You will need
- Chopping boards
- Measuring scales
- Potato masher
- Sharp knives
Before you begin
- Check in advance whether anyone has allergies or dietary requirements, and make sure you have suitable ingredients or substitutes.
- If you’re planning to cook as part of a normal meeting, it may be best to let people know, so that they come ready to make (and eat!) a meal.
Make haggis, neeps, and tatties
- The person leading the activity should explain that in Scotland, turnips can be called ‘neeps’ and potatoes can be called ‘tatties’. Haggis, neeps, and tatties is traditionally eaten on Burns Night, which celebrates the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns.
- Everyone should split into groups of between four and six people. It’s best if people with similar dietary requirements stick together – this makes it easier and reduces the risk of cross contamination.
- Everyone should get ready to cook by tying their hair up, taking off any rings, rolling long sleeves up, washing their hands, and covering any cuts with a blue (or brightly coloured) plaster.
- The person leading the activity should give each group a copy of the recipe. Each group should collect their equipment and weigh and measure their ingredients.
- Everyone should follow the recipe cards, with adults helping out when needed.
- Once they’re ready, everyone should clean and lay the table and serve the food.
- After they’ve enjoyed their meal, everyone should help to tidy up and clean.
This activity reminded everyone that one exciting part of being a citizen is being able to shares special things (such as food) with other people. Burns Night (the occasion haggis, neeps, and tatties is traditionally cooked for) celebrates the life and work of Robert Burns, a Scottish poet. Scots all around the world remember him by saying poems, eating haggis, neeps, and tatties, and dancing (often called a Ceilidh). Can anyone think of another time that certain dishes are cooked to remember a person or event? Different people share food for different reasons on different occasions.
This activity also gave everyone the chance to gain practical skills for cooking and serving food. Had anyone tried haggis, neeps, and tatties before? How did today’s version compare? There were lots of different skills involved in making this meal, including peeling, boiling, cooking, or mashing – so well done for giving them all a go! These skills can also be used to make other dishes – can anyone think of an example?
Teach young people how to use cooking equipment safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Make sure it’s safe to use and follow manufacturers’ guidelines for use.
Check for allergies before you begin. Make sure you have suitable areas for storing and preparing food and avoid cross contamination of different foods.
- Fires and stoves
Make sure anyone using fires and stoves is doing so safely. Check that the equipment and area are suitable and have plenty of ventilation. Follow the gas safety guidance. Have a safe way to extinguish the fire in an emergency.
- Sharp objects
Teach young people how to use sharp objects safely. Supervise them appropriately throughout. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.