Behind the Scenes: Stir Krazy Book Week, August 2016

Here at Stir Krazy, we know the importance of a good theme. So when it came to choosing the theme for our first Stir Krazy week in Harrogate this summer, our creative chef Amy knew right away what to go for ….

BOOK WEEK!

We talk to Amy about what they got up to during Book Week, what goes into planning a week of baking fun, plus how important the theme is in influencing the days ...

 The Stir Krazy Imagination Tree, which children added to throughout the week with their thoughts, dreams and ideas related to the theme.

The Stir Krazy Imagination Tree, which children added to throughout the week with their thoughts, dreams and ideas related to the theme.

"Deciding on a theme is probably the most important task I undertake as a Stir Krazy chef. If you have an engaging, fun and plentiful theme then the whole week will fall into place without much (!) stress. With it being the summer holidays, book week just seemed the perfect way to kick off a foodie-filled break for all our little chefs. Using books and stories as an umbrella for the week meant we had plenty of games, activities and of course, recipes to choose from. With so many brilliant books and stories to choose from, I could do book week 100 times over!

The theme is important not only for the recipes but also for the activities we enjoy while our goods are in the oven. Having great sub-themes for the days like Roald Dahl and Alice in Wonderland means that the children know the stories inside out and have so many fun ideas when taking part in the games! Keeping the theme running throughout cooking AND play time is really important - it makes the whole day entirely more engaging and exciting, so that I can truly immerse our little chefs in the world of the story."

"When it comes to picking the recipes, it’s important that they’re not too easy. I have very high expectations of the abilities of even our littlest chefs and never underestimate what they can create in the kitchen with the right ingredients and a little bit of help. It’s also up to me to consider expert cheffy-things like prep time, proving time, cooking time, cooling time etc – lots of timings! I also find that most children love to get MESSY with a capital M, so I tend to choose recipes that involve putting your hands in the bowl. Pastry, scones and bread always go down a treat – as well as chocolate recipes, for obvious reasons!

We pack a lot into a day, but it is important to go with the pace of group. If we’re whizzing through recipes, following instructions quickly and cleaning the kitchen in a hurry then I’ll happily spend lots of time playing games downstairs. However if a group likes to take their time and knead a mix to perfection, I’ll pace the day much more slowly, playing a few games and ensuring we leave enough time to complete every recipe. Us big chefs are ready to adapt to their culinary needs!"

"The most exciting part of the day is always when it’s time to pack all the little chefs’ treats into their boxes ready to take home. We ensure each chef is reunited with their own creations and I love seeing how proud they are of what they’ve made. Mistakes do happen in the kitchen (although probably far less than you imagine!), but at the end of the day each and every chef leaves with a sense of pride, a smile of their face and a box full of goodies to share (or eat all to themselves!)."

 Some of the week's recipes! Queen of Hearts Jam Tarts, Mad Hatter Pizzas, Mrs Fox's Fruit Loaf and Cornish Pixie Pasties

Some of the week's recipes! Queen of Hearts Jam Tarts, Mad Hatter Pizzas, Mrs Fox's Fruit Loaf and Cornish Pixie Pasties

Thank you to all our Stir Krazy chefs this week and the parents that treated them, it only goes to show that with a pinch of imagination, a dollop of creativity and hearty helping of Stir Krazy madness, we can create an incredibly magical, engaging and tasty week.

We're back in Ilkley, Harrogate and Leeds for more themed baking fun from next week. Please take a look at our upcoming dates to find what's on near you!

Love Chef Amy and the entire Stir Krazy team x