served with almond and gin biscuits. The day ends between 2 – 2.30pm – leaving plenty of time for Christmas shopping.
Christmas Canapes Demonstration. Tuesday 13 December, 1030 – 1230
Learn how to make several festive savoury and sweet canapes on this demonstration morning while enjoying a coffee and some of our delicious shortbread. At the end of the demonstration you will be able to taste the canapes with a glass of prosecco. This will be a fun and sociable morning and would be a perfect early Christmas present.
Christmas Entertaining, Demonstration and Lunch. Wednesday 14 December, 1330 – 1330
It is always useful to have a few easy and tasty recipes up your sleeve, especially at Christmas time. Learn a few simple but delicious recipes for starters, mains and puddings at our Christmas Entertainining demonstration. You will be able to taste all the recipes made on the day and the demonstration will be followed by lunch and a glass of wine.
Curries from Around the World 1. Saturday 17 December, 0945 – 1600
If Christmas fare does not appeal, why not indulge in Britain’s favourite cusine?This 1 day curry course might be for you. You will learn to make curries from Burma, Thailand, India, Indonesia and the Caribbean. Enjoy your efforts over lunch with a glass of wine and still have plenty to take home and enjoy later with friends and family.
Children’s Baking Morning or Afternoon. Wednesday 21 December and Friday 23 December
For children who love baking, and for parents who are looking for a different way to entertain their children during the holidays these December half day courses are the perfect antidote to winter holiday boredom. Children learn how to make delicious cakes and biscuits which they can pack up and take home. They may turn out to be the perfect Christmas present for Granny! Recipes covered include: chocolate and mint cookies, lemon curd and blueberry muffins and carrot cake
Children’s One Day course. Thursday 22 December, 1030 -1500
If you’re looking to entertain your child for a full day of cooking this might just be the course. On this one day course children will be taught cooking skills using the best seasonal ingredients. They’ll be cooking dishes that they can easily recreate at home. This course is perfect for children aged between 9 and 13.
Teenagers One Day course. Thursday 22 December, 1030-1600
Designed for those aged between 13 and 17, these practical courses teach basic cookery skills including how to weigh ingredients accurately, how to read recipes and how to clear up as you cook. They’ll be learning how to produce simple dishes using seasonal ingredients, which they’ll remember well into their adult years.
Full details of the Christmas courses, and a flavour of the 2017 programme, are available on the Edinburgh New Town Cookery School website – http://www.entcs.co.uk/calendar