Sara Ward on Living the Good Life July 2024

How much bread???

Guest blog by Sara Ward

This week, I’ve run my favourite course, Introduction to Making Bread, not once – but twice, and also spent a whole day with a local primary school teaching their Year 3 pupils how to make bread – yes all 90 children took home their own loaf that they made by hand with me…

I’m not sure why I enjoy ‘Intro to Bread’ so much, it could be the leisurely welcome, getting to know the guests over fresh coffee and warm buns, it could be the pleasure of watching each guest develop baking skills that will last a lifetime, the pizza lunch is always a winner (each guest makes their own and I pop out to the garden to pick fresh salad leaves as an accompaniment) washed down with elderflower cordial – again from the garden.

However, the biggest delight is probably t

he surprise at the end of the day when each guest marvels at all their wonderful creations, packing them up to take home and amazed at just how much there is… and I simply say ‘You made all that – you should be really pleased with yourself’ – sometimes I even break into that Heather Small song ‘What have you done today to make you feel proud?’

For many years, I’ve thought that it might be helpful to calculate the value of everything you are served and take home after a day making bread with me, so here we are at last, totting up the sums for Introduction to Making Bread:

On arrival:

Coffee £4.10 & Cinnamon Bun £3.60 (based on Gail’s prices) = £7.70

Homemade lunch:

Pizza £13.70 Salad £5.95 & Drinks £3.75 (based on Pizza Express prices) = £23.40

Bakes to take home:

Organic White tin loaf £2.20

Focaccia Round £3.30

Chilli Cheese Loaf £4.40

6 bread rolls £4.98

6 cinnamon swirls £9.90

6 chocolate brioche £9.90

Subtotal = £34.68 (all true product prices from the Hen Corner Microbakery)

Total tally up £65.78

So add into the mix a jolly nice day out, learning lots of skills and meeting fabulous new friends, not bad for £95 a ticket!

As the School Holidays are approaching, we always love to offer unique experiences for local families to come and explore where their food comes from within a small group setting tailored to each group of guests. Always popular is Bees For Children – with children and adults alike donning bee suits to approach the hive, hold frames of live honey bees and taste their lovely honey.

For those looking for a wider experience, Where Does My Food Come From? is based on our sessions for local primary schools and finds us exploring all the food that we produce in the garden at Hen Corner (did you know that we harvested £4,200 worth of food throughout 2023?), we’ll meet the chickens, watch the honey bees up close in the glass hive and taste fruits and vegetables that are ripe and ready.

Not forgetting those working in schools that can’t join us during term time, we’ve got courses in Bread, Bees, Preserving and Cheese – so forget being a teacher for a day and come to learn for yourself!

In between our courses, I’m dashing back and forth between the garden and the allotment to ensure that all our crops are well watered, harvests are gathered in and the NINE colonies of bees (over three apiaries) are being inspected regularly.

Good job I always have a good stashed up bread at home to keep my energy up!

Coming up at Hen Corner:

July:

Wednesday 24th Introduction To Scandinavian Baking

Tuesday 30th Bees For Children (Family Course)

August:

Thursday 8th Where Does My Food Come From? (Family Course)

Tuesday 13th  Introduction to Making Bread

Thursday 15th Bees For Children (Family Course)

Saturday 17th Full Day Bee Keeping 

Wednesday 21st  Introduction To Making Cheese

Tuesday 27th Introduction To Pickles & Preserves

All courses can be found at HenCorner.com

Follow us on social media @HenCorner

Sara Ward is the owner of Hen Corner and author of Living the Good Life in the City: A journey to self-sufficiency

Hen Corner is a member of The Chiswick Calendar’s Club Card scheme, offering discounts on her courses and on her book Living the Good Life in the City.

See her Club Card offers here: Hen Corner Club Card offers

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