Issuu on Google+

SUVOT COOKING & SOFT SKILLS Vocational training to empower people with mental illness and learning disabilities. Improving job performance and career prospects.

Trainers Textbook


ABOUT SUVOT PROJECT SUVOT project has developed an innovative vocational training cookery course for people who sometimes find learning difficult due to mental illness/psychological problems and for anyone who needs support in learning. You will find lots of practical advice in this book and interesting recipes from four countries. Also, during the project special role-play exercises were created which help to improve personal and social skills needed at work. To achieve this mission, concrete objectives have been planned: • Producing a set of teaching materials for training courses in cooking, including a teaching manual, a trainee’s textbook and a teaching DVD with visual practical examples of the training. • Providing people with mental illness from Spain, Slovenia and Germany with cookery and soft skills training over the course of one full year, thus developing their cognitive, social and practical skills in the cooking field. • Facilitating the access of people with mental illness to the labour market, particularly within the cooking sector. Furthermore, SUVOT project is ultimately intended to employ some of the vocational training attendees within the project partners’ facilities after the training, hopefully establishing a dynamic employment system. SUVOT is a European project funded by the EU through the Lifelong Learning Programme (Leonardo da Vinci).


Year of publication: 2013 Written by SUVOT project partners: Cooking units: Claudia Feth and Katrin Dolle from CJD Frechen, Germany Soft-skills units: Maria Schejbal from Grodzki Theatre Association, Poland Other contributors: Agnieszka Ginko-Humphries and Barbara Beck from Grodzki Theatre Association, Poland; Mateja Kramberger, Samo Kramberger and Anja Rozman from Ozara Slovenija, Slovenia; Henar Conde and Laura Martínez from Fundación INTRAS (INTRAS Foundation), Spain. Editing and coordination: Fundación INTRAS The cooking units were originally written in German and translated into English by Glen Tatzel The soft skills techniques were originally written in Polish and translated into English by Andrew McGuire, Ewa Horodyska and Agnieszka Ginko-Humphries. The rest of the book was originally written in English. The book was published in four languages. English proofreading: Jane Carter Translation from English to Spanish: David Reinoso Translation from English to Slovenian: Mateja Kramberger, Kaja Kovačič, Helena Fošnjar Translation from English to German: Katrin Dolle and Claudia Feth Translation from English to Polish: Rafał Paprocki Special thanks to Ajda Sostaric for conceiving and writing the SUVOT project and to Óscar Alonso, Elisabeth Lucas, Nerea Hernández, Verónica Estrada, Cristina Esteban, Cristina García, Anja Rozman, Claudia Feth and Krzysztof Tusiewicz for taking some of the photos illustrating this book. © SUVOT Project Partners ISBN: 978-84-938947-8-8 Copyright deposit: DL VA 529-2013 Reproduction of the material contained in this publication is authorized for non-commercial purposes only and if a clear reference of its source is given. Translations contained in this publication are approximate and these have been made in order to achieve a better understanding of the source text. The project “SUVOT: Spicing Up Vocational Training” with reference number 510309-LLP-1-2010-1-ES-LEONARDO-LMP has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. We kindly invite you to visit our website http://suvot.intras.es and our Facebook profile


COOKING & SOFT SKILLS Vocational training to empower people with mental illness and learning disabilities. Improving job performance and career prospects.

‘Teachers Textbook’

EDINTRAS Intras Editions Zamora, 2013


MENU OF THE BOOK Appetiser _ 8

Teaching Unit 12: Cleaning and storage temperature _ 47

What is this book about? _ 9

Teaching Unit 13: Oil _ 49 Teaching Unit 14: Contamination hazards_ 50

Chapter 1: Spicing up Lifelong Learning! _ 13 Chapter 2: Decanting problematic work and group-related areas _ 17 Chapter 3: Ingredients of the course _ 21 Cooking units _ 22 Soft skills techniques _ 22

Teaching Unit 15: Risky food _ 52 Teaching Unit 16: All about water _ 54 Teaching Unit 17: Sauces, thickeners and spices _ 55 Teaching Unit 18: Illnesses caused by pathogens _ 57 Teaching Unit 19: Religions and food _ 60 Teaching Unit 20: Mustard _ 61 Teaching Unit 21: Learning how to prepare a menu _ 62 Teaching Unit 22: Vinegars _ 63 Teaching Unit 23: Go shopping _ 64 Teaching Unit 24: Express yourself _ 64 Teaching Unit 25: The food pyramid _ 66 Teaching Unit 26: Herbs _ 68 Teaching Unit 27: Eating only vegetables _ 70

Chapter 4: Kitchen routines and utensils _ 25 Planning cooking sessions _ 26 Planning soft skills sessions _ 28

Teaching Unit 28: Seasonal cooking _ 73 Teaching Unit 29: Cheese _ 74 Teaching Unit 30: Food additives _ 75 Teaching Unit 31: Sports and food _ 76 Teaching Unit 32: Baking _ 78 Teaching Unit 33: Good fungus vs. bad fungus _ 81

Chapter 5: Cooking menu _ 30

Teaching Unit 34: Creativity contest _ 82

Teaching Unit 1: Getting to know everything! _ 31

Teaching Unit 36: Soya, tofu and couscous _ 85

Teaching Unit 2: Kitchen equipment _ 33

Teaching Unit 37: Cooking with alcohol _ 86

Teaching Unit 3: Food shopping _ 34

Teaching Unit 38: Portions I _ 87

Teaching Unit 4: Conversion and food storage _ 36

Teaching Unit 39: Portions II _ 88

Teaching Unit 5: Reading a recipe _ 38

Teaching Unit 40: Sweet vs. Savoury _ 89

Teaching Unit 6: What to do before and after cooking _ 40

Teaching Unit 41: Slovenian dessert _ 90

Teaching Unit 7: Cooking in a team _ 42

Teaching Unit 42: Creativity contest _ 90

Teaching Unit 8: Rice, noodles and potatoes _ 43

Teaching Unit 43: Teamwork and reliability in the kitchen _ 91

Teaching Unit 9: Mushrooms _ 44

Teaching Unit 44: Express yourself _ 93

Teaching Unit 10: Cooking, steaming, stewing _ 45

Teaching Unit 45: Choosing the right menu _ 94

Teaching Unit 11: Express yourself _ 46

Teaching Unit 46: Remembering Slovenia _ 96

Teaching Unit 35: Noodles _ 83


Teaching Unit 48: Remembering Spain _ 98

Chapter 6: Soft skills menu _ 138

Teaching Unit 49: Ready-made food _ 99

Role-playing recipes _139

Teaching Unit 50: Remembering Germany _ 100

Magic oven _ 143

Teaching Unit 47: Fast food _ 97

Teaching Unit 51: Creativity contest _ 102 Teaching Unit 52: On a diet _ 102

Warm-up and relaxation exercises _ 143

Teaching Unit 53: Remembering Poland _ 104

Task-oriented exercises _ 163

Teaching Unit 54: Different eating habits of the word _ 105

Group games _ 186

Teaching Unit 55: Comparing European countries _ 107 Teaching Unit 56: Making jam _ 108 Teaching Unit 57: Purchase and control of food _ 110 Teaching Unit 58: History of food and nutrition _ 111 Teaching Unit 59: Food and social classes _ 112

Chapter 7: Tips for the chefs _ 193

Teaching Unit 60: Price calculation and portion control _ 114 Teaching Unit 61: Cooking Slovenian specialities _ 115 Teaching Unit 62: Chinese cooking _ 116 Teaching Unit 63: Visiting a small market _ 117 Teaching Unit 64: Fair trade and organic food _ 118 Teaching Unit 65: Creativity contest _ 119 Teaching Unit 66: Laying a table _ 120 Teaching Unit 67: Express yourself _ 121 Teaching Unit 68: Talking about good manners _ 122 Teaching Unit 69: Visiting a restaurant _ 124 Teaching Unit 70: Fish and seafood _ 124 Teaching Unit 71: Serving food and drinks _ 126 Teaching Unit 72: Different kinds of soup _ 128 Teaching Unit 73: Express yourself _ 129 Teaching Unit 74: How to be the perfect waiter _ 130 Teaching Unit 75: Creativity contest _ 131 Teaching Unit 76: Learning about an employment contract _ 132 Teaching Unit 77: Visiting a hotel _ 133 Teaching Unit 78: Germany speciality _ 134 Teaching Unit 79: Creativity contest _ 135 Teaching Unit 80: Good bye! _ 136

The authors _ 196


APPETISER Everybody has the right to dream about their future and everybody deserves a chance to achieve their own life project, to find a job. Taking part in vocational training, developing new competences and skills, increasing self-esteem and self-belief, discovering new cultures and tastes... Knowing more about themselves, about how to interact with others and being involved in the development of their own life. This is all lifelong learning and it is a very important topic when talking about people with mental illness. People with mental illness experience high levels of unemployment and nonparticipation in the labour force, although it is proven that labour integration is the first step for social integration. Unemployment has a number of negative effects including a loss of purpose, structure, roles and status and the loss of a sense of identity which employment typically brings. Employment enables social inclusion in the community and it is an important way in which people with any kind of mental illness can meaningfully participate in the wider community, a main step in their recovery process. The SUVOT team, composed of organisations from Spain, Germany, Slovenia and Poland, (see “Authors� section at the end of this book) believes in this statement and it was the origin of this training programme addressed to facilitate vulnerable people finding a job. Of course, the SUVOT programme does not guarantee the incorporation of all people with mental illness participating in the course into the labour market, but it will offer them the opportunity to go a step further in their recovery process. Stigma is one of the largest barriers in the integration process, that is why, within this course, trainers will find several activities to educate society about mental illness, for instance visiting markets, restaurants, hotels, didactic cooking videos led by people with mental illness, open events, etc. Hopefully, SUVOT could encourage an opportunity to find a job within the cooking sector for the participants and thus creating a possibility to make their dreams come true. Feeling that even if they are suffering from a mental illness, there is a place for them in society. Feeling that they are citizens in their own right and creating a piece of Europe. We hope you enjoy it! The SUVOT Team

8 Spicing Up Vocational Training


WHAT IS THIS BOOK ABOUT? This textbook is a collection of theoretical and practical information needed for delivering high quality cookery training and related soft skills to groups of people with any kind of mental illness. It includes ideas for group work in the field of social competences which are necessary in order to undertake professional and educational challenges. The publication is based on the work done by a group of experts in delivering training to groups at risk of social exclusion and it gathers the feedback from three pilot experiences developed in Spain, Germany and Slovenia for a complete year (May 2012-May 2013). Spicing Up Vocational Training (SUVOT) is a three year multilateral project for the Development of Innovation financed by the European Commission under the Leonardo da Vinci programme (Lifelong Learning Programme). This project arose from the need to end the social stigma attached to mental illness in order to achieve equal opportunities for all citizens and reach a more tolerant society. Four European organizations have joined efforts to develop a methodology of experiential learning to enable people with mental illness, learning disabilities and/or behavioural disorders acquire skills to enter the labour market. All the exercises and games described in this book form a common pool of ideas; they come from many trainers and practitioners. They were all tested during the SUVOT pilot workshops attended by people with mental and learning disabilities from Spain, Germany and Slovenia. Some comments from the trainers have been included in this publication for guidelines and inspiration.

How to use this textbook The textbook you have in your hands is structured into 80 single sessions about cooking and a wide collection of exercises to train soft skills based on role-playing techniques that will support the learning process. Each of the sessions last around three hours (preparation, execution and wrapping up) and ideally, the course should be run three times per week: two sessions focussed on cooking techniques and one session specially focused on development and/or improvement of soft skills like team work, self-confidence, self-esteem, hygiene, etc. You will find all information about each session in this textbook and in the additional information included in the SUVOT DVD or SUVOT website, for instance, cooking video demonstrations, curriculum support tables to organize each lesson (they give you a detailed structure and always refer to the session numbers), power point presentations, exercises to print out for the trainees, interviews with experts and participants points of view, etc. Trainees textbook only includes chapter 5 “Cooking menu�. Within this chapter the parts which occur only in the teachers textbook are written cursively. Introductory chapters and the role-playing

9


techniques are only described in the teachers’ textbook, as many of them touch on personal and problematic subjects. We strongly recommend you to adapt the content of this teaching manual according to the learning starting point of the group to be trained as well as to their particular needs and interests. You can use this textbook starting from the beginning and teaching your group following the order of the cooking units proposed or you can establish your own pedagogical logic according to your criteria, the time of starting of the course, the availability of ingredients, the previous knowledge of the group, etc. As for the role-playing techniques, we do not propose a fixed structure since working in a therapeutic way with a vulnerable group requires adaptations and flexibility. You should look closely at your group and choose appropriate methods for appropriate situations, trying to respond to the needs and problems which the group might experience at any particular time. The soft-skills training covers many problematic subjects and involves intensive individual and group work. It should be carried out by an experienced practitioner, for instance a psychologist, social worker, therapist or theatre/drama specialist. This book does not aim to be prescriptive, thus we encourage you to look at your group prior to starting the course and try to predict what they will need at which stage. The implementation of all contents is at the discretion of the teacher with regard to the group situation and other circumstances. For further information and pedagogical tools to use this book, please visit the website: http://suvot. intras.es

What the icons shown in the book mean Throughout the book you will find different icons which aim to categorise the type of activities proposed. They will facilitate the reading and understanding of the contents and methods.

10 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Theory

Recipes

Cooking exercises

Outdoor activities

Reflection

Warm-up and relaxation activities

Task-oriented exercises

Group games

11


12 Spicing Up Vocational Training


CHAPTER 1

SPICING UP LIFELONG LEARNING!

13


CHAPTER 1: SPICING UP LIFELONG LEARNING! Life long le arning i s t h e “on g oi n g, vol un t ar y, an d s el f -mot i va ted � p ur s ui t of k n ow le d g e for e it he r p e rsonal or p rofes s i on al rea s on s. I t en h an ces s o c i al i n cl us i on , ac t i ve c it ize n s h ip an d p er s on al d evel op men t, b ut al s o comp et i t i ven es s an d em ploya bilit y. Lifelong learning and empowerment are closely connected to the concept of recovery from mental illness. The findings indicate that greater access to and the provision of lifelong learning opportunities should be provided for those who experience mental illness to help facilitate their labour integration, their social inclusion and recovery. People with mental health issues can and do work. Surveys reveal a 3 to 5 times higher unemployment rate with mentally ill individuals as opposed to the remaining population, even though past research clearly indicates that the majority of people with serious mental disorders are able and willing to work. The European Pact for Mental Health and Well-Being (2008) noticed the importance of improving access for people with mental illness to employment and training opportunities. A review of the literature on recovery and lifelong learning shows that there are similarities in the definitions, processes and outcomes of engaging in recovery and lifelong learning. It was found that recovery and lifelong learning are indivisible, inter-twined processes and that lifelong learning is an essential part of mental disorder recovery (EMILIA Project Research, VI Framework Programme). The SUVOT course aims to be an example of how lifelong learning has positive impacts on people suffering from mental disorders. Through lifelong learning people with mental illness can become more empowered, have a higher degree of social inclusion, develop better coping skills, have higher levels of meaningfulness, enjoy life more, have higher self-esteem and wellbeing, achieve personal goals, develop new and maintain existing supportive relationships, have greater access to work opportunities, and have a greater opportunity to contribute to society. Policy makers in many parts of the world are now using formal learning to promote mental disorder recovery and they are trying to increase the inclusion of those with mental disorders in state funded formal lifelong learning provision. In addition, mental health services are increasingly offering learning programmes specifically targeted at aiding the recovery of those with mental disorders. In summary, the aims of these formal lifelong learning provisions are twofold: to increase the numbers of people with mental disorders who take part in formal lifelong learning and for that formal lifelong learning to aid employability and recovery.

14 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Innovation in vocational training The partners’ experiences working with people with mental illness show that this target group usually needs therapeutic support and soft skill training during their preparation for finding a job, particularly those having experienced stressful and traumatic working experiences in the past (painful events) or being particularly frighten by the idea of starting a job, entering a working environment or of facing new challenges. Our experiences have therefore demonstrated: --

the need in Europe to provide support for people with mental illness to gain employment and to develop vocational skills;

--

the need to combine vocational training with development of work-related soft skills with regards to people with mental illness;

--

an interrelatedness between lifelong learning, employment and the recovery of people with mental illness.

SUVOT addresses these issues with the objective of developing the specific cooking vocational skills of our target groups but also to provide them with personal and social skills for labour rehabilitation purposes. The synergy formed between the formal aspects of vocational training and role-playing techniques to enhance multifaceted learning, reveals a profound innovative dimension of the course. Firstly, experiences in the occupational rehabilitation process speak of the fact that even though the users learn their occupational trade to a professional level, they may not be able to perform it in the working environment due to its specific (hierarchical/clique/peer grouping) rules of functioning. Since the target groups in question generally feel that the system has let them down or that their difference is not tolerated sufficiently to allow them to integrate, they experience a lot of repressed aggression and conflict issues, further inhibiting them from integrating into the work environment. This means that standard vocational training is most likely missing a link. Guided role-playing applied within a vocational training context simulates a chain of working relations by ascribing alternating roles to the attendees. They will subsequently learn how to give and accept orders in the right manner, how to function as a link within a working chain, how to cope with abuse of power within a working environment, how to set priorities and deal with client pressure, how to inhibit the effects of low selfesteem on work productivity and quality, etc. Role-playing has been previously connected to vocational training, but never to such an intensive level as with the target group in question in order to build the methodology aimed to acquire soft skills and integration on cognitive, affective and behavioural levels.

15


16 Spicing Up Vocational Training


CHAPTER 2

DECANTING PROBLEMATIC WORK AND GROUP-RELATED AREAS

17


CHAPTER 2: DECANTING PROBLEMATIC WORK AND GROUP-RELATED AREAS At the beginning of the SUVOT project (http://suvot.intras.es), which has resulted in this book, a survey was conducted among 101 people suffering from various mental disorders, included 10 people with issues related to professional activity. The task of the Spanish, German and Slovenian respondents was to estimate the appropriateness of the following statements in their lives: --

Working with other people is not a problem for me,

--

I like talking about myself and about things I can do well,

--

I feel capable of doing a job properly,

--

I try to do the best I can to achieve what I want,

--

I do what other people ask me to do, even if I do not agree

--

When I am in a work meeting, I try to say what I think

--

I find it difficult to contain negative feelings (sadness, fear, anger, etc.),

--

My illness does not allow me to have a good job

--

I find it difficult to focus on an activity for a long time,

--

I know and I follow health and safety habits at work;

Key problem areas and professional challenges for people with mental illness were identified: working in a group (1); verbal and communication skills (2); personal motivation (3); goal -oriented approaches, concentration, discipline (4); self-esteem and self-belief (5); dealing with difficult (negative) feelings (6). It is these specific areas which are addressed by some of the proposed activities in this publication in order to ensure not only the acquisition of cooking contents and practice but also to ensure the acquirement of frequently underestimated soft skills. Seeing mental illness as the only source of problems could lead to a withdrawal from social and vocational life. There is a need for developing soft skills amongst people with mental illness and establishing the right to lead a fulfilled life as valuable individuals.

Findings of the decanting process In the area of vocational opportunities, 78.21% of respondents declare difficulties in having a satisfying job because of their mental illness. Apart from social stigma connected to mental illness, which prevents many people from entering the labour market, inner barriers and lack of soft skills limit their opportunities, as the answers to the survey below show.

18 Spicing Up Vocational Training


(1) Working in a group The area of communication and co-operation with colleagues at work is certainly problematic for many respondents. One can presume that this results from general problems concerning communication with others. Developing social skills in this area is essential to opening vocational opportunities for this group of mentally ill people. (2) Verbal skills and communication The necessity of developing the verbal skills of the target group is shown by the number of respondents who express that they never talk about themselves and their skills (almost 19%). Openness, selfesteem and also the ability to present one’s achievements and skills needs to be developed. (3) Personal motivation This is a very important area to address as altogether 39% of respondents are not really motivated to achieve what they want. This element is crucial in helping them to undertake and complete vocational training. (4) Goal-oriented approach, concentration, discipline It seems essential to work on their willingness to take action and complete it, which is very low. Almost 40% of the respondents reveal problems with performing an activity for a long time, which excludes them from a serious engagement in training or work. This lack of motivation and lack of a goal-oriented attitude could indicate that the target group has problems with belief in one’s action and ability to follow one’s ideas. (5) Self-esteem and self-belief Participants of the training will need support to increase their self-esteem and belief in their own judgments as 45% of people with mental illness who took part in the survey can’t stand up to people and passively follow orders. The methodology will try to remove the inner barriers and constraints participants have, which are limiting their opportunities (50% of respondents don’t see themselves as good workers). It is therefore important to try to change their way of evaluating themselves in terms of personal skills and potential. (6) Dealing with difficult (negative) feelings It is interesting to notice that 53% of respondents can express their opinions at a work meeting, which is a positive indicator. However, 64% admitting that they have problems with containing negative feelings shows a tendency to perhaps be over-expressive and too eager to communicate negative feelings at work. There is certainly a need to give support to the target group in coping with and controlling negative feelings such as sadness, fear and anger.

19


20 Spicing Up Vocational Training


CHAPTER 3

INGREDIENTS OF THE COURSE

21


CHAPTER 3: INGREDIENTS OF THE COURSE COOKING UNITS The teaching units have been carefully thought out to make the learning process easier and especially motivating for vulnerable groups. There are five different types of contents: teaching theory, recipes, outdoor activities, exercises and discussions. Each of them are identified by a given symbol (see legend at page 11), to facilitate the trainer in organizing the training sessions. These teaching units have been put in order from least to most difficult, starting with basic knowledge related to hygiene, how to do the shopping or how to behave in the kitchen, all the ways to store different types of food and ingredients, different types of cooking techniques, cooking and religion, how to behave during a meal, European and international gastronomy, seasonal cooking or laying a table and serving food. Proposed visits have been designed to introduce the trainees to different places related to the cooking world, for instance a market or a restaurant. This manual includes 55 recipes, most of them being typical dishes from Spain, Slovenia, Germany and Poland. All the recipes are structured in the same way and can be altered and adapted depending on the availability of ingredients. Some of these recipes are supported by teaching videos available on the SUVOT website; which we highly recommend visiting. Additional information about the above mentioned countries has been included in the course to improve general knowledge about Europe. Last but not least, exercises and discussions have been included within the cooking units to involve the trainees in practical and sharing activities that encourage the learning process and group unity.

SOFT SKILLS TECHNIQUES Experiences associated with interpersonal relationships are necessary for enhancing the skills that facilitate full social interaction, including in the professional working environment. People affected by mental illness often have great difficulty with social functioning resulting from their limited experience of social contact. The symptoms of such illnesses often make it very difficult to enter relationships, fulfil various functions and social roles, and to develop and nurture satisfying relationships with others. This only serves to deepen their isolation and limit their opportunities for development, especially during the moments when those opportunities are best found. Difficulties with interpersonal relationships prohibit the discovery and exploration of skills and talents, and impede participation in many activities, including employment.

22 Spicing Up Vocational Training


The combined years of experience of the SUVOT partners has shown that these people can work, and want to work. Quite often, a major obstacle is the lack of adequately developed interpersonal competence, which is why we can consider the inclusion of activities designed to address social skills in their regular vocational training material to be entirely justified. The ingredients of the soft skills part of the SUVOT course include techniques associated with roleplaying which can be used when preparing people with mental illness to enter the workforce. The collection of exercises proposed will prove useful when working with people who have particular difficulties in the area of social skills. When working with such people, it is fundamentally important that they have direct personal experiences, that they learn certain skills through their own participation. Direct experiences give participants a sense of their own abilities, and the opportunity to feel the effect of their actions which in turn motivates them to engage in further activities. For this reason in particular, role-playing techniques are a good choice, as they are dynamic, and allow participants to experience introspective contemplation while they are doing the exercises. Moreover, role-playing methods stimulate spontaneity and creativity, which are particularly helpful in breaking through barriers associated with new or surprising situations which do not adhere to established habits. They help in conquering the fear of new challenges, which can be especially difficult for people who have gone through traumatic experiences. The proposed techniques enable training in areas such as: --

Communication Skills (Verbal and Nonverbal) which help with mutual understanding and the expressing of opinions

--

The ability to work in a group, and cooperate with others

--

Coming to terms with your own experiences, especially with negative emotions

--

Overcoming your own barriers and limits, achieving goals.

Participation in these activities provides an opportunity for expanding different areas of experience, it allows the participant to discover their own uniqueness and individuality, and it can help them to identify their stronger and weaker sides, which itself allows for more accurate self-assessment, improving overall self-presentation. Also an important aspect is the ability to increase participants’ self-confidence, belief in their own abilities, and to improve their opinions of themselves, which in turn helps to break patterns of passivity and helplessness, and strengthens motivation and aspiration. Group experience reveals positive emotions associated with being amongst others but also serves as an opportunity to come to terms with negative emotions such as anxiety, worries, fears, and anger, which can help in breaking down barriers, overcoming difficulties, coming to terms with misfortune, and coping with obstacles.

23


24 Spicing Up Vocational Training


CHAPTER 4

KITCHEN ROUTINES AND UTENSILS

25


CHAPTER 4: KITCHEN ROUTINES AND UTENSILS PLANNING COOKING SESSIONS Please check that you always use the same teaching room, including a projector, laptop with internet, a flip chart and a moderation case. MATERIAL you will need during the course: Projector

12 x chopping boards Coffee machine Photocopier Pans in assorted sizes Wok Oven

12 x cutlery (plates, soup bowls, glasses, knives, forks, spoons) Fondue Pot Pens Pots in assorted sizes Deep fryer Internet Spätzle-press, if not available buy readymade Spätzle

Raclette machine Board 12 x Knives Baking equipment CD Player Cleaning utensils

Moderation case

ROUTINE in the training: •

GAME: 3 adjectives You will use this method regularly during the training, always in the beginning and at the end of each session. This shall bring a consistent routine and format to the sessions and provide a feeling of security and comfort for the trainees. The trainer asks the trainees to describe their actual mood or describe their thoughts surrounding the discussed contents or the cooked meals using three adjectives. The trainer always starts as an example. The group is generally quiet and

26 Spicing Up Vocational Training


listens when somebody is talking. There is no need for any comments or the interruption of any statements, except if the trainee expresses a feeling that could interfere with his/her possibility of collaboration during this session. •

SHOPPING In the first session each trainee will be given a shopping task. While shopping with the trainees, please try to convey these different things. Explain:

•

--

how they can compare prices

--

how they check the quality of a product

--

how the food store is sorted

--

how to check the best before date

--

how to treat frozen food

--

what kind of bags to take (an isolating/cooler bag in the summer,...)

--

how to pack your bags at the checkout (robust/heavy products at the bottom, fragile ones on top)

CREATIVITY CONTEST, PREPARING A MENU AND REFLECTION are fixed sessions which occur several times during the training.

27


PLANNING SOFT SKILLS SESSIONS Sessions are planned in three-hour working blocks. It is strongly advised that each session be divided into three or four shorter sequences with breaks in between. In the structure of the proposed classes 35 minutes are allocated for breaks. It is also useful to alternate activities that vary in rhythm and character and complement each other, as can be seen in the following example: •

INTEGRATION CIRCLE (25 minutes). In a role-playing routine this part of the process is called “pulse” and it is focused on the sharing of feelings and emotions by all participants. It also serves as a bridge between individual meetings. Each member of the group has a chance to refer to the previous session and to talk about important things which happened and influenced his/her current physical and mental state.

WARM-UP ACTIVITIES (15 minutes). One or two exercises, for instance “Numbers” and “You are a sheet of paper” focused on a physical effort after sitting and talking for a while. Warm-ups help to involve participants in action and to integrate the group.

TASK-ORIENTED ACTION (60 minutes). A group game, for instance “Organism” or another exercise focused on exploring a specific problem and searching for solutions.

RELAXATION ACTIVITY (15 minutes). A short exercise, for example “Knot”, to break away from the intensive work and deep personal engagement.

SUMMING-UP CIRCLE (30 minutes). Like “pulse” at the beginning, the summing-up session is of great significance for participants. They feel safe and more comfortable in the group, having a chance to express feelings or impressions, worries or satisfaction, needs or ideas for the next meeting.

28 Spicing Up Vocational Training


29


CHAPTER 5

COOKING MENU

30 Spicing Up Vocational Training


CHAPTER 5: COOKING MENU Teaching Unit 1: Getting to know everything! Welcome to the SUVOT course! Today we are all going to introduce ourselves so you can meet the other participants and the trainers who will guide you during this course. Discuss the following questions in pairs: --

Who I am?

--

Why am I coming to this course?

--

What I expect from this course?

--

What do I know about cooking?

--

Have I got any professional experience working in a restaurant, hotel, etc.?

Then, each participant has to talk about their partner explaining their answers to the questions or sharing any additional information about the person they have been talking to. This is a good exercise to train your memory and attention. As a trainer, try to give your trainees a clear idea of the training course and the different routines. You can use the supporting material included in the SUVOT website http://suvot.intras.es - Didactic Materials.

PERSONAL HYGIENE To introduce this topic here’s a short movie you can watch http://www.wir-gegen-viren.de/content/ index/5?submenu_id=8. What do you think about it? Have you ever thought about the importance of washing your hands? When do you have to wash your hands? Always wash your hands in the following situations: --

Before starting work and handling food.

--

After handling raw food including eggs.

31


--

After using the WC.

--

After smoking or blowing your nose.

--

After eating or drinking and taking a break.

--

After handling waste.

--

After cleaning and disinfecting.

--

After putting on or changing your clothes.

--

After cleaning or handling dirty crockery.

--

After touching your hair, face, nose, mouth or ears.

--

Look at the following picture; that is the right way to wash your hands!

Your clothes are also an important issue; let’s see what kind of clothes we should wear while working in the kitchen:

32 Spicing Up Vocational Training


-

Clean and washable over-clothing (without buttons).

-

No jewellery, no chewing gum.

-

Protective hat or hair net.

-

No strong smelling perfumes or aftershave.

Illnesses, cuts, boils, whitlows and septic spots should be reported to your supervisor so he/she can decide if you can go ahead handling food. Any kind of lesions should be completely covered by waterproof dressings, preferable coloured blue or green to aid detection if they become detached. Maybe use finger-stalls. Please fill in the questionnaire about allergies that the trainer will provide you, as this is an important issue to take into consideration (document available in suvot website – didactic materials).

Teaching Unit 2: Kitchen equipment Today we are going to talk about kitchen equipment. As each kitchen is different, the trainer will explain the different electrical appliances and tools you will work with during the next months. Pay attention, it is very important to know about the different characteristics of each of them and learn how to use them properly. More information on the SUVOT website – Didactic Materials

BASICS ABOUT GERMANY SUVOT has been designed by an international team from Spain, Slovenia, Germany and Poland. We want you to know more about each of these countries, this is why we have included some basic information about them and some of the most typical recipes from these four countries. Let’s start talking about Germany. Pay attention to your trainers’ explanation and try to answer the following questions: Please show the participants the presentation about Germany from the SUVOT website. What´s the capital of Germany? Berlin.

--

33


--

Can you name two famous German dishes? Salt-cured pork knuckle with sauerkraut and Bretzel.

--

What’s the population of Germany? About 82 million.

--

Do you know a German tourist attraction? Cologne Cathedral.

--

What is Lapskaus? A fish and vegetable stew with a fried egg on top.

SUGARED PANCAKE WITH RAISINS INGREDIENTS (serves 12 people): 12 eggs; 90g of sugar; 3 pinches of salt; 3 packets of vanilla sugar; flavourings (rum / lemon); 1125ml of milk: 375g of flour; butter or oil for frying; raisins to taste; icing sugar for dusting; 1 jar of sour cherries. PREPARATION: Separate the eggs. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Mix together the egg yolks, sugar, salt, vanilla sugar and flavouring until fluffy. Slowly add the milk and flour. Then fold in egg whites and let the dough sit for 30 minutes. Heat the butter in a pan. Place portions of the dough into the pan, add the raisins, fry on both sides and then chop up into small pieces. Put icing sugar on the table, so that, depending on taste, it can be dusted on top. These are perfect with sour cherries from a jar. Alternatively you can use any other jarred fruit, apple puree or just milk. Germany

Teaching Unit 3: Food shopping We are going to learn how to do the shopping. We are in a group, so the first step is to decide who is going to do the shopping for the following session. Let’s write the plan down and put it in a prominent space in the kitchen. Pay attention to your trainers advice relating to the following issues: comparing prices, checking the quality of a product, how to store food, checking the best before date, how to treat frozen food, the kind of bags to bring, how to pack your bags at the checkout (robust/heavy products at the bottom, fragile ones on the top), etc.

34 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Session number

Name of the trainee

Meal

BASICS ABOUT POLAND SUVOT has been designed by an international team from Spain, Slovenia, Germany and Poland. We want you to know more about each of these countries, this is why we have included some basic information about them and some of the most typical recipes from these four countries. Let’s start talking about Poland. Pay attention to your trainers’ explanation and try to answer the following questions: Please show the participants the presentation about Poland from the SUVOT website – Didactic Materials. Can you name one of Poland’s neighbours? e.g. Ukraine, Germany or Belarus. What´s the capital of Poland? Warsaw. What can be found in the centre of Poland? Polish lowland – full of forests and lakes. Can you name one of Poland’s specialties? e.g. Bigos: seasoned “hunters” stew. What kinds of sweets do polish people like? e.g. Szarlotka: Spiced apple cake.

LEEK AND EGG SALAD INGREDIENTS (serves 12 people): 2 leeks; 8 boiled eggs; 2 tablespoon of mayonnaise; pepper. PREPARATION: Remove green tops from the leek. Trim off ‘whiskers’ at bottom of root if still attached. Cut leek in half lengthwise and wash well under running water to remove any dirt. Cut each half in half again lengthwise, place them on cutting-board side by side and dice very finely (thinly). Place in bowl. Chop up the boiled eggs very finely and add to the leek. Add some mayonnaise and pepper. Serve on buttered bread or toast. Poland

35


Teaching Unit 4: Weight and Volume conversion and food storage Today we are going to talk about weight and volume conversion and also about food storage, as this is something that every good cook needs to know! Let’s imagine that we have two bowls, one has a capacity of 3 litres and the other of 5 litres. The aim is to have exactly 4 litres in the 5 litre bowl. Can you figure out how to do this? You can pour the water as many times as you like. Method: Fill the 5 litre bowl with water. Now fill the 3 litre bowl using the water from the 5 litres bowl. Empty the 3 litre bowl and pour the rest of the water from the 5 litre bowl into it. Next, fill the 5 litre bowl with water again and pour it into the 3 litre bowl, filling it to the brim. Now there are exactly 4 litres of water in the 5 litre bowl. Here you have two of the most common conversion tables for use in the kitchen:

Litre (l)

Millilitre (ml)

Kilogram (kg)

Gram (g)

0,1 0,2 0,3 0,4 0,5 0,6 0,7 0,8 0,9 1

100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000

0,1 0,2 0,3 0,4 0,5 0,6 0,7 0,8 0,9 1

100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000

36 Spicing Up Vocational Training


FOOD STORAGE

STORAGE LIFE AND BEST CONDITIONS

Sugar, Salt Flour, Rice, corn flour, breadcrumbs Noodles Lentils, peas, beans (dry) Bread UHT Milk Coffee Spices; curry, nutmeg, sweet pepper, pepper, cinnamon Dried herbs Stock Vegetable oil Vinegar Tomato puree, ketchup, mustard Honey Raisins Baking powder Potatoes, Onions, Garlic

2-3 years 1 year, dark place 1-2 years, dark place 2-3 years, dark place best before date best before date best before date, dark place 1 year, dark place 6 months, dark place 6-8 months 1 year, dark place very long, dark place best before date very long 1 year, dark place best before date 2-3 weeks, dark place

LET’S GUESS Try to guess where in the fridge you would store the different products that you buy to prepare your meals.

37


No 1: frozen spinach, frozen peas, frozen fish or meat, frozen bread or toast, etc. No 2: any kind of cheese, yoghurt, milk, crème fraiche, cream, quark, etc. No 3: meat, fish, boloney, etc. No 4: spring onions, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, etc. No 5, 6, 7: butter, eggs, open drinks, open cans, etc. No 8: vegetables and fruits

Teaching Unit 5: Reading a recipe

Today we are going to deal with the subject of reading recipes. It is important to know how to start and work properly until the end. Read the recipe and work on the tasks below! Sherry chicken: Rinse the chicken pieces (2xbreast, 2xwings and 2xthighs) under running water and then dry with a piece of kitchen roll. Season the chicken all over with salt, black pepper and sweet pepper. Peal two onions and cut them into half, then into thin slices. Wash one red and one green pepper and cut them into strips. Peal two garlic cloves and chop finely. Pour three tablespoons of oil into a large pot and seal the chicken on all sides for about ten minutes. Put the onions, peppers and the garlic into the pot and continue to stir for a little while. Pour Âź litre of sherry into the pot and 1/2 litre of chicken stock. Let it simmer on a medium heat for ten more minutes. Now place the lid on the pot, remove from the cooker and let it sit for ten minutes. Season it once more with salt and pepper. Serve with rice. It is important that you have a clear idea of the ingredients, materials needed and also the required steps to prepare this recipe.

38 Spicing Up Vocational Training


--

INGREDIENTS: 2 chicken breasts; 2 chicken wings; 2 chicken thighs; salt; black pepper; sweet pepper; 2 onions; 1 red pepper; 1 green pepper; 2 garlic cloves; 3 tablespoons oil; ¼ litre sherry; 1/2 litre chicken stock; rice.

--

MATERIALS YOU NEED: Sink, kitchen roll, knifes, chopping board, tablespoon, a large pot with a lid.

--

PREPARATION: Wash the chicken, dry it. Season the chicken. Peel and cut the onion. Wash and cut the peppers. Peel and chop the garlic. Pour oil into a pot and seal the chicken. Add onions, peppers and garlic to the pot. Pour in sherry and stock. Cover with a lid. Season again. Cook the rice.

BASICS ABOUT SPAIN SUVOT has been designed by an international team from Spain, Slovenia, Germany and Poland. We want you to know more about each of these countries, that is why we have included some basic information about them and some of the most typical recipes from these four countries. Let’s start talking about Spain. Pay attention to your trainers’ explanation and try to answer the following questions: Please show the participants the presentation about Spain from the SUVOT website – Didactic Materials. What is the capital of Spain? Madrid. In which city is the famous temple of the Sacred Family? Barcelona. Name one item that Spanish people invented or produce in Spain? Spanish wine. What is a siesta? A nap during the middle of the day. What ingredients is paella made from? Rice, vegetables and sea food. What is a gazpacho? A cold soup.

39


CREAM OF COURGETTE SOUP INGREDIENTS (serves 12 people): 3kg of courgettes; 750cc of skimmed milk; 3 tablespoons of olive oil; 9 cheese wedges; salt; pepper; nutmeg. PREPARATION: First peel the courgettes, slice them and fry them lightly in hot oil for about 15 minutes. Add the skimmed milk and water until the courgettes are covered. Cook slowly until the courgettes are tender. Then, add the cheese, salt and pepper. Pour all ingredients into a blender and combine to make a smooth puree. You can serve it with a sprinkling of nutmeg or cheese when ready to serve. Spain

NUMBER RAY The trainer chooses ten different points in the room. Every point gets a number between 1 and 10; 1 being the worst and 10 the best. Now the trainer asks the trainees to evaluate the session by standing at the number that corresponds with their opinion. Then, the trainer asks everybody for one or two words to describe the training.

Teaching Unit 6: What to do before and after cooking Today we are going to talk about what we should do before and after cooking. Pay attention, this is something basic that you need to know for every recipe you will prepare.

40 Spicing Up Vocational Training


BEFORE

AFTER

Finding a recipe

Putting away all ingredients after use

Reading the recipe, making notes

Cleaning all kitchen equipment used

Checking if you have the ingredients

Cleaning surfaces and floors

Writing a shopping list for the missing ingredients Buying the missing ingredients Putting all the ingredients needed in one place Checking the kitchen equipment Re-reading the recipe Organising and dividing tasks amongst the team

BASICS ABOUT SLOVENIA SUVOT has been designed by an international team from Spain, Slovenia, Germany and Poland. We want you to know more about each of these countries, that is why we have included some basic information about them and some of the most typical recipes from these four countries. Let’s talk about Slovenia. Pay attention to your trainers’ explaination and try to answer the following questions: Please show the participants the presentation about Slovenia from the SUVOT website – Didactic materials. Can you name something Slovenia is famous for? Their caves and traditional music. What´s the capital of Slovenia? Lubljana. How many regions are there in Slovenia? 12. What do Slovenian people usually have for dinner? Snacks. Do you know a special dish from Slovenia? Tünka, cheese from Nanos.

SLOVENIAN PORK TONGUE WITH PUMPKINSEED OIL INGREDIENTS: 0.5kg of pork tongue; half a medium sized onion; 50ml of pumpkinseed oil; salt; pepper. PREPARATION: Cook the pork tongue in salted water for approximately one hour (until tender). Once

41


it’s cool slice into thin slices and place on a plate. Top it off with thinly sliced onion rings, drizzle on some pumpkinseed oil on it, salt and pepper. Slovenia

PACKING MY BAG The trainees shall gather together what they want to pack into their bag (good aspects during this session) and what they want to leave behind (bad aspects during this session) in the style of “I am packing my bag”.

Teaching Unit 7: Cooking in a team Today the focus is around teamwork in the kitchen. Working in a team is an important skill to learn. Working in a kitchen with others is a form of teamwork so let’s see if you are able to prepare a vegetable pan and a fruit salad jointly with your friends. We’re sure you can do it!

FRUIT SALAD Every trainee gets assigned a type of fruit (3-6 different fruits per group). Everyone sits in a circle with the trainer standing in the middle without a chair or a place to sit. The trainer shouts out one kind of fruit and all trainees who belong to this fruit group have to stand up and quickly find a new chair. The trainer should find a chair as well. The trainee who is left over has to go into the middle and shout another fruit out. It is also possible to shout “fruit salad” meaning everybody has to get up and quickly find a new chair.

42 Spicing Up Vocational Training


GORDIAN KNOT The trainees stand in a circle close beside each other. Everybody closes their eyes and stretches both hands towards the centre of the circle. Each trainee find and holds onto the hands of another trainee until everybody is holding hands. Now they can open their eyes and try to untangle the knot without losing their partners hands.

VEGETABLE PAN AND FRUIT SALAD Let’s try to make this easy recipe working together with your friends. To prepare the vegetable pan and the fruit salad the trainer distributes the cut sheets of paper (see document available in SUVOT website) and every trainee starts with his/her work. The trainer can prepare rice to eat with the vegetable pan. Vegetable pans can be prepared in many different ways, if the trainee don´t have an idea how to do it the trainer helps.

Teaching Unit 8: Rice, noodles and potatoes In this lesson we deal with the similarities and differences of rice, noodles and potatoes, some of the most basic ingredients in a normal diet. --

How do we cook them? Rice and noodles can be boiled and fried. Potatoes can be also roasted.

--

How do they grow? Rice needs a lot of water to grow; potatoes grow under the ground and the plant has very beautiful flowers; noodles are made of cereals such as wheat, rice or buckwheat.

--

What different variations of them exist? Thousands of varieties! Varying a lot depending on local environments.

--

Which cultures do you associate with each ingredient? Rice is very typical from Asia. Potatoes are originally from America and noodles are very common in Italy, for example.

--

What do we eat with it? We can eat these ingredients with vegetables, sauces, meat, fish, etc. Just let your imagination fly!

43


How can we prepare rice, potatoes and noodles? Think about different ways and prepare at least one of each kind (fried, boiled, cooked, raw…). We suggest you to eat it along with different kinds of pesto or prepare an original sauce.

Teaching Unit 9: Mushrooms Todays´ topic is mushrooms! The trainer will show you a presentation about mushrooms and after you can discuss how many kinds of mushrooms you already know. There are hundreds of different kinds of mushrooms and each country has their own species. Did you know that a mushroom is neither a plant nor an animal? They are a different organism altogether; a fungus and that is why they are so special. If possible you can go to the countryside and see how they grow. But be careful, it is very dangerous to eat mushrooms that have not been collected by an expert, so just enjoy learning about the natural environment where mushrooms live. Additional information available in SUVOT website - Didactic Materials.

WILD MUSHROOM SOUP INGREDIENTS (serves 12 people): 2 small beef shanks (or alternatively use beef stock); 20 cups of water; 2 medium leeks, sliced; 2 carrots, sliced; 2 medium onions sliced; 4 cloves of garlic, crushed; 2 small celery stems, sliced; 1 small bunch of parsley, chopped; 1kg of washed and sliced fresh wild mushrooms borowiki (boletus edulis) or porcini or shiitake mushrooms; 1 cup of sour cream; salt; pepper. If you can’t get any wild mushrooms, substitute normal mushrooms instead. PREPARATION: Place the beaf in a large saucepan and add 8 cups of water. Bring to the boil and skim off any foam that rises to the top. Chop the mushrooms very thinly, and add them to the soup. Add the vegetables (all except the onion), return to the boil and cook very gently until the vegetables

44 Spicing Up Vocational Training


are tender or for about 1 hour (covered). Meanwhile, sauté the onion (cook lightly) with butter until tender. Add to soup. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and add sour cream. Cook gently for 5 minutes. Serve with chopped fresh parsley. You can add noodles or bread croutons. Poland

Teaching Unit 10: Cooking, steaming, stewing Today we are going to talk about the difference between cooking, steaming and stewing. Let’s try to guess the definition of these three concepts. PUZZLE: Choose the right number that corresponds with the method and put the correct word in each space Stew:

____3____

Cook:

____2____

Steam:

____1____

1. Steaming is cooking in hot water vapour. The food is placed in a sieve over a little boiling water in a closed pot. Even still some nutritional value of the food is lost through the steam into the water; this can be used for making soup or sauces. This method is particularly suitable for fish, vegetables and potatoes. 2. Cooking means the same as boiling. When you cook food you put it in boiling liquid, all or mostly covered, at a constant temperature of 100°C. It will depend entirely on the particular food to be cooked, whether it is cooked in a pot with or without a lid or whether it is in boiling or gently simmering water. As a general rule: foods which need only a short time cooking may be done in bubbling boiling water, and for a longer cooking time the water should simmer gently. 3. Stewing is cooking food in a little water, milk or broth. In the pot the liquid is no more than 1 cm high. The lid is kept on the pot all the time. After first stirring the lid should be put on the pot. After the pot can be shaken gently in order to stir the contents.

45


BEEF WITH PUMPKIN SEED OIL AND APPLE VINEGAR INGREDIENTS: 1.5kg of beef shank; 2 large onions; 1ml pumpkinseed oil; 0.5ml apple vinegar; salt; pepper. PREPARATION: Cook the beef for 2 or 3 hours until soft and tender. The best way is to serve the beef as we previously did when cooking soup. Allow the meat to cool down and slice into thin slices, add the sliced onion rings, salt, pepper, pumpkinseed oil and vinegar. It’s ready to serve! Slovenia

Teaching Unit 11: Express yourself Look back over the past training sessions and share your impressions so far. Have you learnt new things? Are you comfortable within the group? What would you change? What did you like most? Is there anything that you would like to share with the rest of your friends? Now discuss with the trainer and the rest of participants the topics you would like to work on. What activities would you like to do in the coming sessions? Each trainee speaks only for himself and about how he feels – always keeping in mind: --

Everyone has the right to his own opinion!

--

Everyone’s thoughts should be considered!

--

There is no time pressure for this activity!

You can complete the missing parts of the sentences: - I was nervous about__________________________________________________________ - I could handle________________________________________________________very well - I had problems with__________________________________________________________ - I would have liked if__________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________could have happened to me too

46 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Be very sensitive while talking about the given answers of the trainees and try to stay neutral. You should play one game to reflect their subjective feelings and moods about some questions and one game to reflect rational statements about the session contents.

Teaching Unit 12: Cleaning and storage temperature

Today we are going to get rid of all the bacteria from our kitchen. After a discussion about temperature and some cleaning theory we will get active and clean our kitchen! In this picture you can see how bacteria develop at different temperatures. Can you interpret the picture? TEMPERATURE CONTROL Cold Storage: Food is to be kept at the correct temperature for chilled and frozen storage. Regularly check operating temperatures, keep doors and openings to a minimum and do not place hot food into cold storage. Store below 8°C (but preferably below 5°C) for chilled foods and -18°C or below for frozen foods. Thawing food: Frozen food should be thawed under cold conditions with both the temperature and time controlled to ensure that the core of the food is completely thawed. Heating food: Time and temperatures need to be set according to the type of heating, e.g. for the cooking of high risk foods – a core temperature of 75°C must be achieved. Cooling food: Hot food should be cooled rapidly passing through the danger zone as quickly as possible and then stored cold. Reheating food: Food should be reheated only once and rapidly, reheated to a minimum core temperature of 70°C for 2 minutes or 75°C for 30 seconds. Keeping hot: Food should be maintained at a minimum temperature of 63°C, and kept there for as short a time possible to maintain food quality.

47


CLEANING AND DISINFECTION Here are the reasons for cleaning: 1. To remove material on which bacteria could grow, thus reducing the risk of food contamination, food poisoning and spoilage. 2. To allow disinfection of specific equipment and surfaces. 3. To remove materials that could encourage pest infestations. 4. To reduce the risk of foreign matter contamination. 5. To remove dirt and grease and ensure a pleasant and safe working environment. 6. To promote a favourable image to customers. 7. To comply with the law. Hot water, chemicals and physical energy must be used to clean! To be effective, cleaning must be planned, organized and implemented in all areas of the food premises. Cleaning schedules should be created which stipulate: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

What is to be cleaned? The amount and type of chemical and equipment to use. Who does the cleaning? When to clean and the frequency of cleaning. How to clean? How much time is allowed for cleaning? The safety measures. The person responsible for checking that everything has been effectively cleaned.

The cleaning procedure: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Pre-cleaning: remove loose dirt by sweeping, wiping or pre-rinsing. Main-cleaning: loosening of the surface grease and dirt using hot water and a detergent. Rinsing: removing of loose dirt and detergent using hot water. Disinfection: destroying micro-organisms using heat or a chemical disinfectant and allowing sufficient contact time. 5. Final rinse: removal of disinfectant using clean hot water. 6. Drying: preferably natural by evaporation.

48 Spicing Up Vocational Training


EXAMPLE: Cleaning schedule Working surface

Refrigerator

Sinks

Shelves

Floor

...

Who Frequency How ...

CLEANING TABLE This cleaning schedule will be different in every kitchen. Please develop a cleaning schedule adapted to the kitchen you are working in. You can write it on a board or hand it out on sheets. You should always have one schedule in the kitchen to reference.

Teaching Unit 13: Oil Today we are going to talk about different kinds of oil and make our own oil! Edible oil is produced from oleaginous fruits and seeds. Usually there is a lot of pressure involved so it gets quite hot during this process in the press. To get every last drop out, often a solvent is added. If the solvent and also all the ballast is extracted again, the product is called refined oil. It is good for frying, but is tasteless. Flavour can be found in cold-pressed oils that are heated at a maximum of 60째C and are neither dissolved nor refined, thus conserving the original taste. Olive oil is always cold pressed.

49


Different kinds: -- Sunflower oil -- Olive oil -- Corn Oil -- Pumpkin seed oil -- Nut oil -- Sesame oil -- Canola oil For producing are own we can choose from: ---

Chilli oil Herb oil

--

Garlic – pepper oil

POTATO FRITTER WITH APPLE PUREÉ INGREDIENTS: 3kg potatoes, grated; 3 large onions, chopped finely; 9 eggs; 6 tablespoons of potato flour; salt; pepper; nutmeg; parsley, chopped; chives, chopped; oil. PREPARATION: Dry the grated potatoes in a kitchen towel. Mix the potatoes with the onions, spices, herbs, beaten eggs and potato flour. Heat the oil in a frying pan and shape potato fritters spoon by spoon. Fry until golden brown. Serve with traditional apple pureé. Germany

Teaching Unit 14: Contamination hazards Todays´ lesson is focussed on contamination hazards and vinegar. We are going to try different dressings with salad. What is a “Contamination Hazard”? Contamination is the presence or introduction of a hazard. This may involve food or the food environment. A hazard is something which may cause harm to the

50 Spicing Up Vocational Training


customer. Food may be contaminated before or during delivery or may become contaminated as result of poor hygiene practices. Here you have some examples of different contamination hazards: a. Microbiological: --

Bacterial contamination, which usually occurs within the food premises as a result of ignorance, inadequate space, poor design or because food handlers take short cuts. Viral contamination, which is transmitted directly from an infected person or involves raw food such as oysters grown in sewage-contaminated water. Parasites which may be present in raw meat or fish (they develop in the living animal or fish). Moulds and yeasts, which are primarily responsible for spoilage.

----

Microbiological contamination may result in food poisoning and food spoilage. If food handlers are to control microbiological hazards they need to know what brings pathogens, especially food poisoning bacteria, into food premises. These are known sources of food poisoning bacteria: --------

People. Raw food. Insects. Rodents. Dust. Refuse and waste food. Animals and birds.

b. Physical: Physical hazards include material which is dangerous, for example glass, nails and stones. They cause cuts, broken teeth, choking and burning (food which is too hot). Physical hazard can be brought onto food premises with raw materials or during storage, preparation, service or display. Sources include: ------

Raw ingredients: stones, wood, metal, etc. Buildings/equipment: wood, glass, screws, condensation, etc. Notice boards: paper and drawing pins. Packaging materials: cardboard, paper, plastic, etc. Maintenance objects: bolts, fibres, cloth, etc.

51


-----

Food handlers/visitors: jewellery, fingernails, hair, buttons, etc. Cleaning materials: bristles, etc. Pests: dead flies, spiders webs, feathers, etc. Sabotage: needles, razor blades, glass, toothpicks, etc.

c. Chemical: Chemical hazards may be brought in through raw materials, for example poisonous foods, oil or grease. Animals may have been injected with medicines or crops sprayed with pesticides or weed killers. Illegal or excess additives, such as sulphur dioxide or nitrates may have been used. Engines may contaminate food with oil or grease, for example if motors are positioned above open food. Cleaning chemicals must never be stored or transported with food. d. Allergery hazards and controls: Allergens are substances which may cause the body’s immune system to respond. Usually this happens due to some kind of protein. In severe cases this may result in an anaphylactic shock and even death. Foods which commonly contain allergens include: Peanuts, milk, fish, shellfish, soya, mustard, cereals containing gluten, sesame seeds, eggs and products containing the above.

Teaching Unit 15: Risky food Did you know that some kinds of food are more dangerous than others? Well, this doesn’t exactly get the point across, but some kinds of food become dangerous faster than others if you don´t deal with them in the correct way. Here you have the definition of high risk food: Ready-to-eat foods, which, under favourable conditions, support the multiplication of pathogenic bacteria and are intended for consumption without treatment which would destroy such organisms. Give examples for high risk food! Did you have any experiences with these foods? Discuss the following food:

52 Spicing Up Vocational Training


--

Cooked meat and cooked poultry.

--

Milk, cream, artificial cream, custards and dairy produce.

--

Eggs and products made from raw eggs.

--

Shellfish and other seafood.

--

Cooked rice.

Raw food is particularly hazardous, especially red meat, poultry, untreated milk, eggs and shellfish. Raw food should always be kept separate from high risk food. The liquid from thawing foods, especially

frozen poultry, must not be allowed to contaminate wiping cloths, high risk food or equipment used for high risk food. Soil harbours harmful bacteria and care must be taken when bringing vegetables into kitchens or rooms where food is prepared.

POTATO SOUP INGREDIENTS (serves 12 people): 15 large potatoes; 3 carrots; 3 leeks; 3 onions; 3 litres of vegetable stock; parsley; pepper; 12 Debreziner sausages; white bread, cubed and toasted to make croutons; chives; marjoram; bay leaves; nutmeg. This is a very practical meal for Germans, as the ingredients are very flexible. This is just a suggestion you can be as creative as you want and add for example ginger or other vegetables PREPARATION: Peel the potatoes and carrots and cut them into large cubes. Peel and dice the onion. Cut the leeks into rings. The fastest way is by using a pressure cooker: SautÊ the onions in olive oil and add the leeks. Pour in the vegetable stock. Add the diced potatoes, carrots and the bay leaves to the stock. Close the lid, bring it up to pressure and cook for about 15 minutes. Next open the lid, fish out the bay leaf and add in the herbs. Combine everything by mashing and season with pepper and nutmeg. Tip: Add as much marjoram as you like. It’s the signature taste of this potato soup. Arrange the sliced sausages on a plate and pour the soup over. Serve the meal with croutons. Germany

53


Teaching Unit 16: All about water Did you know that human beings are made up of at least 55% water? Today we are going to take a closer look at the role of water in our lives. What is thirst? Everyone knows that dry feeling in your throat, a sign the body is beginning to become dehydrated. Drinking is a basic requirement like food. Humans can survive for several weeks without food, but can only survive a maximum of five to seven days without fluids. Anyone who drinks too little is usually tired and listless. Headaches can be another symptom. The human body consists largely of water. About 50-55% of body weight is water. About 5% of that is lost daily through urine and sweat. Adults should drink about 2 to 3 litres each day. The exact amount varies from person to person. At high temperatures in the summer or during illness such as fever or diarrhoea, the necessary water intake increases significantly. Athletes need to drink more too. Each meal should include at least one drink. The remaining amount of liquid should be distributed throughout the day. What drinks are recommended? The ideal drink is bottled water. Fruit and herbal teas are also good drinks. They contain no calories and no caffeine. Many so called thirst quenchers are fattening foods. A litre of fruit juice or cola contains about 450 calories. Fruit juice should ideally be mixed, for example, apple juice with mineral water. So you have the same taste with significantly fewer calories. Coffee or black teas are safe in small amounts as a beverage. Caffeine has a small water draining effect. Alcoholic drinks are also unsuitable thirst quenchers. A glass of beer has about as many calories as a glass of juice. The alcohol deprives the body of fluids and minerals. Many foods such as fruits and vegetables contain plenty of fluids. They help to quench your thirst. Melons, oranges and cucumbers consist mostly of water.

APPLE, PEAR OR PLUM DRINK WITH CINNAMON, GINGER AND CLOVES INGREDIENTS: 1kg of plums/pears/apples; 200g of brown sugar; ž litre of water; half a teaspoon of cinnamon; a few gloves; a pinch of ginger. PREPARATION: You can choose which fruit to use. Wash the fruit. You don’t need to peel it. Remove the core/stone and the stalks. Cut the larger fruit into small pieces (not plums). Boil the water with spices

54 Spicing Up Vocational Training


and sugar. Add the fruit gently into the water, cover, and cook slowly for 30 minutes. The fruit drink is usually served warm. It is very healthy and helps with digestion. Poland

Teaching Unit 17: Sauces, thickeners and spices Sauces and thickeners are widely used in cooking but, do you know how to use them? Here you have some tips: --

Before you add a thickener to a sauce, skim the fat from the top. Once you’ve added the thickener, the fat will be harder to remove.

--

Flour is a good thickener for gravies, gumbos, and stews, since it gives them a smooth, velvety texture. It is best to mix it with fat first, either by making a roux or beurre manié, or by flouring and frying stew meat before adding liquid to the pot. If you wish to cut fat from your diet, you can instead mix the flour with water and add it to the sauce, but you will need to cook it for quite a while to get rid of the starchy, raw flour taste. Sauces thickened with flour become opaque, and they may become thin again if they’re cooked too long or if they are frozen and then thawed.

--

Starch thickeners like cornstarch are mixed with an equal amount of cold water and then added to warm liquids to thicken them. They are a good choice if you want a low-fat, neutral-tasting thickener. They give dishes a glossy sheen, which looks wonderful if you are making a dessert sauce or pie filling, but a bit artificial in a gravy or stew.

--

Cereal grains like oatmeal, couscous, soup pasta, farina, are often used to thicken soups.

--

Cream, once reduced, gives sauces a rich texture and flavour as it thickens them, but it’s high in fat. To make a low-fat cream sauce, use evaporated milk mixed with a starch thickener.

55


SPICES Today we also want to introduce you to the big world of spices. Smell spices with closed eyes! It is a good way to remember all the different spices that you can use in your meals. Which spices do you think that go with which ingredients? Cardamom

Turmeric

Soups Meat

x

Poultry

Nutmeg

Curry

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Sauces

x

x

Vegetables

x

x

sweets

Cinnamon

x

Game Fish

Red pepper powder

x x

CHILLI-SAUCE INGREDIENTS: 12 red tomatoes; 2 onions, finely chopped; 2 red peppers; 3 green peppers; 3 stalks of celery; 1 cup of brown sugar; 2 ½ cups of vinegar; 2 tablespoons of pickling spices tied in bag. PREPARATION: Cut up vegetables and place in a pot; add the sugar and vinegar; mix well. Put spices in a piece of cloth and tie, add this to the pot. Boil slowly for 2 ½ hours then decant into bottles or jars.

CUCUMBER YOGHURT SAUCE INGREDIENTS: 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and shredded; 1 (8oz.) carton of plain low fat

56 Spicing Up Vocational Training


yogurt; 2 green onions, finely chopped; 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley, chopped; 1 tablespoon of vinegar; ½ tablespoon of dried dill; 1 tablespoon of garlic powder. PREPARATION: Dry the cucumber with paper towels until barely moist. Combine cucumber and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

GRAVY INGREDIENTS: ½ cup of onion, finely chopped; 1 stalk of celery, chopped; 2 tablespoons of flour; 1 cup of broth, taken from a turkey; 1 cup of evaporated skimmed milk. PREPARATION: Coat a medium sauce pan with cooking spray. Add the onion and celery, and cook until tender. Gradually sprinkle flour over mixture and stir until flour is browned, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in broth and evaporated skimmed milk. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer until thickened. For best consistency, strain through cheesecloth or a sieve. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Teaching Unit 18: Illnesses caused by pathogens Today’s topic will be food related illnesses caused by pathogens. This is an uncomfortable issue! As we can never be sure when something might happen we should at least know what could happen and how to deal with it… The main cause of food related illnesses is bacterial contamination. The illness is often of short duration, but it can be serious and in some extreme cases it can be fatal. Symptoms include diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, headache and fever. They may occur as quickly as directly after eating or it can take as long as 72 hours for the first symptoms to begin to show. The usual incubation period is 12 to 48 hours.

57


Food poisoning bacteria These pathogenic bacteria normally need to grow into large numbers before they cause illness. The most common pathogenic bacteria are: -----

Salmonella: often from poultry, eggs, meat and dairy. Staphylococcus: carried by two people in every five. Clostridium: found on raw foods such as vegetables and meat. Bacillus: found mainly in cereals and especially rice.

Food borne illness Food borne illness can be caused by a fairly small numbers of bacteria. They do not grow in food but are carried by it. When we consume food, the pathogens grow in us before we become ill. Here you have some examples of food borne pathogenic bacteria: ---

--

Campylobacter: often found in infected animals, birds and unpasteurised milk. It causes severe diarrhoea and stomach pain. Listeria: it is widespread in the environment, has been found in raw, processed and cooked foods. The illness, Listeriosis, is rare and the symptoms range from mild and flu like to meningitis, in pregnant women it can lead to miscarriage. Escherichia Coli 0157 (E.Coli): is normally found in cattle, raw meat and raw milk. The illness can be very serious, causing kidney failure in children. A number of deaths have occurred as a result of this infection.

Bacteria

Source

Onset Period

Typical symptoms and duration of illness

Salmonella

Raw meat, raw milk, raw eggs, raw poultry, pets, rodents, sewage/ water

12 to 36 hours

Abdominal pain, diarrhoea, vomiting and fever (1 to 7 days)

Clostridium perfringens

Animal and human excreta, soil (on vegetables), dust, insects, raw meat

8 to 12 hours

Abdominal pain, diarrhoea, vomiting is rare (12 to 48 hours)

58 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Staphylococcus aureus

Human nose, mouth, skin, boils and cuts, raw milk from cows or goats

1 to 7 hours

Abdominal pain, mainly vomiting, some diarrhoea, prostration and subnormal temperature (6 to 24 hours)

12 to 36 hours

Difficulties in swallowing, talking and breathing, double vision and paralysis of the cranial nerves,

Clostridium botulinum

Soil, fish, meat and vegetables

Bacillus cereus

Toxin in food Cereals, rice, dust and soil

1 to 6 hours

Vomiting, abdominal pain and some diarrhoea (12 to 24 hours)

Toxin in intestine

As above

6 to 24 hours

Abdominal pain, diarrhoea, some vomiting (1 to 2 days)

Allergies Here you have a list of foods which commonly contain allergens: - Peanuts (groundnuts). - Cereals containing gluten. - Milk (including lactose). - Celery/celeriac. - Fish and shellfish. - Sesame seeds. - Soya. - Tree nuts. - Mustard. - Eggs. - And all products containing the above.

59


In the event of a customer having an anaphylaxis all staff must be aware of procedures. Customers shouldn’t be moved and an ambulance should be called using the emergency number. The customer may have a ready-to-use adrenaline injection kit with him.

SPANISH OMELETTE INGREDIENTS (serves 12 people): 18-21 medium potatoes, peeled; 3 whole onions; 15-18 large eggs; 6 cups of olive oil for pan frying; salt. PREPARATION: It is one of the most common tapas throughout Spain and a favourite at Spanish picnics, as it can be enjoyed cold, or at room temperature. The potatoes and onions are sliced and fried in a large amount of oil (preferably olive oil) at a moderate temperature so they get fried but also boiled in the oil. Once drained from the oil, they are mixed with raw beaten eggs before being slowly fried again in a pan. The tortilla is fried first on one side and then flipped over to fry on its other side. Other vegetables can also be added, most commonly red and green peppers. Spain

Teaching Unit 19: Religions and food Today we are going to talk about different religions and their specialities concerning food. For a chef there are some traps if he/she doesn´t know, for example, that a Muslim shouldn’t eat pork. In most religions there are some rules concerning food. There are very strict followers and also others who don´t take it so seriously… Here we have a little glimpse of the variety of religious food rules: Judaism: In Judaism, it is said that food has to be kosher, which means allowed to be eaten. Reasons for food not being kosher include the presence of ingredients derived from non-kosher animals or from kosher animals that were not properly slaughtered. Kosher animals are all animals that “chew the cud” or chew their food twice and have a “cloven hoof” a hoof split into two toes (animals that only chew the cud or only have cloven hooves are not considered kosher). Also other products of non-kosher

60 Spicing Up Vocational Training


animals i.e. their milk is automatically not allowed to be eaten. Fish have to have fins and scales to be kosher. The butchering of these edible meat and fish has to happen in a specific way. As a Jew, you are not allowed to eat dairy products together with meat. There is a specific amount of time that has to be in between. Strict Jews even have two sets of cutlery to keep milk products separate from meat. Islam: The word for allowed food in the Islam is halal. A Muslim is not allowed to eat any pig meat or any product which contains a part of pig. It is also prohibited to drink any exhilarating liquid like alcohol. Similarly to Jews, Muslims have to butcher the animals in a specific way. Hinduism: The cow is a holy animal for Hindi. This animal is not allowed to be eaten. For the holy people it is even not allowed to eat any animal products. This is called vegan. Alcohol and tobacco is completely prohibited. Christianity: The Christians do not have any constant regulations. This relates to the story about Peter in the New Testament (Acts of the Apostles 10). There it is said that God purified everything on earth. Strong followers lean towards the Old Testament which follow the Jewish rules.

Teaching Unit 20: Mustard Today we want to try our home-made mustard! With it we prepare Polish potato salad. For those who would like to have meat with it we recommend sausages.

HOME-MADE MUSTARD INGREDIENTS: Mustard seeds (you can combine yellow and brown ones); water; vinegar; salt. PREPARATION: Always add water or a non-acidic liquid to the seeds first, let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, and then add the acid (vinegar, verjuice, lemon juice, etc). Add salt to taste, it’s typically about one to two teaspoons per cup of prepared mustard. Finally, let your mustard set in the fridge or in a cool place for at least a day before you serve it. Keep the mustard to be used in the next session!

61


POTATO SALAD INGREDIENTS (serves 12 people): 12 medium boiled potatoes, finely chopped; 4 stalks of raw celery or one raw carrot, finely chopped; 2 small onions or half leek, chopped finely; 2 red peppers, finely chopped; 2 teaspoons of yellow mustard (more if desired); 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise (more if desired); salt; pepper. You can also add some cooked peas, 2 finely chopped gherkins (pickled cucumbers) or 6 chopped hard boiled eggs PREPARATION: Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Add enough mayonnaise to moisten the rest of the ingredients or to your personal taste. Refrigerate salad until thoroughly chilled and flavours are mixed. Serve with buttered bread/toast or separately. Poland

At the end of this session you can prepare a menu for the next session. Discuss with your group the menu that you would like to do and distribute the tasks.

Teaching Unit 21: Learning how to prepare a menu We are going to create and prepare the menu that we agreed during the last session all together as a team. This is a good opportunity to show what you have learnt during the training so far. Try to be creative! Today the trainer is going to help you, but pay attention because in the following sessions you will have to create a menu on your own.

62 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Teaching Unit 22: Vinegar How to produce vinegar? It is simple: open a bottle of wine and immediately forget about it! Then, at some point the wine becomes sour. This happens because the air always contains a few bacteria floating around that convert the wine into acetic acid. Depending on the initial wine, vinegar develops its taste. Different vinegars: ------

Sherry-vinegar Apple-vinegar Herb-vinegar Beer-vinegar Rice-vinegar

--

Raspberry-vinegar

Salads and dressings Salads need different time to steep, some need more and some need less: 1 minute: gentle leaf salads (lambs lettuce, rocket, lettuce). 5 minutes: hard leaf salads (Chinese cabbage, radicchio, chicory). 15 minutes: Tomato salad, warm potato salad. Half a day: Noodle salad, potato salad. Over night: herring salad. A whole day: Rice salad.

Basic salad dressings: Vinaigrette: 1 teaspoon of mustard, 2-3 tablespoons of wine vinegar, salt, pepper, 6 tablespoons of sunflower oil Yoghurt dressing: 150g of yoghurt, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil, salt, pepper, 1 bunch of chives. Lemon dressing: ½ untreated lemon, 1-2 teaspoons of spicy mustard, salt, pepper, 1 garlic clove, 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil. Choose one or more kind of salad and try out different dressings!

63


Teaching Unit 23: Go shopping This is an active session! We learn more about different options when purchasing food. Organize a visit to different supermarkets in your city and do the following tasks below. Afterwards we can have a group discussion and exchange our impressions. 1.

Write down the prices of two vegetables, one dairy product and one meat product (try to make sure they are the same) in each store.

2. Find out where the food comes from and what BIO means with the help of two vegetables, one dairy product and one meat product (try to make sure they are the same) in each store. 3. Compare the quality of two vegetables, one dairy product and one meat product (try to make sure they are the same) in each store. 4. Write down all interesting facts about supermarkets that come to your mind.

Teaching Unit 24: Express yourself Look back over the past training sessions and share your impressions so far. Have you learnt new things? Are you comfortable within the group? What would you change? What did you like most? Is there anything that you would like to share with the rest of your friends? Now discuss with the trainer and the rest of participants the topics you would like to work on. What activities would you like to do in the coming sessions? Each trainee speaks only for himself and about how he feels – always keeping in mind: ----

Everyone has the right to his own opinion! Everyone’s thoughts should be considered! No reflection under time pressure!

64 Spicing Up Vocational Training


You can complete the missing parts of the sentences: -

I was nervous about_____________________________________________________

-

I could handle__________________________________________________very well

-

I had problems with____________________________________________________

-

I would have liked if_____________________________________________________

_________________________________________________could have happened to me too Be very sensitive while talking about the given answers of the trainees and try to stay neutral. You should play one game to reflect their subjective feelings and moods about some questions and one game to reflect rational statements about the session contents.

TRAFFIC LIGHT Each trainee gets three coloured cards; one green, one yellow and one red card. The trainer reads out one statement and the trainees shall show one card. Green stands for complete agreement, yellow for the feeling in between and red stands for the opposite opinion. The trainer can add some more statements, this is just a proposal. Please ask some trainees for an explanation of the used card to get a feedback. This game shall reflect the session contents and the knowledge transfer. ---------

I could always follow and understand the theoretical units. I felt comfortable during the cooking units. The teacher always explained what we had to do well. I would like to have more cooking units instead of theory. I would like to have more theoretical units instead of cooking. The division of theory and practice was perfect. I think I can use all the information I got during the last sessions very well in future. I look forward to the next sessions.

TREASURE CHEST AND RUBBISH BIN The group sits in a circle. In the middle there is a treasure chest and a rubbish bin. The trainees get paper and pens and write down what they feel about these statements. When everybody finished,

65


the participants explain their notes. Then participants decide if they want to put their paper into the treasure chest and keep it or if choose the rubbish bin, which means that they throw it away. As above the trainer can add many more statements. This game shall reflect the group dynamic and the feeling of each trainee in the group. If you like, the content of the rubbish bin can be burned in the end. ------

The trainer understands my problems and helps to solve them. The group is always helpful for me. The group cooperates very well. I feel like I´m part of the group. The mood during the sessions is always good.

Teaching Unit 25: The food pyramid In todays´ session we are going to have a close look at our eating habits. Cooking for others also means to take a little responsibility for their health. So, here we go! The further down a food is, the healthier it is and the more you need it. 1. Drink plenty of fluids. Without enough fluids, nutrients from food are not transported into the cells. Suitable liquids are water, juices mixed with water, unsweetened herbal and fruit teas, coffee and black/green tea in moderation. Also butter milk with no sugar added is suitable as a low-fat source of calcium. 2. You should eat these foods several times a day. They are good for you because of their high water content. Fruits and vegetables are most important. They strengthen the immune system, protect against cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. 3. Bread and similar products are also on this level, but only whole grain quality! The same goes for vegetable oil, nuts and diet or health food margarine. These contain many healthy fatty acids, vitamins and bioactive substances which are good for the heart. 4. Protein-rich foods like milk, cheese, meat should be eaten daily but in moderation and in their lowfat form. Dairy products are excellent sources of calcium; meat supplies us with iron, zinc, B vitamins and iodine. Fish provides essential omega-3 fatty acids that are good for the heart and brain. Eggs should be eaten too but they are not low in fat, so eat eggs alternating with meat and fish. Legumes provide protein and plant substances which protect the heart; it’s a good idea to alternate between eating potatoes and legumes. Also important at this stage are: plant oils, to prepare meat and fish.

66 Spicing Up Vocational Training


5. When preparing vegetables and salads change the oil you use frequently because each type of oil is healthy in a different way. 6. Eat sparingly: frying fat (from coconut or palm oil) is worthless hydrogenated fat. Cakes, sweets (including beverages containing sugar) and alcohol are stimulants - which we treat ourselves from time to time but just not very often. Everyone needs different amounts of calories each day. It depends on the activity, the job and the age of the individual. You can use this chart as a reference:

Calorie requirements for men and women referencing age: Man

Woman

Adults

2500

2100

0- 6 months

600

600

7-12months

900

900

1 – 3 years

1200

1200

4 – 6 years

1600

1600

7 – 9 years

2000

2000

10 – 12 years

2400

2100

13 – 14 years

2700

2400

15 – 18 years

3100

2500

from 65 years

1700

1200

Pregnant Women

67

2600


SMOKED PORK CHOP WITH SAUERKRAUT AND SALTED POTATOES INGREDIENTS (for 12 portions): 3kg of Kasseler, smoked pork chop (neck or loin); 12 large onions; 6 tablespoons of margarine or butter; 4½ litres of water; salt; pepper; 3kg of potatoes; 2kg of Sauerkraut (bought ready-made in jars). PREPARATION: Cut the onions into large cubes. Let the butter melt in a large pan and fry the meat on all sides. Put it aside on a plate. Let the onions lightly braise until golden. When the onions are slightly brown add the meat back into the pan. Cover about two thirds of the meat with water. Bring to the boil, cover and allow to simmer for about 60 minutes on a medium heat. During this time taste and add salt if necessary since the salt content of smoked meat is always different. After simmering, taste and season with salt and pepper again. Take the meat out and cut it into slices, then thicken the sauce with gravy and pour it over the meat. Serve with sauerkraut and boiled potatoes. Germany

Teaching Unit 26: Herbs Today we are going to enter the big world of herbs. Herbs are widely used in the cooking word: the more natural and fresh they are, the better taste you will get from your dishes. During this session we are going to plan and create our own herb garden and learn how to raise and care for the herbs on our own. You don’t need a big garden for herbs; it is enough to use some plant pots to grow your own small garden. To create our own garden we should first plan where we want to put each herb, afterwards we put our plan into practice. Once we have our garden we can try to identify the herbs by smelling them with closed eyes. Then, we need to decide who is responsible for the garden tasks. Use the table below to write your task down.

68 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Name of the trainees

Watering the plant

Repotting the plant

Date

Additional information available on SUVOT website - Didactic Materials. Learn more about herbs by trying to guess which herbs go with which ingredients: Soups

Meat

x

x x x

Basil Dill Tarragon

Poultry

Marjoram Oregano Parsley Rosemary Sage Thyme

x x x

x x x x x x x

Fish

x

Coriander Bay

Game

x

x x

x x x

x x x x x x

Sauces

Vegetables

x x x x x

x x

x x

x x x x x x

x

Herbs can be also an excellent household remedies when we are ill or have any pain, let’s see some examples: --

Fennel: For the treatment of: bladder trouble, diarrhoea, stomach pain, cough, pinkeye. Preparation: fennel extract, 2 tablespoons in ¼ litre of water.

--

Rosemary: For the treatment of: Nervousness, menstrual pain, circulatory disorders, low bloodpressure. Preparation: Rosemary extract, 1 teaspoon in 1 cup of water, don’t drink more than 3 cups a day; not suitable during pregnancy.

--

Peppermint: For the treatment of: diarrhoea, flatulence, common cold pains, nausea. Preparation: Peppermint extract, 1 teaspoon in ¼ litre of water.

69


--

Sage: For the treatment of: stomach and bowel troubles, flatulence, diarrhoea, common cold pain, skin problems, and throat or gum inflammation. Preparation: 2 teaspoons in ¼ of water or by external application.

--

Verbena: For the treatment of: lack of appetite, bladder trouble, migraine, articular gout, sleeplessness, indigestion, healing wounds. Preparation: Verbena extract, 1-3 teaspoons in 1 cup of water or by external application.

--

Melissa: For the treatment of: common cold pains, indigestion, rheumatism, head and tooth aches. Preparation: Melissa extract, 1 teaspoon in 1 cup of water.

--

Parsley: For the treatment of: constipation, bladder trouble. Preparation: Parsley leaf or root extract, 4 teaspoons in 1 cup of water, don’t drink more than 3 cups a day; not suitable during pregnancy.

--

Thyme: For the treatment of: cough, indigestion, lack of appetite. Preparation: Thyme extract, 1 teaspoon in 1 cup of water.

--

Calendula: For the treatment of: cramps, liver diseases, eczema, nail bed inflammation, abscesses. Preparation: Calendula flower extract: 5-8 tablespoons in ¼ litre of water, or by external application.

--

Comfrey: For the treatment of: common cold pains, diarrhoea, stomach ulcers, skin illnesses, rheumatism, bruises. Preparation: Comfrey root extract, 1 tablespoon in ¼ litre of water or by external application.

Teaching Unit 27: Eating only vegetables

Today we will talk about the different ways people choose to live a healthy lifestyle. Do you know what a vegetarian is? What about a vegan? What comes to mind? The trainer gives one term and the whole group shouts out all associations they immediately have with this term. The teacher writes down all answers.

70 Spicing Up Vocational Training


What foods are allowed? Meat

Fish

Lacto-ovo-vegetarians

Egg products

Milk products

x

x x

Lacto vegetarians Ovo-vegetarians

x

Strict vegetarians or vegans Don’t forget you can find animal products hidden in many foods: ----

Fruit gums (gelatine). Cheese and yoghurts (milk). Noodles with eggs.

Reasons to choose this kind of diet There are many different reasons to choose this kind of diet. Some people have a very individual style of living as a vegetarian. How strict someone acts depends on each individual’s interpretation. Some people don’t just live out their vegetarianism with food but also in every aspect of their lives, i.e. choosing to not wear leather or wool products. ------

Religious reasons. Animal protection. Believe it’s a healthier way of living. Some don’t like the taste of meat. Environmental reasons.

These signs are the universal symbols to recognize vegetarian or vegan food in the EU: There are many possibilities when it comes to replacing some products in our diets. Nowadays nearly every animal product has an alternative vegetarian or vegan option:

71


--

Many products consist of soya milk and yoghurt instead of animal milk.

--

Many people replace meat with tofu.

--

Noodles made without eggs.

--

Instead of corn gelatine we can use starch or potato flour.

--

Instead of butter we can use vegetable margarine or vegetable oil.

VEGETABLE RATATOUILLE INGREDIENTS (Serves 12 people): 12 ripe tomatoes; 6 onions; 6 green peppers; 3 red peppers; 6 courgettes; 6-9 cloves of garlic; olive oil; 3 spoons of sugar; salt. PREPARATION: First of all, you must prepare all the ingredients properly. Blanch the tomatoes, remove the skin and chop into cubes. Then peel the onions and the courgettes and also chop into cubes. Remove the seeds from the red and green peppers and cut into julienne strips. Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry for 2 minutes. Then, add the chopped peppers and continue cooking all the vegetables for 5 more minutes. After that, add the courgettes and the tomatoes. Cook for 15 minutes or until the tomato are fully cooked. Finally, add some sugar and salt to taste. Spain

72 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Teaching Unit 28: Seasonal cooking Today we are going to find out what kind of fruits and vegetables are ideally bought in each season of the year. It is useful to know because when a vegetable or the fruit is in season it normally is at its best because it is fresh and even cheaper! Here you have some examples of typical fruits and vegetables depending on the season of the year; as there are differences in the climate, not all of these vegetables are available in all European countries at the same time: --

Spring vegetables: Artichoke, asparagus, apricots, carrots, cherries, leeks, peas, spinach, etc.

--

Summer vegetables: Apples, blackberries, chickpeas, cucumbers, raspberries, melon, watermelon, etc.

--

Autumn vegetables: Broccoli, almonds, grapes, mushrooms, peppers, pumpkins, etc.

--

Winter vegetables: Endive, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, mandarins, etc.

Everybody think about a fruit or vegetable and draw a picture of it. The group guesses what it is and then discusses when the right season to harvest it is. This can be played for as long as the group is having fun and has ideas. The trainer can show seasonal calendars in the local language to the participants and display them in the seminar room.

MUSHROOM SOUP WITH BUCKWHEAT MASH INGREDIENTS: 100g of oil; 50g of onions; 3 cloves of garlic; fresh parsley; 0.5kg of fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced; 0.75kg potatoes, cubed; 50g flour; 2.5l of water; 4 fresh tomatoes; a bunch of marjoram; salt; pepper; vinegar; 100ml sour cream; 1kg buckwheat flour; 2l of salted boiling water; 100g of lard (or oil). PREPARATION: Finely chop the onions, garlic and parsley. Heat the oil, add the chopped ingredients and stir until it gives off a pleasant scent. Then add the mushrooms and sautĂŠ for 15 minutes. Next add the potatoes and sautĂŠ for a few more minutes. Now add in a small amount of flour to thicken. When the potatoes are cooked, mix in the peeled and chopped tomatoes, marjoram, salt, pepper and the

73


vinegar. Cook for 5 minutes then remove the soup from the stove and add sour cream. Buckwheat mash: Pour the flour into boiling salted water and cook for 10 minutes. After, with the handle of a spoon make a hole in the middle of the flour and cook for additional 20 minutes. Next, pour away the remaining water, add the lard (or oil) and stir so that it all binds together. The mash should not be too dry. Slovenia

Teaching Unit 29: Cheese Today we are going to talk about different kinds of cheeses and make a Swiss raclette! What’s your favourite kind of cheese? What do you know about it? Now try to categorize the cheeses you named during the lesson in the table below. Hard Cheese

Semi-Hard Cheese

Medium Cheese

Soft Cheese

Fresh Cheese

At least 3 months +

At least five weeks

Three weeks

Two to three weeks

None

Taste/ Structure

Grainy

Smoother than hard cheese

The taste varies from mild to very strong

Very aromatic

Natural very mild, herbs can be added

Example

ParmigianoReggiano

Fol Epi

Chavroux

Saint Albray

Bresso

Ripening

74 Spicing Up Vocational Training


RACLETTE Spending time together is a priority with enjoying a raclette. Sitting and talking and at the same time melting cheese and enjoying it along with vegetables, sauces, meat and potatos. If you never had raclette before you can watch this video, which will give you an idea what it’s like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMVkRHWwyJc INGREDIENTS: There are many ways to prepare the raclette. The Swiss make it with potatoes, gherkins and different raclette cheeses. In Germany you can often find many different ingredients that vary from household to household. This is just a suggestion to help guide you: Raclette cheese, feta cheese, onions, mushrooms, bacon, sweet corn, pineapple, ham, olives, etc. Switzerland

Teaching Unit 30: Food additives In this session we are going to focus on food additives, which unfortunately are used very often in our kitchens. Food additives are substances which are added to the food in order to preserve the flavour or enhance its taste or appearance. There are natural and artificial types, natural additives have existed for centuries, for example preserving food by pickling with vinegar, salting, preserving sweets, etc. In Europe food additives have to be stated on every product so as to inform consumers. Each additive is assigned a unique number, also called an “E” number which is used for all approved additives. There are different categories of food additives. Here is a list of the most common ones: ---

Acids: to make flavours “sharper” and to preserve. Antioxidants: to act as preservatives by inhibiting the effects of oxygen.

75


-------

Bulking agents: to increase the bulk of a food without affecting its taste. Food colouring: to make food look more attractive. Emulsifiers: to allow water and oils to remain mixed together. Flavours: to give food a specific taste or smell, can be natural or artificial. Tracer gas: to allow for package integrity testing and to prevent foods from being exposed to the atmosphere. Preservatives: to prevent or inhibit spoilage of food.

--

Stabilizers: to give food a firmer texture, i.e. marmalade.

LEARNING MORE ABOUT ADDITIVES Take some products from the kitchen and read the labels: which additives do they have? Search the internet to learn more about the effects of each of the additives included in the product.

Teaching Unit 31: Sports and food This lesson deals with sports and food. To cook well we need to know what our dishes are made up of and what effect the ingradients have on the people eating them. So, let´s go! The energy needed by an athlete compared to that of a non-athlete is very different. Generally speaking the energy need by an athlete is much greater. This is especially true for power and high performance athletes. There are five main agents especially needed from athletics: --

Carbohydrates: Because the ability for athletic activity is related to the size of a persons’ glycogen store, it is necessary to supply the body with carbohydrates during sports activities. They represent the main source of energy for athletes. After their breakdown in the digestive

76 Spicing Up Vocational Training


tract, they are absorbed into the bloodstream and from there transported to the target organs (brain, muscles). You can find carbohydrates in different foods; the following are just an overview: Potatoes, maltose (malt sugar), glucose (grape sugar), porridge, bread, carrots, etc. --

Proteins: The main function of proteins is to build body mass. Proteins are required for the structure, function and regulation of the bodies’ cells. They are used to fight infection and are components of enzymes and hormones. Proteins are made up of amino acids. There are several types of proteins present in the human body; some that we can produce by ourselves and others that we must get through food sources. The combination of eating meat and vegetables makes a perfect balance between the different amino acids.

--

Fat: Although a high proportion of fat in the diet is responsible for the emergence of so-called lifestyle diseases such as atherosclerosis, dietary fat has several important functions. Fats are energy suppliers like carbohydrates and are also involved in the construction of cellular membranes. They are carriers of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K and provide essential fatty acids (linoleic acid).

--

Vitamins: Vitamin B1: seeds and whole grains. Vitamin B6: fish, milk products, soya, green vegetables, etc. Vitamin C: citrus fruits, broccoli, sweet and standard potato, tomatoes, etc. Vitamin E: sunflower oil, spinach, wheat germ oil, hazelnuts, almonds, etc.

--

Mineral nutrients: Sodium: Table salt (sodium chloride) is mainly eaten with food. It is important to control the quantity of this nutrient, as it can lead to problems with high blood pressure. Potassium: Potassium is responsible for the activation of some enzymes and for the transportation of electrical charges. A potassium deficiency leads to an influx of sodium into muscular cells and subsequently can lead to dehydration. This manifests itself by causing muscle weakness or muscle paralysis. Furthermore, this can lead to heart rhythm disorders, intestinal obstruction and an alkalization of the blood. Calcium: Calcium is essential for building and maintaining bone mass. 99% of calcium is stored in the bone structure. It is also involved in the excitability of nerves and muscles as well as in blood clotting. Magnesium: The daily fluid losses that occur naturally by sweating are normally compensated by the consumption of a suitable sports drink or by magnesium-rich foods such as whole grain bread, mineral water, potatoes or vegetables.

77


PORK BELLY GOULASH INGREDIENTS: 1.6kg of pork belly; 1kg of onions; 100g of oil; salt; 50g of red peppers, chopped finely; 50g of tomato concentrate; marjoram; a bay leaf; cumin; 3 cloves of garlic; cheese; 80g flour. PREPARATION: Cook the pork stomach in salted water with soup vegetables. Cook until tender (approximately 1 hour). Then, allow to cool and slice into strips. Chop the onions and fry them gently till golden brown in oil, then add the chopped peppers, add 2l of water, salt, tomato concentrate, marjoram, bay leaf, chopped garlic and the pork stomach strips. We stir the mixture and cook for approximately 15 minutes. Thicken the soup by adding the flour mixed with some water, boil it and serve. You can decorate with some cheese and fresh parsley. Slovenia

Teaching Unit 32: Baking POLISH APPLE CAKE WITH A CRUMBLE TOPPING INGREDIENTS: Fruit filling: 8-10 apples, shredded; 1 cup of brown sugar; 1 teaspoon of lemon juice; 1 teaspoon of vanilla; 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Dough: 1 cup of brown sugar; 1 cup of soft butter; 1 egg; 1 teaspoon of baking powder; 1 pinch of salt; 3 cups of flour. PREPARATION: Fruit Filling: Mix Apples with other ingredients and set aside. Dough: Mix together butter and sugar. Add in the rest of the ingredients and combine. Using 1/2 of the dough, press into the base of a greased pan. Pour fruit on top. Make crumbs from the rest of the dough and sprinkle them on top of the apples. Bake for 1 Ÿhours; at about 200°C. Poland

78 Spicing Up Vocational Training


One thing that we haven’t done yet and we’ve all been waiting for is...cake! Todays´ session focusses on baking. While the cake is in the oven read the text and answer the questions! Butter cakes: Butter cakes are probably the most popular type of cake. Butter cakes contain some form of fat, usually butter, margarine, oil or shortening. Most cakes today include some sort of raising agent such as baking powder or baking soda, along with proper mixing techniques, to produce a lighter textured cake. In many recipes the first step for making butter cakes is to mix the sugar and fat together in a process called creaming. The recipe will normally state something similar to cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Creaming incorporates tiny air bubbles into the butter and sugar which expand during baking to help the cake rise. Next eggs and flavourings are beaten in. Eggs provide moisture, flavour, and colour along with helping to aerate the batter. Finally the dry ingredients and liquids are added to finish the batter. Baking powder is a dry chemical raising agent used to increase the volume and lighten the texture of baked goods such as muffins, cakes, scones and North American biscuits. Baking powder works by releasing carbon dioxide gas into a batter or dough through an acid-base reaction, causing bubbles in the wet mixture to expand and thus causing the mixture to rise and increase in volume. Questions: 1. What ingredients do you need? Fat, raising agents, sugar, eggs, flavourings, etc. 2. In which order do you mix them together? First mix the butter and sugar, then the eggs and flavourings, etc. 3. What role does the baking powder play? It increases the volume and lightens the texture; it releases carbon dioxide gas which is causing bubbles. Foam cakes: Foam cakes and sponge cakes are delicate cakes made with little or no fat such as butter, oil, or shortening, making them lighter and airier than butter cakes. Most foam cakes recipes have no little or no chemical raising agents such as baking powder or baking soda; instead they depend on a large amount of either whole or separated eggs that are whipped and filled with air bubbles to providing the essential active ingredient to make the cake rise during baking. Because foam cakes have a high proportion of eggs to flour they have a light and spongy texture not found in butter cakes. The basic types of foam cakes are Angel food, chiffon, Genoise, and sponge cakes that have eggs separated. Angel food cake contains no fat and is made with only egg whites along with plenty of sugar to provide an extra sweet cake that is moist and tender. Chiffon cakes are made with oil and

79


separated eggs; the oil and egg yolk produce a tender crumb, and beaten egg whites along with a small amount of chemical raising agent produces a light and airy rise. Genoise is a classic European cake; the eggs are heated with sugar, then beaten until thick and lastly combined with flour. Separated egg cakes are the typical sponge; the egg yolks and egg whites are beaten separately then gently combined and folded in with the flour. Both Genoise and separated egg cakes may contain butter to provide a more moist and flavourful crumb. Foam cakes such as Angel Food and Chiffon are moist enough to be served without a soaking syrup added. Classic Genoise and Biscuit Sponge cakes start off drier but with a sturdy structure, making them able to soak and hold lots of moisture. The extra moisture is added by sprinkling a soaking syrup onto each layer after they have cooled. Soaking syrup is simply sugar and water boiled together, and then a liquor, juice, or extract is added in a flavour that complements the cake. Questions: 1. What is the difference between a butter cake and a foam cake? Foam cakes have a high proportion of eggs to flour. 2. Why do they not necessarily need baking soda or baking powder? Because they have a high amount of separated eggs, which produce bubbles and an airy texture. 3. Which different types of foam cakes to you know? Please name one characteristic of each! Bread dough: Nearly all breads contain 3 primary ingredients—flour, liquid, and yeast—and are made using the same simple steps. With these basics, you can produce an incredible variety of flavours and textures by adjusting the types and amounts of ingredients used (for instance store-bought yeast versus natural airborne yeasts) and the way the steps are employed. Here is a guide how to knead bread: Pay attention to table/counter height to avoid straining your back. Use a counter or tabletop that allows you to extend your arms to knead the dough while not making you hunch over the table. When you knead, you will use only the heels of your hands. Push down on dough with the heels of your hands. Fold the dough in half. Turn the dough about 45° and knead with the heels of your hands again. Continue to knead, fold and turn the dough for the required length of time or to the suggested consistency. Yeast, most commonly Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is used in baking as a raising agent, where it converts the fermentable sugars present in dough into the gas carbon dioxide. This causes the dough to expand or rise as gas forms pockets or bubbles. When the dough is baked, the yeast dies and the air pockets “set”, giving the baked product a soft and spongy texture. Questions: 1. Which basic ingredients do you always need to prepare bread dough? Flour, liquid and yeast.

80 Spicing Up Vocational Training


2. Write down the single steps how to knead bread dough. 3. What does yeast do with the dough? Yeast is a raising agent. It converts the sugars into the gas carbon dioxide. Causing the dough to rise and expand and creating a soft and spongy texture.

Teaching Unit 33: Good fungus vs. bad fungus Today we focus on good and bad fungi. Be as creative as you’d like decorating and arranging food on a cheese platter. Have a short discussion about mould fungus in cheese; never forget that there are only a few harmless ones. Most types of mould are damaging to your health! If you find mould growing on bread, fruits or vegetables it’s better to throw them away! Arranging the platter: In teams of two, we arrange the cheese and the decorations on the platter. When you’re finished look at your own result and also the results of the others. It’s perfect to have along with some savoury crackers as desert after a meal.

JOTA INGREDIENTS: 0.5kg of beans; 0.5kg of potatoes, cubed; 0.5kg of sauerkraut (or fresh cabbage); 150g bacon; 1 onion, finely chopped; 50g of flour; 5 cloves of garlic, crushed; a bay leaf; 1 tablespoon of tomato concentrate, salt; pepper; pork bacon, finely chopped. PREPARATION: first soak the beans in water. Then cook the soaked beans, the potatoes and the sauerkraut (cabbage) all in separate pots. Just add a little water to them for cooking. Sauté the bacon together with the onion until golden brown in colour. Add the flour and when the mixture is golden brown, add some water and boil it until the consistency is smooth. Into a larger pot we put the beans, potatoes and sauerkraut (cabbage), together with the water they were cooked in. The dish should be thick. We add the bacon-onion-flour mixture we prepared before, the crushed garlic cloves, bay leaf,

81


tomato concentrate, salt and pepper. We can improve the taste by adding some pork bacon when the ingredients are cooked. Before serving we cut the pork bacon into slices and put in into the “jota�. Slovenia

Teaching Unit 34: Creativity contest To make this cookery course more interactive, we suggest that you organize a creativity contest. It is an excellent way to train your imagination and promote team work, as all the participants have to reach an agreement and develop the recipe jointly. This is the time to express our culinary creativity! We offer you some possibilities to let your imagination take over: --

You have to use the ingredients that the trainer is going to offer you. All of you have to decide how to cook them.

--

You have to decide a menu using seasonal ingredients.

--

You have to create a menu spending a fixed quantity of money given to you by your trainer.

--

You can make a list of your favourite dishes and decide jointly which one you are going to prepare.

--

You can prepare a complete menu and invite your family and friends to try it. To organize it, you should write down what you are going to do, who will be the responsible of each dish and which steps you have to take! 1. Cold starter_____________________________________________________________ 2. Soup__________________________________________________________________ 3. Main dish with two side dishes_____________________________________________ 4. Dessert________________________________________________________________

82 Spicing Up Vocational Training


SPANISH SAN JACOBO INGREDIENTS (Serves 4 people): 4 pieces of veal; 4 slices of ham; 4 thin slices of cheese; ½ cup of unbleached white flour; ½ cup of bread crumbs; 2 eggs; 2 tablespoons of water; ¼ litre of olive oil for frying. PREPARATION: This recipe can be served as an appetizer or snack. The slices should be thick enough to handle without tearing while assembling. Use any soft cheese that melts easily, such as Swiss cheese. Lay the pieces of veal on clean work area or counter. Place a cheese slice on each piece and a then slice of ham on top of the cheese. Break the eggs into a medium size bowl or a small, open baking dish with a flat bottom. Add water to the eggs and beat with a wire whisk. Mix together the flour and the bread crumbs on a dinner plate. Pour enough oil into a medium sized frying pan to completely cover the bottom. Turn the hob on to a medium heat. When the oil is hot, bread the veal, ham and cheese: Dip the veal, ham and cheese into the beaten egg and then cover in the flour and bread crumb mixture. Fry the San Jacobo in theoil until golden brown, then turn over and fry on the other side. Remove from the frying pan and place on a paper towel to drain. Repeat the breading and frying process with each of the other 3 San Jacobos. Serve hot and accompany with bread. Spain

Teaching Unit 35: Noodles and Pasta Today it is all about noodles: We are going to focus on the various types of pasta and their use! Here are some typical types of pasta and noodles and what they are traditionally served with; Spaghetti topped with thin, light sauces, makes a delicious meal. The long strings of pasta (approx. 30cm long) are not cut, but instead wound around a fork to be eaten. The Sicilians created macaroni pasta in the 11th Century ago with the help of hollow blades of grass, which gave its name to the pasta. This pasta can soak sauces very well and are preferably used for

83


baking casseroles. Aubergine, tomatoe, pepper and garlic sauce give “Parmigiana di metanzane” it is unique flavour. Fusilli pasta is traditionally used for salads. Other pastas suitable for salads are spaghetti, penne and the slightly thicker noodles. Farfalle or bow-shaped pastas are not only used for pasta salads, but also as a main dish with a cream-based sauce. Heavy meat sauces are the typical companion of tagliatelle. This pasta is the national dish of the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. The Germans love soup, especially noodle soups. Meat, vegetables or bone broths are enriched with vermicelli, pasta shells, pasta stars or alphabet spaghetti and seasoned with parsley and egg custard. Germany’s answer to Italy’s pasta is called spätzle noodles and has been produced for 400 years in the Swabian region. The noodles are softer than regular pasta and for example “Cheese Spätzle” is well known far beyond southern Germany.

LENTILS WITH EGG NOODLES AND SAUSAGES INGREDIENTS (Serves 12 people): 3 onions; 3 tablespoons of oil; 1200g of lentils; 3 litres of soup stock; 3 tablespoons of tomato paste; 6 tablespoons of sauce thickener; salt; pepper; 9 tablespoons of vinegar; 3 tablespoons of butter; 6 pairs of boilded sausages (Wiener). For the egg noodles: 6 eggs; 1 ½ teaspoons salt; 750g flour; 0.38 litres of water. PREPARATION: Peel the onion, cut into cubes and fry in hot oil. Add the lentils and allow to braise slightly for a minute or two. Add the stock and the tomato paste, stir in the sauce thickener and season with salt, pepper and vinegar. Cover and boil for 45 minutes. Now to prepare the egg noodles: Whisk the eggs together with the salt, stir in the flour and spoon by spoon add the water. Stir it vigorously until it is a quite thick pasta dough. Put it spoon by spoon into a Spaetzle board (if you have one), a potato shredder or a slicer and press it through portion by portion into boiling salted water. The noodles can be taken out of the boiling water, when they float to the top, then pour into a sieve and serve (if you want to keep the noodles hot, put them into a bowl of hot water). Add the sausages to the lentils and heat until really hot. Alternatively you can serve this meal with salad as well. Germany

84 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Teaching Unit 36: Soya, tofu and couscous This session focusses on alternative ingredients to those we might be more used to: Soya, Tofu and Couscous. It is good to know as many different kinds of foods to be able to add variety to your meals! The soybean (U.S.) or soya bean (UK) (Glycine max) is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses. The plant is classed as an oilseed rather than a pulse (legume) by the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). Fat-free (defatted) soybean meal is a primary, low-cost, source of protein for animal feeds and most pre-packaged meals; soy vegetable oil is another product from processing the soybean crop. For example, soybean products such as textured vegetable protein (TVP) are ingredients in many meat and dairy dishes. Soybeans produce significantly more protein per acre than most other uses of land. Soybean substitutes and extenders are factors of meat and dairy products. Soybeans can be processed to produce a texture and appearance similar to many other foods. For example, soybeans are the primary ingredient in many dairy product substitutes (e.g.: soy milk, margarine, soy ice cream, soy yogurt, soy cheese, and soy cream cheese) and meat substitutes (e.g.: veggie burgers). These substitutes are readily available in most supermarkets. Soy milk does not naturally contain significant amounts of digestible calcium. Tofu or bean curd is a food made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. It is of Chinese origin and it is also a part of East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and others. There are many different varieties of tofu, including fresh tofu and tofu that has been processed in some way. Tofu has a subtle flavour and can be used in savoury and sweet dishes. It is often seasoned or marinated to suit the dish. Couscous is a Berber dish consisting of semolina and traditionally served with a meat or vegetable stew spooned over it. Couscous is a staple food throughout West Africa, Morocco, the Sahel, France, Spain, the Canary Islands, Portugal, Madeira, Brazil, Italy (particularly in western Sicily’s province of Trapani), as well as in Turkey, Greece, Malta, Cyprus and the Middle East.

85


VEGETABLES WITH COUSCOUS For todays´ receipe we can repeat the Spanish vegetable ratatouille we made earlier and eat couscous along with it. Soy sauce can also be served along with it. Enjoy! Spain

Teaching Unit 37: Cooking with alcohol Everybody knows: Caution must be used when consuming alcohol! For using alcohol in food this is also true. Today we are going to have a close look at alcoholic drinks and food. Wines are usually used in stews to deliver taste and to form sauces. There is one basic rule one has to follow, the colour: red wines for dark meat and white wines for light meat and fish. Cooking wine has the same significance like any other ingredients in the food: you should use wines that you would drink too. If you serve wine with the meal you can use the same one that you cooked with. You can also use beer or other liquors like brandy to prepare some meals, but always cooking them very well, so most of the alcohol content evapourates.

CHICKEN STEW INGREDIENTS (Serves 12 people): 3 chickens cut into pieces; 3 onions, finely chopped; 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped; 3 peppers, chopped; 3 tomatoes, peeled; 3 bay leafs; 3 glasses of white wine; 6-9 tablespoons of olive oil; salt; pepper.

86 Spicing Up Vocational Training


PREPARATION: Heat some olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic. After 5 minutes, add the peppers and tomatoes. Then, add in the chicken and mix all the ingredients well. Some minutes later, add some white wine, the bay leaves, salt and pepper. Let the wine evaporate and then add in enough water to cover the chicken. Boil all the ingredients until the meat is completely cooked. Spain

Teaching Unit 38: Portions I Maybe you are familiar with this situation: you want to cook, but you don´t know how much food you need. We are talking about portions. Use this chart as a guide: PORTIONS Soup as a starter 1/8 – 3/16 l Soup as a main dish ¼-3/8 l Sauce 1/8 l Meat with bone 180-250 g Meat without bone 120-180 g Fish 250 g Poultry with bone 250 g Poultry without bone 150 – 200 g Vegetables as side dish 150 – 200 g Vegetables as main dish 250 – 400 g Potatoes as side dish 150 g Potatoes as main dish 300 g Pasta as side dish 50 g Pasta as main dish 75 g Rice as side dish 50 g Rice as main dish 75 g Oysters 6-12 Desserts 100 – 120 g

87


POTATO BAKE WITH CABBAGES, BACON AND CUMIN SEEDS INGREDIENTS (Serves 10-12 people): 10 large potatoes, sliced very finely; 300g of smoked bacon, sliced, or some chopped sausage; green cabbage, chopped up finely; 2 carrots, sliced; 2 large onions, sliced; 2 red peppers, chopped; 2 cloves of garlic, chopped; salt; pepper; paprika/cumin seeds; olive oil; 3 tablespoons of water; yellow cheese. PREPARATION: Preheat the oven to 200째C. Put all ingredients and potatoes, layer by layer in a baking dish/tray, adding a bit of salt and pepper to them. Add 3 table spoons of water and some olive oil. Mix it up. Sprinkle cheese on top. Sprinkle with paprika/cumin seeds. Bake covered or uncovered until potatoes are tender, about 1 hour and until lightly browned. Poland

Teaching Unit 39: Portions II As we talked about portions the last time we are going to apply this knowledge from now on when we cook. But there is also another option, when using recipes from the internet, we can cheat a little. Visit the homepage www.food.com (in English, but there are similar pages in other languages) and try changing the servings or portions of some dishes.

STYRIAN SOUR SOUP INGREDIENTS: 1kg of pork meat; 3.5l of water; 1 onion; 1 carrot; parsley; 4 cloves of garlic; a bay leaf; bunch of thyme; salt; pepper, 60g of flour, 750kg of potatoes, sliced; vinegar. PREPARATION: Cook the piece of meat together with roughly chopped onions, carrots, parsley, whole cloves of garlic, bay leaf and thyme and season with salt. When the meat is tender, cut it into small

88 Spicing Up Vocational Training


pieces. Pass the soup through a sieve, add back in with the meat, add pepper and the sliced potatoes and cook. Thicken the soup with flour. When the potatoes are cooked, we add the vinegar and serve the soup. Slovenia

Teaching Unit 40: Sweet vs. Savoury In this session the topic is “Sweet vs. Savoury: Waffles vs. Potato pancakes”. Instead of starting with a theoretic part, let’s begin cooking right away and let the taste do the talking.

POTATO PANCAKES INGREDIENTS: 3 medium grated raw potatoes; 3 table spoons of flour; 3 eggs, well beaten; salt. PREPARATION: Rinse the grated potatoes well and pour into a bowl. Add all the ingredients and beat well. With a spoon, drop mixture on hot frying pan or griddle in a grill and spread as thinly as possible. Fry on both sides. Fry until brown on the bottom (don’t turn until the pancake is brown or it will stick), about 3 to 5 minutes, reducing the heat to medium, if needed, to prevent burning. Turn the pancake and fry the other side 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels. Serve piping hot with sour cream on top. Note: You can add 2 tablespoons of grated onion and/or 1 grated garlic clove to the pancake before frying, if desired. Poland

WAFFLES INGREDIENTS (12 servings): 4 eggs; 4 cups of all-purpose flour; 3½ cups of milk; 1 cup of vegetable oil; 2 tablespoons of white sugar; 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons of baking powder; ½ teaspoon of salt; 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. PREPARATION: Preheat waffle iron. Beat eggs in large bowl with hand beater until fluffy. Beat in flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla, just until smooth. Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown. Serve hot.

89


Teaching Unit 41: Slovenian dessert Today you can choose which main dish to cook and then we will prepare Slovenian Pohorje Omelettes for dessert.

POHORJE OMELETTE INGREDIENTS: 4 eggs; 4 tablespoons of flour; 4 tablespoons of sugar; 500ml cream, whipped; 300g of cranberry jam; 400g of forest fruits. PREPARATION: To make the batter, first separate the 4 egg yolks from the egg whites. Add four table spoons of sugar to the egg whites and beat until stiff (test: turn the bowl upside down and it should not fall out). Then add the egg yolks and the flour (4 table spoons) and mix it to a smooth consistence. Line a baking tray with baking paper and form the batter into two small circular mounds. Bake in a hot oven (220째C) for approximately 15 minutes until it is golden brown. For the filling, mix 400g of forest fruits (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, etc.) with 3 spoons of sugar. After the batter is baked, remove from the oven and fold in the middle (to form a kind of a sandwich). Spread the cranberry jam inside and add in the forest fruits. Spread the whipped cream all over. You can decorate it with some cranberry jam. Now enjoy! Slovenia

Teaching Unit 42: Creativity contest To make this cookery course more interactive, we suggest that you organize a creativity contest. It is an excellent way to train your imagination and promote team work, as all the participants have to reach an agreement and develop the recipe jointly. This is the time to express your cooking creativity! We offer you some possibilities to let your imagination take over: --

You have to use the ingredients that the trainer is going to offer you. You all have to decide how to cook them.

90 Spicing Up Vocational Training


----

You have to decide a menu using seasonal ingredients. You have to create a menu spending a fixed quantity of money given to you by your trainer. You can make a list of your favourite dishes and decide jointly which one you are going to prepare. You can prepare a complete menu and invite your family and friends to try it. To organize it, you should write down what you are going to do, who will be the responsible of each dish and which steps you have to take! 1. Cold starter_____________________________________________________________

--

2. Soup__________________________________________________________________ 3. Main dish with two side dishes_____________________________________________ 4. Dessert________________________________________________________________

Teaching Unit 43: Teamwork and reliability Working in a kitchen isn’t always as easy as it seems! The cooks and co-workers have to communicate very well and rely on each other. This session deals with the issue of teamwork and reliability, which is needed if you want to deliver good food, for example in a canteen. This activity is about trusting each other. Every trainee has to rely on the other participants. It is the same as in the kitchen. A team has to rely on each other’s work to be done properly. Every trainee has to concentrate, no one can be distracted. The trainees divide into groups of three people. Two of them hold each other’s hands, the third person stands in the middle and let´s himself drop forward and backward leaning on the others´ arms. Repeat this exercise until everyone can allow themselves to drop into the others arms comfortably. What do you expect from a good chef? Write down and discuss the competences a chef needs to have.

91


- ………………………………………………… - ………………………………………………… - ………………………………………………… - ………………………………………………… During the next ten cooking sessions one participant of the group will act as head chef and fulfil the tasks we just discussed! After making a chart with dates, meals and responsible trainees you can write your turn down here! Date

Meal

Trainee as a chef

Task

LENTILS WITH CHORIZO INGREDIENTS (12 people): 750g of lentils; 6 chorizos (pork meat); 6 carrots; 1.5 onions, finely chopped; 1.5 tomatoes; 1.5 peppers; 6 bay leaves; 6-9 cloves of garlic, finely chopped; 6-9 tablespoons of olive oil; 3 teaspoons of paprika. PREPARATION: Lentils don’t need pre-soaking and cook much quicker than other dried legumes. Heat some olive oil in a saucepan and add the onion and garlic. After 10 minutes, add the tomato, pepper and the bay leaves. Fry the mix for 3 minutes and add the chorizo or any meat you want. Then, add some paprika and mix everything. The next step is to add the lentils and mix all the ingredients. Cover with water and heat until it boils and cook for a half an hour, more or less, depending on the age and type of lentils. Add salt and pepper once the lentils are completely cooked. Spain

92 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Teaching Unit 44: Express yourself You look back over the past training sessions and share your impressions so far. Have you learnt new things? Are you comfortable within the group? What would you change? What do you like most? Is there anything that you would like to share with the rest of your friends? Now discuss with the trainer and the rest of participants which topics would you like to work on. What activities would you like to do in the coming sessions? Each trainee speaks only for himself and about how he feels – keeping in mind: -- Everyone has the right to his own opinion! -- Everyone’s thoughts should be considered! -- There is no time pressure for this activity! You can complete the missing parts of the sentences: -

I was nervous about_____________________________________________________

-

I could handle__________________________________________________very well

-

I had problems with____________________________________________________

-

I would have like if______________________________________________________

_________________________________________________could have happened to me too Be very sensitive while talking about the given answers of the trainees and try to stay neutral. You should play one game to reflect their subjective feelings and moods about some questions and one game to reflect rational statements about the session contents.

93


MEATBALLS WITH FRIED POTATOES AND SALAD INGREDIENTS: Meat balls: 1.5kg of mincemeat; 3 eggs; 3 onions; 3 plain bread rolls; 6 teaspoons of salt; 3 teaspoons of pepper; 3 teaspoons of mustard. Soak the rolls in water for about 15 minutes, and then squeeze well. Mix all ingredients together into a dough. Shape meatballs and cook on all sides in a pan. Salad: 3 heads of lettuce; 3 tomatoes; salad dressing. Wash and cut the lettuce to bite size pieces, wash and cut tomatoes and add them; pour over the salad dressing before you serve. Fried potatoes: 3kg of potatoes. Peel and slice the potatoes, fry them in a pan with some oil. Season with salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme and sage. PREPARATION: Let the rolls soak in water first, prepare the salad meanwhile. Then prepare the dough for the meat balls and the potatoes and fry both at the same time. Germany

Teaching Unit 45: Choosing the right menu Food intake depends on many factors so, when planning a menu you should take into consideration the age of the guests, if they have made strong physical activity, the season of the year, etc. There are dishes with a very high caloric content that could be perfect for a very cold day, for example legumes or stews made of meat. During summer eating salads, fish and fruits could be more suitable as they have high levels of water. Today we are going to see two examples of typical dishes that you can prepare depending on the season of the year.

94 Spicing Up Vocational Training


TYPYCAL DISH FOR A COLD DAY: FLANK STEAK INGREDIENTS (6 people): 2 tablespoons of canola oil; 6 tablespoons of concentrated chicken broth (low salt if available); ½ cup of honey; ½ cup of low-salt soy sauce; 4 spring onions (both the white and green part) cut into thin, diagonal slices; 1 teaspoon of ground ginger (or 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger); 1 teaspoon of garlic powder (or 2 teaspoons of fresh grated garlic); 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce; 1 medium-large flank steak (about 1½ pounds). Six servings (3 ounces of cooked steak per serving if using a 1.5 pound flank steak). PREPARATION: Combine canola oil, chicken broth, honey, soy sauce, green onions, ginger, garlic powder, and Worcestershire sauce in a medium bowl with a whisk; set aside. Remove any visible fat from the flank. Lightly score the meat with a serrated knife, cutting about ¼ inch into the meat in a crisscross pattern (leave about an inch between cuts) on the top and bottom of the flank. Put the flank in a rectangular plastic container, add the marinade, and coat the steak well all over. Cover and marinate the flank steak all day or overnight, turning occasionally. Grill for 10-15 minutes on each side or until cooked to your liking. Use a carving knife to cut diagonally across the grain of the meat into slices of your desired thickness.

TYPICAL DISH FOR A SUMMER DAY: CRANBERRY TURKEY SALAD INGREDIENTS (4 people): 2 cups cooked turkey breast, cubed; 4 cups of romaine lettuce, torn into small pieces; 1 large red apple, cored and cut into small pieces; 1 orange peeled and segmented (or use a small can of mandarin oranges); ¼ cup of dried cranberries; 3 tablespoons of walnuts, coarsely chopped; 3 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced. Dressing Ingredients: 1 cup jellied whole-berry cranberry sauce; ¼ cup of frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed. PREPARATION: In a medium bowl, combine turkey, apple pieces, cranberries, orange, and walnuts. In a small bowl, mix cranberry sauce and orange juice concentrate. Arrange lettuce leaves on four plates. Just before serving gently toss turkey mixture with dressing. Garnish with kiwi slices.

95


Teaching Unit 46: Remembering Slovenia Today we are going to reuse our knowledge about Slovenia and prepare roasted pork and potatoes. We already talked about Slovenia at the beginning of the course, what do you remember? To find out a little more about Slovenia research together on the internet and compare results afterwards! Here are some facts: ------

Slovenia is on the European continent and in the European Union. The capital is Ljubljana. The official language is Slovene and recognized regional languages are Italian and Hungarian. The ethnic groups are divided in: Slovenes (83%), Serbs (2%), Croats (1.8%), Bosnians (1.2%) and 12% others. Slovenian cuisine is a mixture of three great regional cuisines, the Central European cuisine (especially Austrian and Hungarian), the Mediterranean cuisine and the Balkan cuisine.

ROASTED PORK AND ROASTED POTATOES INGREDIENTS (10 people): 2kg of pork meat (thigh or tenderloin); salt; pepper; cumin; garlic; 50g of lard or oil; 2kg of potatoes; 150g of lard or oil; 100g of onions; salt; pepper. PREPARATION: To prepare the meat, rub in salt, pepper and cumin until it is well flavoured. Next put it onto a baking tray, greased in advance. Bake it in an oven at 180°C for 1.5 or 2 hours. When ready, slice thinly and serve. First cook the potatoes in boiling salted water. Then peel the potatoes and slice thinly. Heat up the lard (oil) and sautÊ the finely chopped onions until golden. Then add the sliced potatoes, stir thoroughly and roast until nicely golden. Slovenia

96 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Teaching Unit 47: Fast food What do you know about Fast Food? Do you have any idea how the consumption of fast Food can affect you if you eat it regularly? Today we are going to learn more about Fast Food and prepare the most well known product: Burgers! Fast food is the term given to food that can be prepared and served very quickly. Typically the term refers to food sold in a restaurant or store with preheated or precooked ingredients. One of the main fast food producers and, in fact, the creator of the concept is McDonald’s. The franchaise can be found in 126 countries and on 6 continents and operateing over 31,000 restaurants worldwide. In 2006, the global fast food market grew by 4.8% and reached a value of 102.4 billion and a volume of 80.3 billion transactions. Fast food has come under criticism over concerns that range from claimed negative health effects, alleged animal cruelty, cases of worker exploitation and claims of cultural degradation via shifts in people’s eating patterns away from traditional foods. Fast food is especially high in fat, and studies have found associations between fast food intake and increased body mass index (BMI) and weight gain.

HAMBURGERS INGREDIENTS (4 servings): 1 onion; 600g of minced meat (beef ); 1 teaspoon of Worcester sauce; salt; pepper; 3 tablespoons of oil; 4 slices of cheese; 4 lettuce leaves; 2 tomatoes; ketchup; mustard; mayonnaise; hamburger buns. PREPARATION: Peel and chop the onion and mix it with the meat. Add Worcester sauce, salt and pepper and shape 4 burgers. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the burgers for 6 minutes, turning once. Before the burgers are done place a slice of cheese on the top and let it melt. In between, wash and dry the salad, wash and slice the tomatoes and halve and toast the buns in the oven. Put one burger, one leaf of lettuce, slices of onion and tomato and ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise in each bun! International

97


Teaching Unit 48: Remembering Spain Today we are going to reuse our knowledge about Spain and prepare pasta with tomato and meat. We already talked about Spain at the beginning of the course, what do you remember? To find out a little more about Spain research together on the internet and compare results afterwards! Here are some facts: --

Spain is on the European continent and in the European Union.

--

The capital is Madrid.

--

The official language is Spanish; recognized regional languages are Aranese, Basque, Catalan and Galician.

--

Spanish cuisine consists of a great variety of dishes which stem from differences in geography, culture and climate. It is heavily influenced by seafood available from the waters that surround the country, and reflects the country’s deep Mediterranean roots. Spain’s extensive history with many cultural influences has led to a unique cuisine.

PASTA WITH TOMATO AND MEAT INGREDIENTS (12 people): 750g of spaghetti; 1kg of chopped meat; 450g of ham in cubes; 1 cup of wine; 6 tablespoon of olive oil; 6 cloves of garlic; 2.25kg of tomatoes; 3 green peppers; 3 onions; some oregano and basil; 300g of Mozzarella cheese; salt; pepper. PREPARATION: Heat the oil in a wide frying pan over a gentle heat. Add the onions and the cloves of garlic and a pinch of salt. They should be only softened and not browned. Don’t rush this stage - it should take about 8-10 minutes. Then add the chopped meat and the cubes of ham with the green pepper. Incorporate the tomatoes and fry all the ingredients for 15 minutes. Add the bay leaf and the cup of wine and allow to simmer. When the sauce has been simmering for 10-20 minutes, bring a large pot of well-salted water to the boil and cook your pasta according to the packet instructions. When the pasta is cooked, drain. When the sauce is cooked, taste for seasoning and add salt and black

98 Spicing Up Vocational Training


pepper if necessary. When you are ready to serve it, tear the mozzarella into chunks and add to the sauce. Tear the basil leaves and add to the sauce, then turn off the heat from under the sauce. Pour the sauce over the pasta and serve. Spain

Teaching Unit 49: Ready-made food Do you remember talking about Fast Food in one of the last sessions? Today’s topic is ready-made food – do you know the differences between these two? We will first prepare the dough for the pizza we are going to have and learn some facts about ready-made food while the dough proves. Ready-made food is the term for the food that has been processed so that it requires no extra preparation at home. Ready meals are complete meals that are sold in shops. They are already prepared and you need only to heat them before eating. New research shows the British are the biggest consumers of ready meals in Europe. Previously associated with junk food and indulgence, the ready-made market has become increasingly targeted at those seeking “healthy eating”. Some researches show that around £1.9 billion was spent on the meals in the UK last year - double the amount spent by the French and six times more than in Spain. While demand for ready-made meals across Europe rose by 29% between 1998 and 2002, in the UK it jumped by 44%. In the UK the ready-made meal has undergone a change of image, from being deemed as unhealthy, lazy food to being repositioned as a premium, indulgent option. The traditionally insular British are becoming ever more cosmopolitan - a trend initiated by the spread of cheaper air travel and the democratisation of foreign holidays. This is reflected in the wide range of ethnic restaurants mushrooming in high streets across the country. Around 30% of adults in the UK eat a ready-made meal more than once a week compared with just 16% in France. This ‘convenience culture’ is also suggested by figures showing 80% of households in the UK have a microwave, compared to only 27% in Italy. Ethnic meals are particularly popular, with Indian, Chinese and other Asian recipes making up 40% of the chilled ready-made market across Europe.

99


PIZZA SAUCE AND DOUGH INGREDIENTS (12 servings): Pizza dough: ¼ cup of warm water (50 to 60°C); 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast: 1 teaspoon of white sugar; 4 cups of bread flour; 2 tablespoons of Italian-style seasoning; 1 teaspoon of salt, divided; 1 ¼ cups of flat beer; 1 tablespoon of olive oil Pizza sauce: 2 tablespoons of olive oil; ¼ cup of chopped onion; 2 tablespoons of chopped garlic; 1 (28 ounce) can of roma tomatoes, with juice; 2 (6 ounce) cans of tomato paste; 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil; 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley; 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh oregano; ½ teaspoon of black pepper. You can use any toppings you like, for example ham, salami, tuna, corn, onions, peppers, etc! PREPARATION: In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let it stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. In a food processor, combine flour, Italian seasoning and salt. Pulse until mixed. Add yeast mixture, flat beer and oil. Pulse until a ball is formed. Scrape dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for several minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Allow dough to rest for 2 to 3 minutes. Divide dough in half, and shape into balls. Place dough balls in separate bowls, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise at room temperature for about 1 hour, then store in the refrigerator overnight. To make the sauce: Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat and sauté onions until tender. Stir in garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Crush tomatoes into saucepan. Add tomato paste, basil, parsley and oregano. Simmer for 10 minutes. Spread out the dough in three or four baking sheets and coat it with the sauce. Put your favorite toppings on and sprinkle it with cheese in the end. Preheat the oven to 170°C and cook for about 20 minutes. Check regularly! When the crust and cheese are golden and crispy the pizza is ready to be eaten! Italy

Teaching Unit 50: Remembering Germany Today we are going to reuse our knowledge about Germany and prepare Currywurst, fries and salad. We already talked about Germany, what do you remember? To find out a little more about Germany research together on the internet and compare results afterwards! Here are some facts:

100 Spicing Up Vocational Training


--

Germany is on the European continent and in the European Union.

--

The capital is Berlin.

--

German cuisine varies from region to region. The southern regions of Bavaria and Swabia, for instance, share a culinary culture with Switzerland and Austria. In all regions, meat is often eaten in sausage form. Organic food has gained a market share of ca. 2%, and is expected to increase further. Although wine is becoming more popular in many parts of Germany, the national alcoholic drink is beer. German beer consumption per person is declining, but at 116 litres annually it is still among the highest in the world. The Michelin guide has awarded nine restaurants in Germany three stars, the highest designation, while 15 more received two stars. German restaurants have become the world’s second-most decorated after France.

CURRYWURST WITH FRIES AND SALAD Put the fries in the oven first. Then prepare the salad. Lastly prepare the Sausage and sauce. INGREDIENTS (12 servings): 9 (15 ounce) cans of tomato sauce; 3 pounds of kielbasa; ¼ cup and 2 tablespoons of chilli sauce; 1½ teaspoons of onion salt; 3 tablespoons of white sugar; 1 tablespoon of ground black pepper; 3 pinches of paprika; curry powder to taste; salad and salad dressing; fries. PREPARATION: Preheat oven grill. Pour tomato sauce into a large saucepan; then stir in the chilli sauce, onion, salt, sugar and pepper. Allow to simmer over a medium heat, occasionally stirring. Bring to a gentle boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Meanwhile, grill kielbasa sausage for 3 to 4 minutes each side, or until cooked through. Slice into pieces ¼ inch to ½ inch thick. Pour tomato sauce mixture over sausage, then sprinkle all with paprika and curry powder and serve with fries and salad! Germany

101


Teaching Unit 51: Creativity contest To make this cookery course more interactive, we suggest that you organize a creativity contest. It is an excellent way to train your imagination and promote team work, as all the participants have to reach an agreement and develop the recipe jointly. This is the time to express your cooking creativity! We offer you some possibilities to let your imagination take over: ------

You have to use the ingredients that the trainer is going to offer you. You all have to decide how to cook them. You have to decide a menu using seasonal ingredients. You have to create a menu spending a fixed quantity of money given to you by your trainer. You can make a list of your favourite dishes and decide jointly which one you are going to prepare. You can prepare a complete menu and invite your family and friends to try it. To organize it, you should write down what you are going to do, who will be the responsible of each dish and which steps you have to take! 1. Cold starter_____________________________________________________________ 2. Soup__________________________________________________________________ 3. Main dish with two side dishes_____________________________________________ 4. Dessert________________________________________________________________

Teaching Unit 52: On a diet Have you ever tried to change your body weight by implementing a special diet? This is exactly our topic for today, let´s start sharing our experiences with diets, good and bad‌ Later on we will have some facts about diets and prepare crustless spinach quiche for a low carbohydrate recipe.

102 Spicing Up Vocational Training


A particular diet may be chosen to seek either weight loss or weight gain. Changing a subject’s dietary intake or “going on a diet” can change the energy balance and increase or decrease the amount of fat stored by the body. Some foods are specifically recommended or even altered for conformity to the requirements of a particular diet. These diets are often recommended in conjunction with exercise. Specific weight loss programs can be harmful to health, while others may be beneficial (and can thus be named healthy diets). The terms healthy diet and diet for weight management are often related, as the two promote healthy weight management. Types of diets: --

Low-fat diet.

--

Low-carbohydrate diet.

--

Low-calorie diet.

CRUSTLESS SPINACH QUICHE INGREDIENTS: 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil; 2 onions, chopped; 2 (10 ounce) packets of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained; 10 eggs, beaten; 6 cups of shredded Muenster cheese; ½ teaspoon of salt; ¼ teaspoon of ground black pepper. You can use pastry in the bottom of the dish if you like! PREPARATION: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175°C). Lightly grease a 9 inch pie pan. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft. Stir in spinach and continue cooking until excess moisture has evaporated. In a large bowl, combine eggs, cheese, salt and pepper. Add spinach mixture and stir to blend. Scoop into the prepared pie pan. Bake (120°C) in preheated oven until eggs have set, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Amount Per Serving; Calories: 309 | Total Fat: 23.7g | Cholesterol: 230mg

103


Teaching Unit 53: Remembering Poland Today we are going to reuse our knowledge about Poland and prepare beef roulades with gherkins, onion and mustard. We already talked about Poland, what do you remember? To find out a little more about Poland research together on the internet and compare results afterwards! Here are some facts: --

Poland is on the European continent and in the European Union.

--

The capital is Warsaw.

--

Until World War II, Poland was a religiously diverse society, in which substantial Jewish, Protestant and Christian Orthodox minorities coexisted with a Roman Catholic majority.

--

Polish cuisine has influenced the cuisines of its surrounding countries. For centuries the Polish kitchen has been the arena for competing with France and Italy. It is rich in meat, especially chicken and pork, and winter vegetables (cabbage in the dish bigos), and spices, as well as different kinds of pasta. Polish national cuisine shares some similarities with other Central European and Eastern European traditions. Generally speaking, Polish cuisine is hearty.

BEEF ROULADES WITH GHERKINS, ONION AND MUSTARD INGREDIENTS (6 people): 6 slices of beef (round); 3 slices of lean bacon, chopped finely; 3 garlic cloves, chopped; 1 onion, sliced and/or 1 chopped gherkin; 2 tablespoons of butter; mustard; salt; pepper; corn starch/potato flour. PREPARATION: Season the slices of beef with salt and freshly ground pepper. Thinly spread mustard on top of each slice. Put bits of bacon, onion and garlic on one end of each slice. Roll up slices, tucking the ends in and securing with skewers or thread. Heat butter in a frying pan. Brown and cook roulades well on all sides. Do not crowd them or they will not brown nicely. Do in small batches, if necessary. You can add extra butter if needed. Once all roulades are well browned, add about 1 cup of hot water, simmer and cover. Simmer (cook gently) for about 1 ½ hours. Remove roulades. To thicken gravy, combine about 1-2 tablespoons of corn starch in a little cold water and stir gently into cooking liquid until slightly thickened. If needed, make more corn starch mixture. Season gravy to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove

104 Spicing Up Vocational Training


skewers, picks, or thread to serve roulades with their gravy. Traditionally served with boiled potatoes and boiled red cabbage. Poland

Teaching Unit 54: Different eating habits of the world Eating with a knife and fork is normal? You probably live in Europe! Today’s topic is the different eating habits in different places of the world. The nomadic Arabs eat what they can transport and find in the desert. Dates from oases, goat’s or camel’s milk, goat’s cheese, rice, and a bit of meat at times may constitute the only meal of the day. These nomads sit close together and eat with their fingers, taking their food out of a common bowl. There are no individual servings or portions to speak of. Diners simply eat until the food is gone or until they are full, whichever comes first. Another group of people who eat with their hands are the people of India. They are trained to use only the tips of the fingers of the right hand to touch food. It is a major social disgrace to eat with one’s left hand, or even to pick up one’s drink glass with the left hand, since the left hand is reserved for wiping one’s backside after using the restroom. In other words, the right hand is the “clean” hand, while the left is the “dirty” hand. Banana leaves are the only utensils required. Food is then served in the centre of this leaf similar to the way food is served on a plate. In India people wash their hands and mouths before and after eating. In Mexican villages and in other rural areas in Latin America, the tortilla is sometimes used as an eating utensil in place of the fork or spoon. This custom is disappearing in urban areas. The tradition lives on in modern restaurants, especially in tourist areas of Mexico, where dining enthusiasts are offered large bowls of scoop shaped tortillas, which are fried to a crisp shape for dipping. Among people organized in clans or similar social groupings, each group may maintain a special relationship with a special plant or animal that is called a totem. In East Africa each clan of the Baganda people have two totems, and the clan is named after one - for example, Lion clan, Leopard clan, or Mushroom clan. The people may not eat the totem for which their clan is named. This refraining from eating certain food is called a food taboo. Food taboos are found in many parts of the world. Often the original reason for the taboo is no longer known and gives rise to myths and speculations. Temporary food taboos, imposed in Polynesia during times of scarcity, were also used as economic advantage.

105


In the United States we find many variations in eating habits. Sometimes these habits are enforced by religious groups. Sometimes people have particular eating habits because of their ideas about health or morality. Other habits still are dictated by social class standards or traditions, such as laying a cloth napkin on one’s lap or refraining from laying one’s elbows on the table. In some areas of the United States, failing to eat all of the food presented to you is a social taboo, while in other locations, eating beyond one’s level of hunger satiety is considered offensive, or even grotesque. In many countries in Asia, people eat with chopsticks, for example Japan or China. Play the quiz on the SUVOT website - Didactic Materials

BASIC INDIAN CURRY INGREDIENTS (6 people): ¾ cup of olive oil; 3 large yellow onions, chopped; 1 tablespoon of grated garlic; 1 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger; 6 Serrano peppers, finely chopped; 2¼teaspoons of chilli powder; 2¼ teaspoons of ground cumin; 2¼ teaspoons of ground coriander; 2¼ teaspoons of garam masala; 2¼ teaspoons of ground turmeric; 3 (14.25 ounce) cans of tomato puree; 3 tablespoons of ketchup; 3 (16 ounce) packages of frozen peas, thawed; whipping cream or half-and-half to taste. PREPARATION: Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Sauté onions until lightly browned. Stir in garlic and ginger, and continue cooking for 1 minute more. Turn heat to low, add Serrano peppers, and cook for an additional minute. Sprinkle in the chili powder, cumin, coriander, garam masala, and turmeric; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in tomato puree and ketchup; thin with water to desired consistency. Stir in the peas; cook to soften peas, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in cream, and increase heat to medium-high. Allow the curry to come to a rolling boil, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Now try to eat this meal with your right hand, you will have a very different relationship with your food and it will be traditionally Indian. India

106 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Teaching Unit 55: Comparing European countries Today we check out similarities and differences between our partner countries. Germany

Poland

Spain

Slovenia

Is on the European continent

yes

yes

yes

yes

Name of the currency

Euro

Zloty

Euro

Euro

The name of the capital

Berlin

Warsaw

Madrid

Ljubljana

Is in the European Union

yes

yes

yes

yes

Which influences does the cuisine have

Chares culture with Austria and Switzerland

Lots of meat and winter vegetables

Central European Seafood and cuisine, Balkan Mediterranean cuisine and food Mediterranean cuisine

POLISH PANCAKES INGREDIENTS (12 people) For Batter (pancake): 4 eggs; 2.5 cups of milk; 6 tablespoons of water; 1 cup of sifted flour (spelt flour is good, if not, white flour); 4 pinches of salt. For Cottage Cheese Filling: 4 cups of small curd cottage cheese (white farmer cheese, make sure that it is not too liquid); 4 egg yolks; 4 tablespoons of rich cream; 4 tablespoons of sugar (brown if possible); 2 pinches of salt; 2 drops of vanilla extract; some raisins. PREPARATION: Beat eggs until light (about a minute). Add milk and water and beat again. Add remaining ingredients (flour, salt) and scrape sides. Heat small frying pan. Add a tablespoon of butter and roll around covering the entire pan. Add about 3 tablespoons of pancake batter rolling it around to make it even. Cook the bottom side only over moderate heat. Remove from pan and place on large platter until ready to fill. Repeat until mix is all gone.

107


Prepare the filling: Mix cheese with egg yolk and sugar. Beat the egg white and add to the mixture. Add raisings (optional). Serving: Put the pancakes on the frying pan to heat them up. Or preheat oven to 250°C and place them into a buttered pan (9” x 13”) and cover with foil. Put pan in oven for about 30 minutes. Or you may cool down the cheese filling in the refrigerator before serving and serve it cold on the pancake (you don’t need to add the egg to the filling if you don’t want to). Serve topped with sour cream if desired. Instead of cheese filling, one can use the jelly or honey for a real treat. Pancakes should be thin and crepe-like. Poland

Teaching Unit 56: Making jam Today there will be no theory – we start baking bread and cooking jam right away. Read through the whole recipe carefully before you start!

FRUIT JAM EQUIPMENT: 2 big pots, large spoons and ladles, 1 canner, 10 jars with lids. INGREDIENTS: Fruit, preferable fresh, but if you can’t find fresh frozen without syrup will do; pectin; sugar; lemon juice. PREPARATION: Jam can only be made in rather small batches - about 6 cups at a time - like the directions on the pectin say, do not increase the recipes or the jam won’t “set”. It is easier and faster to get an even heat distribution in smaller batches. It takes about 8 cups of raw, unprepared berries per batch. For triple berry jam, use 4 cups of slightly crushed strawberries, 1 cup of raspberries and 1 cup of blackberries. For strawberry-only jam; you will need 6 cups of crushed strawberries. Wash and hull the fruit. With strawberries you must remove the hulls. With other berries, just pick off any stems

108 Spicing Up Vocational Training


and leaves. Crush the fruit. Most people seem to like large chunks of fruit but crushing them releases the natural pectin so it can thicken. Measure out the sugar. Depending upon which type of jam you’re making (strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, apricot, peach, grape, etc.) you will need to use a different amount of sugar, jam and pectin. The precise measurements are found on the box of pectin. For most fruit; like berries, with the low sugar pectin, you’ll need 4 cups of sugar. With regular pectin, about 7 cups of sugar. Mix the dry pectin with about ¼ cup of sugar and keep this separate from the rest of the sugar. If you are not using sugar, you’ll just have to stir more vigorously to prevent the pectin from clumping. Stir the pectin into the berries and put the mix in a large pot on the stove over a medium to high heat (stir often enough to prevent burning). It should take about 5 to 10 minutes to reach a full boil (the kind that cannot be stirred away). When the berry-pectin mix has reached a full boil, add the rest of the sugar (about 4 cups of sugar per 6 cup batch of berries) and then bring it back to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute. If you bring it back to a full boil fairly slowly (on medium heat rather than high) that will help reduce foaming. Remove from the heat. Skim any excessive foam. Foam... What is it? Just jam with a lot of air from the boiling. But it tastes more like, well, foam, that jam, so most people remove it. It is harmless, though. Testing for “gel” (thickness). Keep a metal tablespoon sitting in a glass of ice water, then take a half spoonful of the mix and let it cool to room temperature on the spoon. If it thickens up to the consistency you like, then you know the jam is ready. If not, mix in a little more pectin (about ¼ to ½ of another package) and bring it to a boil again for 1 minute. Fill the jars and put the lids on top.

WHOLE WHEAT BREAD INGREDIENTS: 3 cups of warm water (110 degrees F/45°C); 2 (0.25 ounce) packets of active dry yeast; 1/2 cup of honey; 5 cups of bread flour; 3 tablespoons of butter, melted; 3 1/2 cup of honey; 1 tablespoon of salt; 3½ cups of whole wheat flour; 2 tablespoons of butter, melted. PREPARATION: In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/2 cup honey. Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Allow to set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly. Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter,1/2 cup of honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups of whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until it loses it’s stickiness - just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled. Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch. Bake at 350 degrees F (175°C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not over bake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely.

109


Teaching Unit 57: Purchase and control of food Todays´ session will contain a discussion about the purchase and control of food. After talking about this we are going to have Slovenian fresh cheese struklji with bread crumbs! --

Choosing a supplier: It is essential to purchase food from reputable suppliers who have demonstrated a commitment to high standards of food hygiene.

--

Controls to minimize hazards from suppliers/supplies: Select the least hazardous materials/ ingredients e.g. pasteurized egg and ready prepared vegetables.

--

Delivery and unloading of raw materials: The main hazards associated with food deliveries are contaminated food and the multiplication of bacteria as a result of prolonged delays after unloading and before refrigeration.

--

Controls: All food should be inspected before placing in storage. Deliveries should be checked for freshness, temperature, colour, odour, contamination, infestations and satisfactory packaging and labelling. Contaminated food from unapproved sources, high risk food above 8°C, frozen food above -15°C, food which is not covered or with damaged packaging or expired food is suspect and may need to be rejected. The supervisor should usually be notified.

--

Food storage: Correct storage is fundamental to the hygienic operation of any food business!

--

What does this mean for us?: When we go for food shopping please try to always keep these information’s in mind or keep a notice in your pocket. Never buy food which is stored in an incorrect way, which passed its date of expiry or which is damaged.

FRESH CHEESE STRUKLJI WITH BREAD CRUMBS INGREDIENTS: 0.5kg puff pastry (0.5kg flour, 2 eggs, 2 desert spoons of oil, warm water, salt); 100g of butter; 3 egg yolks; 500g of fresh cheese; 100ml of sour cream; 3 egg whites; 100ml of oil; 50g of bread crumbs. PREPARATION: First make the dough. You can also use the pre-prepared dough that can be bought in a shop. Make the puff pastry from the flour, eggs, oil and water and put it to rest for a while. Then roll it out until it is very thin. Next spoon the filling onto it, roll up and put it into a wet cloth which is

110 Spicing Up Vocational Training


covered with breadcrumbs, tie up with a cord and cook for half an hour in salted boiling water. After it is cooked we take the štrukelj out of the cloth and cut it into slices. We top it with in oil (or butter) and the roasted bread crumbs. Filling: Mix the butter with egg yolks, add the fresh cheese, sour creams and beaten egg whites and stir until you get a smooth mixture. Slovenia

Teaching Unit 58: History of food and nutrition Let´s have a closer look at the history of food and nutrition. Do you know what kind of problems the first human beings faced in order to make sure they could eat and survive? A look at Evolution from an unusual perspective: Nutrition. Our ancestors used every opportunity to eat as much as they could because of the limited amount of food they had. Today there is more food than we could ever eat, which can lead to obesity. In general everything is eddible aside from poisonous materials. If a species limits itself to one specific kind of food it often leads to its extinction. The discovery of fire brought change too, it saves energy! Saying that, it didn’t mean saving wood, fire or electricity but instead about saving physical energy. Cooked food doesn´t need to be chewed for as long and is easier to digest. Fire made it possible for humans to become the producers of food and to be pickier about what they eat. Fire made it easier to produce food for several people and to conserve it. Additionally it put the women right next to the stove. The next step in food production was agriculture and the herding of cattle. For long time the biologically correct methods prevailed until industrialization happened which brought about massive changes. Until then eating was considered a social event. By that time more and more fast food found its way onto the market and eating was becoming a “by product“– during work, while watching TV, while driving… When we talk about food there are a lot of social and cultural influences to consider. Generally one can say that eating should happen in a more relaxed way, concentrating on the simple pleasures and the social aspects, a Renaissance of the so-called Slow Food.

111


POLISH GINGERBREAD CAKE INGREDIENTS (Makes 2 large loaves of dark Polish Piernik): 1 cup of dark honey; 1 cup of strong coffee; 230g of unsalted butter; 1 teaspoon of cinnamon; 1 teaspoon of ground cloves; 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg; 3 large eggs; 1 cup of brown sugar; 3 teaspoons of baking powder; 4 cups of all-purpose flour (spelt is very good). PREPARATION: In a small saucepan, combine honey, coffee, butter and spices. Bring to the boil and remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature. Heat the oven to 200°C. Coat 2 large or 3 medium loaf pans with butter. In a large bowl, combine eggs, brown sugar and baking powder. Slowly add the warm liquid, beating constantly at low speed. Add the flour and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into the prepared pans and bake of 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick has only a few crumbs clinging to it. Let cakes cool in pan for 15 minutes and then turn out to cool completely. This cake keeps exceptionally well and can be dusted with confectioners’ sugar or glazed with chocolate to serve. Poland

Teaching Unit 59: Food and social classes Did you ever think about coherence between food and social classes? Todays’ lesson will focus on exactly this topic. After figuring out if there is truly any cohesion we are going to learn how the Swabians outwitted god and invented the German Maultaschen, a kind of dumplings which we are going to prepare today. There is no doubt that the cost of food is a primary determinant of food choice. Whether cost is a limiting factor depends fundamentally on a person’s income and socio-economic status. Low-income groups have a greater tendency to consume unbalanced diets and in particular have low intakes of fruit and vegetables. However, access to more money does not automatically equate to a better quality diet but the range of foods from which one can choose should increase. Accessibility to shops is another important physical factor influencing food choice, which is dependent on resources such as transport and geographical location. Healthy food tends to be more expensive

112 Spicing Up Vocational Training


when available within towns and cities compared to supermarkets on the outskirts. However, improving access alone does not increase purchase of additional fruit and vegetables, which are still regarded as prohibitively expensive. Studies indicate that the level of education can influence dietary behaviour during adulthood. In contrast, nutrition knowledge and good dietary habits are not strongly correlated. This is because knowledge about health does not lead to direct action when individuals are unsure how to apply their knowledge. Furthermore information concerning nutrition comes from a variety of sources and is viewed as conflicting or is mistrusted, which discourages motivation to change. Thus, it is important to convey accurate and consistent messages through various media, on food packages and of course via health professionals. What people eat is formed and constrained by circumstances that are essentially social and cultural. Population studies show there are clear differences in social classes with regard to food and nutrient intakes. Poor diets can result in under-nutrition (micronutrients deficiency) and over-nutrition (energy over consumption resulting in overweight and obesity); problems that face different sectors of society, requiring different levels of expertise and methods of intervention.

MAULTASCHEN Here is a specialty from Swabia, South Germany: ravioli. The Swabians just love food. Anyone who bothers or even tries to dictate to them what and when to eat should think twice about it! The church once tried to limit the consumption of meat during Lent, but the Swabians were smarter. They just hid the meat away from the church, and – as they thought – from god. This is how the ravioli emerged. INGREDIENTS (10 people): 1kg of flour; 2 teaspoons of salt; 8 eggs; 10 tablespoons of water; 1 pack of creamed spinach; 500g of minced meat, mixed; 500g of ground pork;2 eggs; 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs; 1 large onion; 200g of ham (Black Forest if possible); Salt; pepper; nutmeg; marjoram; parsley. PREPARATION: Prepare dough by mixing the first 4 ingredients. Cut the onion and ham into small pieces, drain the spinach and mix everything well, add spices and salt to taste. Divide the dough into 3-4 pieces and roll out thin - preferably rectangular. Put the meat filling in dumplings of 2 teaspoons on half of the dough, keep a distance of 2 cm between the dumplings. Fold the other half of the dough over and press well down between the piles. “Cut” with a pastry wheel between all of the pressed dough dumplings, again press the edges well.

113


Put the raviolis in boiling salted water and let them simmer about 10 minutes until done. Then rinse well but quickly with cold water (otherwise they might stick together). The raviolis can be served in a soup stock with chopped chives or you can fry them in a pan with onions and egg. Germany

Teaching Unit 60: Price calculation and portion control Working in the field of cooking you will most certainly use a spending budget and know the number of dishes to prepare. To organize it well you need many things, two examples are price calculation and portion control. One reason that chain restaurants are so successful is that they have a firm handle on portion control. The cooks in those restaurants know exactly how much of each ingredient to put in every dish. For example, shrimp may have a portion control of six shrimp per dish. Therefore, each of these dishes that go out of the kitchen will have six shrimps in it, no more, no less. This is portion control. In order to practice portion control in your own kitchen, everything should be measured out. Chicken, beef and fish should all be weighed, while shredded cheese can be stored in portion control cups and a measuring cup can dish out mashed potatoes. Once you feel comfortable cooking your menu, you can eyeball the serving amounts (sort of like Rachael Ray) but in the early stages of your restaurant, err on the side of caution and measure everything out. Another way to practice portion control is to purchase pre-portioned items, such as steaks, burger patties, chicken breasts, and pizza dough. They may be more expensive, but can save you money in labour and food waste. Price calculations always depend on the function of the seller. Is it a restaurant, a canteen, a food place that doesn’t want to make any profit? Food cost refers to the menu price of a certain dish in comparison to the cost of the food used to prepare that same dish. In other words, how much you pay for food will determine how much you need to charge for it. Generally, food cost should be around 30-35%. This means that if you pay 1 Euro for something, you need to charge minimum of 3.34 Euro. It may seem like you are charging a lot more than necessary, but keep in mind that you aren’t just paying for the food itself. You are paying someone to prepare the food, serve the food, and clean up after the food. Everything in your restaurant, from payroll to the electric bill needs to be covered by the food you serve.

114 Spicing Up Vocational Training


GARLIC SOUP INGREDIENTS (12 people): 24 large cloves garlic, peeled; 1 cup of extra-virgin olive oil; 3 tablespoons of sweet paprika; 1.5 teaspoons of cayenne pepper; 18 cups of clear white chicken stock, or use canned; 1 cup of sherry; 1 teaspoon of ground cumin; a pinch of saffron threads; salt; 12 pieces of crusty bread, ½ inch-thick slices; 12 large eggs (optional); freshly grated Parmigiano cheese. PREPARATION: In a heavy soup pot or a 2 quart saucepan, gently sautÊ the garlic in the oil until the cloves are golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the garlic and set aside. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the paprika and cayenne. Add the stock and sherry and stir to mix thoroughly. Return to the heat and stir in the cumin and saffron. Crush each of the garlic cloves with a fork and stir into the soup. Taste for seasoning and add salt if desired. Let the soup simmer gently, covered, for 15 minutes. While the soup cooks, toast the bread slices on both sides under a preheated grill. Set aside. If you wish to add the eggs, poach them, one at a time, in the simmering broth, just stirring the broth to make a whirlpool into which you drop the egg. Poach for 1-2 minutes, just until the white firms up and encloses the egg, or longer if you prefer. Heat the grill again and fill each bowl with hot soup. Float a slice of toasted bread on top of each serving, sliding an egg (put the egg first, then the toast) under each slice of toasted bread if you are using eggs (the toast will protect the egg from further exposure to heat). Sprinkle the bread liberally with grated cheese and slide the bowls into the oven just long enough to melt the cheese on top. Spain

Teaching Unit 61: Cooking Slovenian specialities TARRAGON POTICA INGREDIENTS: For the dough: 0.5kg flour; 0.25l milk; 30-40 g yeast; 1 teaspoon of salt; 1 spoon of rum (optional); 60g sugar; 3 egg yolks; 100g butter or 50ml oil. For the filling: 150g butter; 3 egg yolks; 150g sugar; 250ml sour cream; 3 egg whites; 1 big bunch of tarragon (200 g).

115


PREPARATION: For the dough: We put the flour to a warm place to warm it up. We prepare the yeast extra (crush it in a cup, add 2-3 teaspoons of flour, 1 teaspoon of sugar and some warm milk, until a thick mushy mixture forms, and give it to a warm place to rise). Meanwhile mix in a separate bowl what is left from the milk, egg yolks, sugar and salt. Then add liquid butter (or oil) and optionally rum. Pour this mixture into the bowl with flour and add the yeast which should approximately double its volume. All these ingredients are mixed into dough. You have to stir until it starts to separate from the bowl. We cover the dough with a cloth and put it to a warm place to rise. After it is approximately at least 1.5 times the size it was initially we roll it out to a thickness of about 0.5 cm. Then we cover it with the tarragon filling and roll it and put this roll to a greased baking tray, where it should rise once again before being baked. When it reaches approximately double its size, we put it into the oven at 175°C and bake for about one hour. For the filling: Mix the butter, egg yolks and sugar. Add the sour cream and the beaten egg whites and stir gently. We cover the dough with this mixture and put some chopped tarragon on the top of it. Slovenia

Teaching Unit 62: Chinese cooking SUVOT is a European initiative but that doesn´t mean that our cooking must always be European… today we will go far beyond the European borders and test the Chinese way of cooking: In a wok! Let´s check out how it works. Chinese cooking uses a “wok”, a pan where you can roast, steam, fry, stew and cook normally. Stir-frying is a special cooking method with a wok. The chopped ingredients are roasted with a lot of heat as fast as possible while constantly stirring. In the wok it is much easier to mix everything than in a normal frying pan. All you need is a little oil to get a perfect result. The meat stays juicy and the vegetables keep their vitamins and aroma. The preparation time is very short so you should have all ingredients at the ready. The ingredients with the longest cooking time, like carrots, are added first. More tender ingredients are added later, i.e. mushrooms. --

Steaming is a very healthy method of cooking especially useful for fresh ingredients like fish or vegetables. You put a little bit of water (¾l) into the wok and heat it. The ingredients are placed in the wok and a lid is used to seal it and cook the ingredients in the steam.

116 Spicing Up Vocational Training


--

Frying: Put a little bit of oil in the wok and heat it. Try to distribute the oil evenly by panning the wok. Afterwards fry the ingredients one by one.

--

Stewing means roasting and cooking with the constant addition of liquid. This method is used when you can´t mix – roast the ingredients. It can take from a few minutes up to several hours. A lid is important.

STIR FRIED WOK VEGETABLES INGREDIENTS (12 servings): 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil; 1 tablespoon and 1½ teaspoons of minced; fresh ginger (optional); 4½serrano chilli peppers, seeded and chopped (optional); ¾ cup of baby corn, cut in half; 1½ red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips; 3 pounds bok choy - stalks halved and cut into ¼ inch sticks, leaves halved, separated; 4½ cups of fresh bean sprouts; ¼ cup and 2 tablespoons of Asian fish sauce (nuoc mam or nam pla); ¼ cup and 1 teaspoon of Chinese oyster sauce; 6 green onions, thinly sliced; 3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (optional); 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (optional). PREPARATION: Heat vegetable oil in a wok over a high heat. When the oil is hot, stir in the ginger and minced chillies; cook and stir until the ginger is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add baby corn, red pepper, and bok choy stalks; stir fry until the red pepper has begun to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in bok choy leaves and bean sprouts; cook until the leaves have darkened and wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in fish sauce and oyster sauce; sprinkle with bean sprouts, and stir together. Serve sprinkled with chopped coriander and toasted sesame seeds.

Teaching Unit 63: Visiting a small market Today we are going to visit any small market in your city where only fresh products are sold. We already went to a supermarket, so try to find some differences about the quality of the products sold, prices, variety, etc. Ask the shopkeepers questions to find out more about the different kinds of vegetables, meat, fishes, etc. Try to learn about new products and pay special attention to the seasonal products that you are going to find.

117


Teaching Unit 64: Fair trade and organic food An interesting topic is that of the issues of Fair Trade and Organic food. There will always be discussions about what to buy and what is morally right. Today we want to get an impression about what this all means, etc. Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries make better trading conditions and promote sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as higher social and environmental standards. It focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries, most notably handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, wine, fresh fruit, chocolate, flowers and gold. These are the official logos of Fair trade products:

International Fair Trade

Fair Trade Certified Mark (USA)

WFTO Fair Trade Organisation Mark

Certification Mark

Organic Food: Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides, fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge, bioengineering or ionizing radiation. 100% Organic: Foods that are labelled as 100% Organic must contain all organically grown ingredients except for added water and salt.

118 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Organic: Foods that are labelled as Organic need to contain at least 95% organic ingredients, except for added water and salt, plus they must not contain sulphites added as a preservative. Sulphites have been known to provoke allergies and asthma in some people. Up to 5% of the ingredients may be non-organically produced.

Teaching Unit 65: Creativity contest To make this cookery course more interactive, we suggest that you organize a creativity contest. It is an excellent way to train your imagination and promote team work, as all the participants have to reach an agreement and develop the recipe jointly. This is the time to express your cooking creativity! We offer you some possibilities to let your imagination take over: ------

You have to use the ingredients that the trainer is going to offer you. You all have to decide how to cook them. You have to decide a menu using seasonal ingredients. You have to create a menu spending a fixed quantity of money given to you by your trainer. You can make a list of your favourite dishes and decide jointly which one you are going to prepare. You can prepare a complete menu and invite your family and friends to try it. To organize it, you should write down what you are going to do, who will be the responsible of each dish and which steps you have to take! 1. Cold starter_____________________________________________________________ 2. Soup__________________________________________________________________ 3. Main dish with two side dishes_____________________________________________ 4. Dessert________________________________________________________________

119


Teaching Unit 66: Laying a table Laying a table refers to the way to set a table with tableware. The arrangement for a single diner is called place setting. The arrangement varies across various cultures. The rules for laying a table are not rigid. The most common way to fold a napkin: 1. Lay the napkin face-down in front of you. 2. Fold the napkin in half and orient the open end towards you. 3. Fold the far-right corner diagonally to the centre of the side that is closest to you. The edge of this flap should run down the centre of the napkin. 4. Repeat the last step with the other side, folding the far-left corner diagonally to rest right alongside the previous fold. 5. Fold the napkin in half by bringing the centre seam up from the work surface and allowing the ends to fall backwards. Smooth down the folds so it stands nicely and voila! A fast and easy standing-fold for your dinner party! Now you can sail across the seas on your dinner plates.

14 12 5

15

13

1 2 3 4 1- Napkin 2- Salad fork 3- Dinner fork 4- Dessert fork 5- Bread and Butter plate with spreader

6 6- Dinner plate 7- Dinner knife 8- Teaspoon 9- Teaspoon 10- Soup spoon

7 8 9 10 11 11- Cocktail fork 12- Water glass 13- Red wine glass 14- White wine glass 15- Coffee cup and saucer

120 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Teaching Unit 67: Express yourself You look back over the past training sessions and share your impressions so far. Have you learnt new things? Are you comfortable within the group? What would you change? What do you like most? Is there anything that you would like to share with the rest of your friends? Now discuss with the trainer and the rest of participants which topics would you like to work on. What activities would you like to do in the coming sessions? Each trainee speaks only for himself and about how he feels – keeping in mind: -- Everyone has the right to his own opinion! -- Everyone’s thoughts should be considered! -- There is no time pressure for this activity! You can complete the missing parts of the sentences: -

I was nervous about_____________________________________________________

-

I could handle__________________________________________________very well

-

I had problems with____________________________________________________

-

I would have like if______________________________________________________

_________________________________________________could have happened to me too Be very sensitive while talking about the given answers of the trainees and try to stay neutral. You should play one game to reflect their subjective feelings and moods about some questions and one game to reflect rational statements about the session contents.

121


Teaching Unit 68: Talking about good manners Do you know how to behave correctly when meeting people from high society? In everyday life it might be sufficient to know how to be polite, but did you know that there is a whole book about rules how to behave the right way? To have a small insight into this crazy world we will deal with some of these rules today… Freiherr Adolph Franz Friedrich Ludwig Knigge (16th October 1752-6th May 1796) was a German writer and Freemason. Knigge was born in Bredenbeck in the Electorate of Hanover as a member of the lesser nobility. In Germany, Knigge is best remembered for his book Über den Umgang mit Menschen (On Human Relations), a treatise on the fundamental principles of human relations that has the reputation of being the authoritative guide to behaviour, politeness, and etiquette. Nevertheless, the German term “Knigge” has come to mean “good manners” or books on etiquette. Here you have some guidelines about how to behave during a meal: --

Handling of cutlery: Don´t grip the cutlery like a heavy tool but lightly at the end. No noise is to be made. If you don´t need the cutlery during the meal put it on the plate, knife and fork crossing each other. The back of the fork should point towards the ceiling signalling that the meal isn´t yet finished. When finished, place the cutlery parallel with the back of the fork pointing down. Once in use, the cutlery is not to touch the table cloth. You are only to use the cutlery for portioning food under no circumstances you should try to emphasize a point during a conversation using it.

--

Using a napkin: The only use of the napkin is to wipe the lips before drinking from a glass so that you leave no traces of lipstick and/or fat on it. It is placed on your lap when sitting down. Never put the napkin in the collar of your shirt. When the meal is finished the napkin (even if it is made of paper) it is to be placed closely at the side of the plate. It should have a rather clean side pointing up.

--

The use of glasses: Wine glasses are to be gripped at the handle in order keep the content cool and to have a nice sound when clinking glasses. It should never happen that you empty your glass right after sitting down. You always empty the mouth before taking another sip.

--

How to handle bread: Under no circumstances you should slice bread but rather rip off little pieces. Only rip off one at a time. You only use the knife to put something on the bread as for example butter or cheese. Bread maybe nothing special but it is part of the meal so you should never play with it in any way.

--

When to start the meal: You may begin to eat as soon as every guest is served. It is logical that

122 Spicing Up Vocational Training


in a large group of people the guests who were served first may encounter their delicious food cold. This is the reason why plates and bowls should be preheated as thoroughly as possible. --

How to end the meal: The meal is finished when the host puts his/her napkin to the left of the plate and gets up. All other guests also get up. The men first in order to help the ladies. Even guest who are in the middle of the most interesting conversation don´t remain seated. Furthermore the end of the meal is the perfect moment to talk to other guests who were placed at the other side of the table.

--

How to eat salad: Salad never should never be cut or even get touched by a knife. You only use a fork. In difficult cases you may help yourself with a piece of bread.

--

How to eat spaghetti: Spaghetti never should be cut with a knife. You only use the fork to wrap up a few noodles. If you are really having problems you may use a spoon to help. Proficient people don´t even look at the spoon.

--

Polishing off: You wait until the end. You only start to polish off when the last guest has finished his meal even when this means that some plates remain on the table empty. It would be very rude to disturb the rather slow eating guest by making noise when polishing off or to put him under pressure by doing so. But even if you are a slow eater you shouldn´t take too long to finish.

--

How to eat a soup: A soup plate shall never ever be tilted to get every bit of its content. You may drink from a soup bowl when the remaining soup is clear and there are no hard components left. Thicker soups are not to be drunk. If the soup is too hot you need to be patient. Blowing in order to cool it down is not allowed.

A PERFECT MEAL TOGETHER Now… let´s play a little! We pretend to have a big meal together. First we eat salad, then soup and as main dish we have spaghetti. Every trainee gets a piece of paper with a special rule on it. Then we sit down on the laid table and start “eating”. Each trainee shall bring in his/her manner during this dinner. It is possible to be a negative example, too.

123


Teaching Unit 69: Visiting a restaurant Today we are going to visit a restaurant, including its professional kitchen. The staff will explain you about working in a restaurant; feel free to ask them about the high and low points of working in a restaurant. Also you can take this opportunity to have a lunch together and observe how the waiters serve the dishes and how they speak with the customers.

Teaching Unit 70: Fish and seafood One of the most exquisite parts in cooking is the preparation of fish. There are many ways to deal with fish and many things to pay attention to. Fish and seafood are popular and healthy components of our diet. Accordingly, the consumption and the economic importance of fishing is very big. Many years of overfishing has led to the damaging of fish stocks which is a big problem. Not only concerning fish but also for turtles, sharks, birds, dolphins and wales. They get caught as a by-product making up to nearly 40% of the catch and die in the process. On one side the protection of fish is a responsibility of politicians through defining the catch-quota. These are about 40% higher than advised by scientific experts. On the other hand the consumers themselves can take measures because there´s always the main rule: Where there’s no demand, there’s no production. Here you have a list of fish we shouldn´t eat anymore. The list is not complete but it gives an overview over the large variety of fish and seafood. For example: Eel, angler-fish, Atlantic halibut, Atlantic salmon, orange roughy, barramundi, Bluefin tuna, bonito, cusk, spiny dogfish, prawns from Iceland, European rivereel, marlin, trout from Chile, yellow fin tuna, golden mackerel, perch, grenadine fish, big eyed tuna, sharks, lobster, scallops, royal perch, codfish, lenguado, lotte, lumb, mahi mahi, white tuna, etc. Because of their protein content fish and seafood are hard to store. They need to be prepared soon after purchasing. If necessary they can be stored in the fridge for 1-2 days but the following points

124 Spicing Up Vocational Training


need to be taken as guidelines: •

Take the fish out of its plastic container and put it into a glass bowl wrapping it with foil again.

Store it in the coolest regions of the fridge. Some fridges have a so called Bio-Fresh System which is perfect for storing fish and seafood.

If you bought pre-packed fish or scallops you can store them until the given date of expiry.

PAELLA INGREDIENTS (Serves 12 people): 3 small onions, finely chopped; 3 green peppers, finely chopped; 1.5 red peppers, boiled until soft and then cut into long thin strips; 6 medium-sized tomatoes, skinned and finely chopped; 6 carrots, finely chopped; 300g of peas, cooked; 600g of prawns (if using cooked prawns substitute fish stock for the water); 600g of small clams (wash in water and then put in a bowl with some salt so that the grit comes out. Throw away any that are open); 600g of squid (Rub off the outer dark skin. Pull out the insides (including the transparent back bone) and pinch the eye away from the tentacles. Save the tentacles. Cut the squid into rings); 36 mussels (Wash the mussels, removing the beards. Throw away any that don’t shut on contact with water); 1kg rice (traditionally short grain rice is used but I prefer to use long grain); 6 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped; a pinch of saffron strands (if you can’t get saffron, use yellow food colouring instead and add it once you have added the liquid); a sprig of parsley, finely chopped; olive oil; about 2l of water. PREPARATION: Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion, carrot and the green pepper and fry gently for about five minutes. Add the tomatoes and squid (with the tentacles) and fry on a low heat for another ten minutes. Add the rice and stir well to make sure that it is thoroughly coated. Add about 800ml of water (or the water from boiling the prawns or fish stock if using frozen fish), clams and the garlic/saffron/parsley mixture and bring to the boil. Season with salt. Put the lid on, turn the heat right down and cook very slowly for about ten minutes. Add the prawns and peas and give it a stir. Arrange the mussels and strips of red pepper artistically on top, put the lid back on and leave for another ten minutes checking that it has enough water. If you think it is getting too dry, add more water, but shake the handle of the pan rather than stir so as not to upset the pattern. Once the rice is cooked and the mussels have opened, it is ready to eat. Spain

125


Teaching Unit 71: Serving food and drinks Serving as a gastronomical term means the serving of food and drinks as well as the serving of guests. Here you have some basic rules that you should follow so as to serve properly: -----

When serving courses always serve from the left side of the guest – the exception are soups. Wine and other drinks are served from the right side. Ladies are served first. Empty and used plates are removed from the right side in “absolute silence“.

Different methods of serving American Service The plates are completely arranged in the kitchen and the guest gets served from the right side. In “upper” gastronomy the plates are covered with a piece of fine cloth to preserve the heat and for hygienically reasons -- Advantages: less work, less time consuming. -- Disadvantages: rather impersonal service, portion sizes are predefined. French Service In the French service only forks and spoons are put on the table. The meat is cut in the dining room and put on prearranged plates. The serving is done counter clockwise and from the left side of the guest. -- Advantages: Intensive type of service, portion sizes not predefined. -- Disadvantages: very time consuming, needs more waiters. English Service The ingredients are put on a plate in the kitchen and are arranged tableside. The guests are served from the right. ---

Advantages: The guests do not feel confined because of the tableside arrangement. Disadvantages: Time consuming, needs skilled waiters.

126 Spicing Up Vocational Training


German Service The food is arranged and served on plates and in bowls. The guest is provided with fresh plates, always from the right side. He serves himself. ---

Advantages: little need of waiters, not very time consuming. Disadvantages: needs a lot of dishes.

WAITER! Now we are going to perform the best service in town! We are going to practice starting to serve ourselves by dividing into two groups. Both groups are going to serve the other ones menu. Each group thinks about their dish, decoration, serving style, etc. The group that is being served will note strong and weak points and give a feedback afterwards; you can answer the following questions, but always keep in mind that a feedback talk should be constructive and encouraging! --------

127

How was the food? Did the group seem to have good teamwork? Did the group treat you well as a guest? How was the service? Were they on time? Did you have to wait long for your glass to be filled up again? How was the table setting and decoration?


Teaching Unit 72: Different kinds of soup POTATO SOUP Prepare it this time in three ways, i.e. with carrots and leek. INGREDIENTS (Serves 12 people): 15 large potatoes; 3 carrots; 3 leeks; 3 onions; 3 litres of vegetable stock; parsley; pepper: 12 sausages, Debreziner; white bread (cubed), toasted; chives; marjoram; bay leaves, nutmeg. PREPARATION: Peel potatoes and carrots and cut them into large cubes. Peel and dice the onions. Cut the leeks into rings. The fastest way is in a pressure cooker: Sauté the onions in olive oil and add the leeks. Pour in the vegetable stock. Add the diced potatoes, carrots and the bay leaves to the stock. Close the lid, bring it up to pressure and cook for about 15 minutes. Next open the pan, fish out the bay leaf and add in the herbs. Combine everything by mashing and season with pepper and nutmeg. Tip: Add as much marjoram as you like. It’s the signature taste of this potato soup. Arrange the sliced sausages on a plate and pour the soup over. Serve the meal with croutons. Germany

CREAM OF COURGETTE SOUP Prepare it this time in three ways. INGREDIENTS (Serves 12 people): 3kg of courgettes; 750ml of skimmed milk; 3 tablespoons of olive oil; 9 cheese wedges; salt; pepper; nutmeg. PREPARATION: First peel the courgettes, slice them and fry them lightly in hot oil for about 15 minutes. Add the skimmed milk and water until you cover the courgettes. Cook slowly until the courgettes get tender. Then, add some cheese, salt and pepper. Put all the ingredients through a blender to make a smooth pureé. You can serve with a sprinkling nutmeg or cheese on top. Spain

128 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Teaching Unit 73: Express yourself You look back over the past training sessions and share your impressions so far. Have you learnt new things? Are you comfortable within the group? What would you change? What do you like most? Is there anything that you would like to share with the rest of your friends? Now discuss with the trainer and the rest of participants which topics would you like to work on. What activities would you like to do in the coming sessions? Each trainee speaks only for himself and about how he feels – keeping in mind: -- Everyone has the right to his own opinion! -- Everyone’s thoughts should be considered! -- There is no time pressure for this activity! You can complete the missing parts of the sentences: -

I was nervous about_____________________________________________________

-

I could handle__________________________________________________very well

-

I had problems with____________________________________________________

-

I would have like if______________________________________________________

_________________________________________________could have happened to me too Be very sensitive while talking about the given answers of the trainees and try to stay neutral. You should play one game to reflect their subjective feelings and moods about some questions and one game to reflect rational statements about the session contents.

129


Teaching Unit 74: How to be the perfect waiter During this session we are going to give you some advice about being the perfect waiter: --

You should learn the menu of the restaurant as soon as possible; try to remember how each dish is made.

--

Ask your customer if they would like to start off with an appetizer and mention one or two.

--

Do one thing at a time. Don’t count on finishing writing the order down as you walk to the order counter.

--

Respect the customer’s personal space. Never sit down at the table to take an order, don’t shake hands (unless you have to), and don’t give hugs. The extent of your friendliness will be dependent on the type of place where you work, some things that might not be appropriate in a diner or a restaurant might be fine in a theme bar or pub.

--

Always be clear about your order.

--

Be tactful about questioning customers.

--

Remove the plates, glasses, and other used items from the table as they are finished.

--

In fine dining, you should not remove the plates until everyone at the table is finished eating as it causes the unfinished customers to feel rushed.

--

Don’t just assume when the diner is finished the customers want the cheque.

--

Be polite in the face of irritable, difficult and unfriendly customers.

--

Check back often with your tables.

ROLE PLAY The trainees divide into two groups. Each group plays the customers once and the waiters once. Each trainee gets a note with an instruction about what to say during the role play, they can be quite angry with the waiters.

130 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Group 1: ------

A hair in the soup. The steak is cold. The wine is corked. The water is still missing. The other waiter is really unfriendly.

Group 2: ------

You didn’t give me a large enough serving. I want to talk to the owner. Oh no! You spilled the wine on my blouse. My food tastes disgusting‌ I have been waiting for you to take my order for 20 minutes!

Teaching Unit 75: Creativity contest To make this cooking course more interactive, we suggest that you organize a creativity contest. It is an excellent way to train your imagination and promote team work, as all the participants have to reach an agreement and develop the recipe jointly. This is the time to express your cooking creativity! We offer you some possibilities to let your imagination take over: ------

131

You have to use the ingredients that the trainer is going to offer you. You all have to decide how to cook them. You have to decide a menu using seasonal ingredients. You have to create a menu spending a fixed quantity of money given to you by your trainer. You can make a list of your favourite dishes and decide jointly which one you are going to prepare. You can prepare a complete menu and invite your family and friends to try it. To organize it,


you should write down what you are going to do, who will be the responsible of each dish and which steps you have to take! 1. Cold starter_____________________________________________________________ 2. Soup__________________________________________________________________ 3. Main dish with two side dishes_____________________________________________ 4. Dessert________________________________________________________________

Teaching Unit 76: Learning about an employment contract Luckily, SUVOT will make it easier for you to get a job in the cooking sector. Do you know what an employment contract should contain? Read the following sections, as they should always be included in an employment contract: -- The name of the contractors. -- The name of the employee. -- The duration of the contract. -- Time of probation. -- Employers’ responsibilities. -- Employees’ responsibilities. -- Wage that the employee is going to receive. -- Hours of work. -- Vacation time. -- Terms of dismissal Always read the contract and if you have any doubt about it, do not hesitate to ask the employer or even an expert to avoid any misunderstanding.

132 Spicing Up Vocational Training


SPANISH STEW INGREDIENTS (Serves 12 people): 1kg of chickpeas, pre-soaked for at least 10 hours; 6 litres of water; 600g of veal or beef; 300g of ham; 450g of bacon or salted pork in one thick slice; 300g of potatoes cut in half(medium); 300g of pork sausage (one sausage); 45g of cabbage, chopped coarsely (small); 0.75g of stewing chicken (optional); 3 marrow bones; 9 carrots; 3 leeks (if not available, substitute a small onion); 1.5 cups of fine noodles; 9 tablespoons of olive oil; 3 garlic cloves; salt to taste. PREPARATION: Bring 2 litres of water to the boil in a large pot. When boiling, add the pre-soaked chickpeas, drained and tied in cheesecloth. Add the veal, ham, bacon, chicken, marrow bone, carrots, leek, and mint. Bring the soup to the boil again, skim it well to remove excess fat and cook on low heat for 2 hours. Add potatoes and salt to taste. Cook for approximately 1 hour longer. In the meantime, prick the pork sausage with a needle so that it will not burst, and put it in a separate pot with the cabbage and water to cover. Bring to the boil and simmer gently. Half an hour before serving, stir the pot containing the meat, ham, chicken, etc., and strain out 6 cups of broth. Heat the broth to boiling, put in the rice or noodles and cook until tender. When the cabbage and pork sausage are cooked, drain well and fry in 3 tablespoons of olive oil in which a garlic clove has been previously browned and removed. Serve the broth containing rice or noodles as a first course. For the second course, put the chick-peas, well drained, in the centre of an oval serving dish with the potatoes at either end and the slices of carrot along the sides. Slice the meat, ham, bacon, and chicken and put it on top of the chick-peas. Serve the cabbage in a vegetable dish with the pork sausage chopped finely on top. Spain

Teaching Unit 77: Visiting a hotel Today we are going to visit a hotel to learn more about the real work of chefs and waiters. You will see that there are some differences in comparison to the usual work in a restaurant: there are staff 24 hours per day, you can serve the same customer several times during the same day, there are people from other countries, etc. We are sure you are going to enjoy the experience and‌ who knows? Maybe in the future you could work in a similar hotel.

133


Teaching Unit 78: Germany speciality Today we are going to prepare a typical German dish that we are sure you are going to enjoy.

SALTED PORK LEGS WITH DUMPLING AND RED CABBAGE INGREDIENTS (Serves 12 people): 4½kg of salted pork legs; 1½ litres of stock; 750ml of dark beer; 6 onions, cut into slices; 9 garlic cloves; 3 teaspoons of tomato paste; 3 sprigs of fresh thyme; 3 sprigs of dried mugwort; 9 sage leaves; 3 teaspoons of salt; 1½ tablespoons of pepper; 3 teaspoons of oregano, shredded; 3 teaspoons of mugwort, shredded; 3 teaspoons of rosemary, shredded; 1½ tablespoons of cumin, crushed; fat for frying; possibly hot water; a little gravy. For the bread dumpling: 3 (1 pound) loaves stale French bread, cut into 1 inch cubes; 3 cups of milk; ¼ cup and 2 tablespoons of butter; 3 onions, finely chopped; 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley; 6 eggs; 1½ teaspoons of salt; 3 pinches of ground black pepper; 1½ cups of dried bread crumbs (optional). For the red cabbage (if you don’t want to make it, buy it ready-made in a jar): 1½ cups of water; 2 small heads of red cabbage, finely shredded; 6 apples, peeled, cored and chopped; ½ cup of brown sugar; 2 teaspoons of butter; 2 cups of distilled white wine vinegar; 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon; ½ teaspoon of ground allspice; ½ teaspoon of ground cloves; ¼ cup of butter, divided. PREPARATION: Wash, dry and score the salted pork legs in a criss-cross pattern. Rub the pork with a spice mixture of salt, pepper, shredded marjoram, mugwort, rosemary and cumin. Seal the pork in a baking dish and let it become completely brown on all sides. Add the sliced onions and the tomato paste and fry for a short time. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Add in the thyme, sprig of mugwort, the sage leaves and garlic cloves into the sauce, add the dark beer and roast the leg in a preheated oven at 170°C for about 2.5 hours. During cooking baste the pork with gravy several times. Add a little hot water to the sauce, to keep it liquid. Towards the end of the roasting time raise the oven temperature to 220°C and roast it for about 15-20 minutes (to make the skin crispy). Prepare the cabbage: Place water in a large saucepan, and stir in cabbage, apples, brown sugar, vinegar, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and butter. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat, and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender. Stir in remaining butter before serving. In the meantime prepare the dumplings: Place the bread cubes into a large bowl. Heat the milk until it starts to bubble at the edges, then pour it over the bread cubes. Stir briefly to coat the bread. Let it soak for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions; cook and stir until tender. Stir in the parsley, and remove everything from the heat. Mix everything with the bread and the eggs, salt and pepper. Use your hands, squeezing the dough through your fingers until it is smooth and sticky. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. When the water is boiling, make a test dumpling about the size of a

134 Spicing Up Vocational Training


small orange or tangerine, by patting and cupping between wet hands. Gently drop into the boiling water. If it falls apart, the dough is too wet. In this case, stir some bread crumbs into the rest of the dumpling batter. Form the remaining dough into large dumplings, and carefully drop into the boiling water. Simmer for 20 minutes and then remove to a serving plate with a large slotted spoon. They should come out soft, spongy and delicious! Take the pork out and pour the sauce over it through a sieve, season to taste with salt and possibly pepper. Thicken the sauce with gravy very carefully, it should still be quite thin. Germany

Teaching Unit 79: Creativity contest To make this cooking course more interactive, we suggest that you organize a creativity contest. It is an excellent way to train your imagination and promote team work, as all the participants have to reach an agreement and develop the recipe jointly. This is the time to express your culinary creativity! We offer you some possibilities to let your imagination take over: --

You have to use the ingredients that the trainer is going to offer you. You all have to decide how to cook them.

--

You have to decide a menu using seasonal ingredients.

--

You have to create a menu spending a fixed quantity of money given to you by your trainer.

--

You can make a list of your favourite dishes and decide jointly which one you are going to prepare.

--

You can prepare a complete menu and invite your family and friends to try it. To organize it, you should write down what you are going to do, who will be the responsible of each dish and which steps you have to take! 1. Cold starter_____________________________________________________________ 2. Soup__________________________________________________________________ 3. Main dish with two side dishes_____________________________________________ 4. Dessert________________________________________________________________

135


As we are about to finish the training course, this will be a good opportunity to invite your families and friends to try a complete menu. Organize the tables as if you were in a restaurant and serve them as if you were professional waiters. After the meal, ask them about their impressions: Did they like the food? What about the service? Did they feel comfortable? What was the high point? What was the low point?

Teaching Unit 80: Good bye! Reflect about the training and say good bye to the rest of trainees. Discuss with them the best and worst feelings you had during the training, things you would change, things you loved, etc. You can organize a big meal for your relatives and friends so they can see all that you have learnt during the SUVOT course. You have to create the menu, organize the restaurant, lay the tables in a beautiful way, serve the guests as professional waiters and work as a group. After the meal, you can spend some time asking the guests if they enjoyed the meal, if something was wrong with the serving, etc. Good luck and enjoy the experience! And now that we have finished‌ Let other people know all the amazing things you have learnt during the SUVOT course and try to spend some time in the kitchen every day! Try to create a good atmosphere in the group, so all of the participants express themselves about the knowledge, experiences and personal relationships gained during the last twelve months. It should be a party, propose future activities to keep the group doing things together, related or unrelated with the cooking world. SUVOT aims to be the beginning of a journey, so try to explain this idea to your trainees. If you, as professional of the educative environment for people with special needs, have any suggestions or comments do not hesitate to contact us on the SUVOT website http://suvot.intras.es or on our SUVOT facebook page, we would be delighted to hear about your experience implementing this training course in your organization.

136 Spicing Up Vocational Training


137


CHAPTER 6

SOFT SKILLS MENU

138 Spicing Up Vocational Training


CHAPTER 6: SOFT SKILLS MENU ROLE-PLAYING RECIPES In this section we present detailed descriptions of role-playing techniques and methods to accompany cooking teaching contents when training people with mental illness. Descriptions are accompanied by comments and guidance on the practical application of the various classes and their various functions and meanings, especially in the context of professional challenges. The specificity of the role-playing method is to refer to the magic stage area, in which we play different roles. Every exit from the stage is accompanied by emotions and experiences and is always special for members of the group. An important element of the group process and the role-playing experience is the reflection which accompanies all the participants’ activities, especially the roles they play. It provides a sense of security in the group and allows for a closer look at the problems and themes revealed in action. There are many ways to help participants to share thoughts, feelings and experiences. Presented below are some selected techniques that can be further developed by a trainer.

INTRODUCTION TO THE WORK The first part of a role-playing session is usually the so-called “pulse”. Most frequently it is a circle, in which all the participants, sitting, talk about their current well-being and important events that have taken place in their lives since the last meeting. They also recall the experiences of the previous session. This static method of representing emotional states and the exchange of ideas should be enriched with different dynamic elements. Often, a traditional pulse can last a very long time, “drag on forever”; the participants can get tired and bored, and fall into lethargy and apathy. However, the introduction of physical activities or the use of objects can help with concentration. Moreover, reference to the metaphorical language, to symbolism, often helps participants discover core issues, the real problem, and reach hidden emotions. The leader may also direct the course of the pulse, suggesting specific topics on which to focus. Pulse helps group members to focus on themselves and on their current needs. Simultaneously, it also serves as a warm-up to prepare for further work. In the context of topics related to professional activity, the leader can focus the participants’ attention on the problems that are associated with new professional challenges. Pulse, regularly repeated as a way of opening each session, becomes a kind of ritual, positively stimulating the group. Keeping a balance between structuring the group process,

139


and caring for the change of rhythm should be always considered. The ritual can become repetitive and routine, but when participants are surprised with new ideas, they develop spontaneity. Then interesting and important things can happen in the group process.

PULSE WITH SCARVES Coloured scarves are very often used in role-playing as they easily lend themselves to animation, and through their various parameters: size, colour and texture, indicate different contents (a completely different feeling is evoked by a light delicate fabric in pastel colours, than by a piece of thick, black material). Other objects can also be used instead of scarves, such as pebbles of various shapes and sizes, plush toys, or everyday objects. Pulse with scarves may proceed in different ways: --

Participants sit in a circle, with the scarves in the middle. Each person chooses a few scarves, returns to their place, and talks about their feelings, assigning to each of them chosen fabric. They also explain the choice of colour or shape of their material. The leader may specify that each chooses, for example, only three scarves and talks about the three most important feelings that accompany him at the time.

--

Participants sit in a semicircle, surrounding the improvised stage with scarves. Each in turn comes onto the stage and talks about their well-being, using the scarves to make a “map”. In a more elaborate version, for each element in the “map” created with scarves, participants can add a gesture, amplifying the expression (for example, a person standing next to the scarf depicting sadness covers her face with her hand).

--

A few scarves are spread around the room, the trainer defines their meaning, for example: “a positive attitude to work”, “discouragement,” “good energy”. To make things easier, labels can be placed on the scarves, as some participants may have trouble remembering the details. Participants roam the room, looking for the proper place for themselves, and stop at the desired scarf. The leader asks everyone to briefly explain their choice. Participants then move again, seeking to identify with other feelings.

In a different variant of Pulse, the leader puts various scarves in the middle of the room, giving them similar meanings, as described above. This time, the participants define their relationship to feelings symbolically marked by setting closer to or farther from the centre.

PULSE WITH CHAIRS --

The leader sets two chairs on the stage. One of them is a space of events and facts, and the other a space of feelings. Members of the group speak about important events and feelings, changing (as many times as necessary) from one chair to another.

140 Spicing Up Vocational Training


--

Participants have several chairs in a row on the stage. In turn they build structures which reflect their feelings, briefly explaining the importance of the created image.

--

On the stage are two chairs. Anyone can sit on one of them and invite to the second chair any other person from the group, who has something to say in connection with the process of working together. Then the first person leaves the stage, and the second person remains and invites someone else.

THEATRICAL PULSE --

PLAYBACK. The method involves three actors on the stage, playing out a story or speech as told by a group member. Each of the actors illustrates the main narrator’s words in their own way, independently of the others. It works as follows: The participant tells the story about himself sitting with the other members of the group and watching the action on the stage. After each sentence (after the first few to establish context) actors improvise a short movement and freeze in a gesture or posture, illustrating the statement. For the main storyteller it is a very interesting experience - watching themselves in a type of “mirror”, often seeing new aspects of their own situation. At the same time, this experience can be very difficult, and sometimes causes violent emotions, so the trainer’s support might be needed.

--

LUGGAGE. Participants come successively onto the stage, playing the role of a traveller, who is carrying (and struggling with) luggage. By their behaviour, they try to show what kind of luggage it is. The leader asks them a series of questions which they answer by explaining their feelings: What are you holding in your hands? (“A heavy suitcase”, “a small bag”, “a plastic bag”). What’s inside? (“Joy”, “A little anxiety”). Do you know how these things are packed? (“Every item is carefully wrapped in colorful paper,” “things are wrapped haphazardly in newspaper”). Do you want to unpack all of these things or some of them? (“Not really, although I feel an urge to do it,” “I’ll only unpack the smallest package”).

--

GATE. The leader makes an imaginary gate using, for example, two chairs. All the participants gather on one side, and the leader invites them to move to the other side in a certain way. For example, each stops in front of the door and talks briefly about what still has to be done within this group and what should be worked on that day. Then they have to play out the actual passing through the gate (for example, throwing back one shoulder and squeezing through the narrow gap, or casually pushing the gate wide open and wandering through comfortably.) Beyond the gate, each says a few words about how it feels to be on the other side - in the group, “here and now.”

141


SUMMARY OF WORK All the techniques described above for preparing the group to work together can also be used as a way of discussing individual activities or entire workshop sessions. Then, the goal provided by the leader is different, as is the effect for the participants, though the form of the technique remains the same. Time should be reserved for reflection after each exercise or after each block of activities, because all group experience gains, in this way, a valuable complement. The strength of the group is the multiplicity and variety of feelings, perspectives and experiences of the participants, who can share them, inspire with them, and support each other with them. In role-playing processes, after each protagonist has played out a role, there are three ways to discuss the issue presented on stage. Specific examples of applying these techniques in relation to one of the group games (“body”) are described below. In this phase of the process, group members usually sit in a circle; this is a symbolic return to reality, “here and now”, and closes the “stage”. --

SHARING. Members of the group share what comes to mind while doing an exercise together. The object of the exercise is to create a living organism in which each participant exists as a separate part of a larger whole. The discussion of the exercise is a kind of brainstorming recalling memories, references to specific life events or emotions connected with situations that seem in any way connected with the exercise. “I remember a situation at school when we had to draw a human skeleton. That’s when I discovered that I enjoy technical subjects”, “Recently I met a friend who I hadn’t seen for many years. I barely recognised her, as she is very ill, and looks terrible.”

--

FEEDBACK FROM ROLES. Group members talk about the emotions that accompanied them while playing their roles. “I played the ear that hears everything. I felt overwhelmed by the constant noise, I wanted to escape it. I was filled with anger at those who talk incessantly, chattering. I wanted someone to listen to me.”

--

IDENTIFICATION FEEDBACK. Group members talk about how they identify (if at all) with the roles of other participants. “When you played the left hand, I very clearly experienced that awful feeling of being useless. I wanted to scream that it’s not true, that I can do many things well!”

The practice of discussing group work should be a regular part of each workshop session. It is a source of valuable information both for the leader, and for the participants, and helps reveal the themes and issues relevant to the whole group and its individual members. Key problem areas and professional challenges for people with mental illness are identified at the : working in a group (1); verbal and communication skills (2); personal motivation (3); goal -oriented approaches, concentration, discipline (4); self-esteem and self-belief (5); dealing with difficult (negative) feelings (6).

142 Spicing Up Vocational Training


MAGIC OVEN WARM-UP AND RELAXATION EXERCISES All of the exercises described here could be used for many purposes, for example, KNOT can be used both as a warm-up and a relaxation exercise. In addition, they can have many other functions and even form the main part of a training session.

A BIRD AND A TREE Reference to specific problematic area This exercise helps participants come to terms with a changing situation and the emotions that come with it (6), and find within themselves a source of strength to help them through difficulties (2.5). Detailed description Objective: Simulates various real-life situations, unexpected events and polarised emotional states. Course: All the participants find their places in the room and perform their exercises individually. Every one of them receives a paper bird from the leader of the group, and the birds can be fixed at the back of their hands. The bird can be, for example, a piece of a newspaper with a hole cut in the middle and the shape of wings brought into relief. Bodies of the participants are the tree trunks. The task consists in the timing of the movements of a bird and the tree in various situations defined by the leader of the group, such as a bird taking flight and soaring slowly in the sky. Simultaneously, a strong wind arises, making the tree moving vehemently and the bird is tossed about. Then the wind subsides and the tree comes to a standstill. Then a hawk comes, and the bird tries to find shelter in the tree. The hawk is chased away by an aeroplane and the bird sits on the ground to look for seeds. The tree loses the leaves‌ Comments / Recommendations The participants play two roles at once, which requires the ability to concentrate on many tasks, while allowing them to try different behaviours and reactions in the external context provided by the trainer. The exercise should be executed in such a way that the threatening moments are interspersed with moments of quiet and peace, building to a positive conclusion (for example, the bird falls asleep on a tree branch). The trainer can also use various instruments to add another dimension to the participants’ activities (bells, whistles, drums). The experience gained during this type of exercise can help participants to cope with real difficulties in everyday life, especially if participants share their experiences with the group after the activity is over.

143


Duration The exercise may take from several minutes to half an hour.

A BALL OF WOOL Reference to specific problematic area This exercise allows participants to define and explain their needs and associated concerns, which enables a realistic self-assessment (5) and increases their motivation to engage in specific activities (3). Detailed description Objective: Confronting changing emotions; expressing needs and limitations. Course: Participants of the game are sitting at the table. An instructor gives a ball of wool (it can also be any other object) to one of them and describes the feeling with which the ball should be handed (by rolling) to the closest partner; for example, delicately, tenderly. Everybody in turn concentrates on the same emotion. During the next stage of the ball’s migration emotions undergo a change – this means the expression of anger, irritation or aggression. The ball itself also changes its character, according to actor’s tasks suggested by a guide. Now it becomes very heavy, and now as light as a feather or very restless and insubordinate and it is necessary to take control and appease it. The ball can play many various parts. They should stand in contrast with one another and activate different actions and reactions. The ball can also represent needs, resolutions, limitations or dreams loudly expressed by individual participants while handing it to the neighbour. Comments / Recommendations In this exercise the object takes on the role of an enabler, helping with the expression of authentic thoughts and emotions – It is a kind of catalyst, influencing the form of the expressions, and helping the user to better understand the mechanisms of their own functioning in various situations. The exercise may take many forms, depending on the aims of the trainer. The object does not have to make its own way around the circle; participants can give it to a person of their choosing, whose task is to respond according to the both the content of the message and its emotional tone. Duration The exercise may take from several minutes to half an hour.

144 Spicing Up Vocational Training


BAMBOO Reference to specific problematic area The essence of the exercise is readiness to cooperate to achieve the task (1), the ability to communicate with others and explain their views and ideas (2) and inspiration - striving to achieve a specific purpose (4). In addition, the exercise teaches us to deal with difficult emotions (6). Detailed description Objective: Collectively finding a solution which leads to the completion of a goal. Course: Participants line up opposite each other in two lines. They stretch their arms forward so that the index fingers of all people are arranged alternating at equal intervals in a straight line, at chest height. The trainer places a bamboo pole on the group’s outstretched fingers. The group’s task is to put the stick on the floor - all the time touching the fingers of all participants. The exercise seems very simple, but it actually requires a great deal of concentration and team effort. (The pole more often ends up being raised rather than lowered). Comments / Recommendations The course of this exercise is usually surprising to the participants, which increases their level of commitment. At the same time, however, it can lead to conflicts. In the game there are often leaders who try to impose their ideas on others, or blame them for a lack of prompt and effective action. It is therefore essential that the trainer shows the group the importance of patience, understanding and consistency when trying to achieve a goal. Larger numbers of participants should be divided into two groups performing the exercise at the same time - then they have the added factor of competition, further stimulating activity. Duration This exercise normally lasts around 15 minutes. “In BAMBOO some participants had problems due to their physical limitations. However, this activity was very positive and surprising - although they had problems, they worked like a team to get the same goal without being angry.” Veronica Estrada, Spain

DEGREES OF DIFFICULTY Reference to specific problematic area This exercise motivates long term and systematic thinking in one’s actions (3), teaches concentration

145


and discipline (4), and helps to overcome discouragement and deal with difficult situations (6). Detailed description Objective: To teach participants to deal with the difficulties and problems posed by new challenges, and realistically assess their abilities. Course: Participants stand in a row. On the other side of the room, facing the participants is a row of chairs - one each. The trainer describes the tasks to be performed - everyone is to do the tasks at their own pace, ignoring the others. Stage 1. We walk up to our chairs, avoiding an imaginary obstacle half-way (for example, walking around a puddle). We sit on a chair, in our minds count to five, get up, go back to the start, remembering the obstacle in the middle of the road. Stage 2. Repeat all previous steps, this time having some object on our heads, like a newspaper or a piece of paper - we try to keep our balance, if an item drops - we pick it back up and we walk on. Stage 3. Repeating the previous two tasks, we add another: Each participant, making their way to their chair and back, with an object on their head and twice avoid the obstacle, clearly announces what they’ve done that day, from waking up, to this very moment. The exercise can have a more complex structure, if the operator or the participants themselves propose additional challenges. Comments / Recommendations In a practical way, this exercise allows the participants to experience the acquisition of new skills, and the persistent pursuit of an objective. This direct experience of effort and repetition of increasingly difficult steps gives them some idea (on a tiny scale) about the challenges posed by getting a job or continuing their education. At the same time it helps to conquer the fear of failure, and also gives a sense of success (participants are always able to successfully complete at least one small part of the task). Duration The exercise - in the described structure of the three degrees of difficulty - takes up to half an hour.

DRAWINGS Reference to specific problematic area This exercise develops co-operation with others by taking up a physical activity and provides joy through being in the group (1), while also aiming at a goal (4).

146 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Detailed description Objective: Participants practice a precise way of passing information. Course: The participants prepare some simple drawings on slips of paper, such as the sun, a house, a flower (slightly more complicated pictures can be also suggested). Afterwards they form a line, one after another. The instructor draws with his finger one of the pictures prepared on the back of the person standing at the end of the line. The participants in turn copy the picture drawn on their own backs, such as they have “seen” and remembered it, on the backs of the person in front of them. The first in the line draws the picture on a sheet of paper or on a board. This final result is compared with the initial version. Comments / Recommendations A large team should be divided into two or three subgroups (lines). Duration: 10-15 minutes, participants can change places Recommended twice

ELOCUTION Reference to specific problematic area This exercise develops verbal and communication skills (2). Detailed description Objective: Practicing pronouncing difficult words and phrases, proper articulation and using the diaphragm Course: Short pieces of poetry are very helpful in elocution exercises, including agglomerations of consonants difficult to pronounce, and that encourage careful articulation. One of many examples of such texts made of several sentences is “Clatter and rattle, grind and groan, noise like in a factory.” The task of the participants is to pronounce the text in different ways, individually or collectively; whispering or shouting, sometimes very loudly; skipping or crawling; like a declaration of love or a radio announcement; during one exhalation. Comments / Recommendations In the exercising of elocution it is very important to explain to the participants how a diaphragm works; in this, games can be instrumental. One of the simplest exercises demonstrating the work

147


of diaphragm is executed while lying on the floor. All the participants hold books or other objects on their stomachs, and these objects should be raised up along with the respiration rate. Duration: 10-15 minutes

FORTUNATELY-UNFORTUNATELY Reference to specific problematic area The exercise encourages the expression of ideas and opinions in a concise form (2), and also allows for the disclosure of positive and negative emotions. (6) Detailed description Objective: Learning to objectively assess a situation, phenomena and events, and further developing the skills to formulate thoughts. Course: Participants sit or stand in a circle and in turn speak one sentence, alternately beginning with the words, “fortunately” or “unfortunately.” In this way they attempt to describe a given situation, for example, course work on a common task: “Fortunately we were able to buy the materials for the objects in the exhibition”; “Unfortunately we have only a few weeks left to complete the project,” “Fortunately, X recovered and will be able to continue to work with us “, etc. Topics of conversation can be very different, they can be rather neutral, for example, the weather, or it can serve the group process more directly. The exercise can be used in many ways – it can be a form of summary of activities introduced at a fixed point of the programme for each meeting, an attempt to solve a conflict, or “brainstorming” on a given topic. It can also be used in a new group at the beginning of group-work to further mutual understanding amongst the participants. Comments / Recommendations The activity stimulates excellent communication within the group. It forces the discipline of short, clear statements. It requires creativity, reflexes, memory of what has been said, and the searching for new aspects of the present situation. Swapping concentration between the two opposing points of view helps to maintain a balance between excessive optimism and excessive pessimism. Depending on needs and the situation within the group, other keywords can be used, such as “we absolutely must - we are not allowed”, “I want - I do not want” or “I’m glad - I worry that”. Each of these forms develops a slightly different direction of dialogue. Duration Anywhere from a couple of minutes, to 20 minutes or longer.

148 Spicing Up Vocational Training


“The evolution of this exercise in the group has been fantastic. First time we did this exercise the feelings and situations were more trivial than this time. Today participants have expressed deeper feelings. The group tried to motivate and communicate positive aspects when talking about the ‘unfortunately’ situations.” Veronica Estrada, Spain

HERE IS A STICK Reference to specific problematic area The game helps participants to get to know each other and show off their creativity (1.5). It also helps to develop verbal and nonverbal communication skills (2). Detailed description Objective: Stimulating the imagination and encouraging physical activity. Course: The leader puts a broomstick (it can be any object whatsoever) down in the middle of the room and defines the task: let’s try to imagine what a stick may become in our hands. Participants of the game wander around the whole space in their own rhythm and in different directions, accompanied by music. When somebody comes up with an idea, he or she picks the stick up and arranges a short scene (the stick becomes, for example, an oar or a baton, or a javelin). The task of other participants is to guess the function of the object – they share their impressions and observations with the others. In another version of the exercise the whole group can join in the actions connected with a suggested topic; for instance, if a stick in the hands of the main hero is a javelin, then other participants take the roles of sports fans at a stadium. Comments / Recommendations The exercise stimulates the participants, who then inspire each other – each new idea for how to use the object inspires new people, calls on associations, and encourages participants to have even more new ideas. It is a good idea to encourage participants to improvise together as a group based on the idea presented by any one individual – such spontaneity has a positive effect on the group’s integration and is useful in everyday situations, where reflexes are quick reactions are required. Duration The exercise may take about half an hour or longer, depending on the participants` creativity and engagement.

149


HOLD IT! Reference to specific problematic area Participation in the exercise demands ingenuity and quick decision making (4). Detailed description Objective: Warm up – Mobilising participants. Course: Every participant of the game gets some object, such as a shoe, a ruler or a slip of paper. The group stands in a row or in a circle, and the leader signalizes subsequent probations. At the repeated command “Hold it!” everybody finds their own way to grasp the object; usually there are many ingenious and amusing solutions. This exercise may also involve various forms of competition, like when all the participants hold their objects in the same manner and their task is to cover the delimited area in a specified way (leaps, walking backwards or on tiptoe). Comments / Recommendations The exercise is usually treated as good fun by the participants who, taking it less seriously, find it easier to react spontaneously. In reality, they have to show initiative and flexibility, conquer shyness and fear of ridicule. For those who find the game too difficult or stressful, the trainer can suggest working in pairs. Duration The exercise may take from several minutes to half an hour.

IMPULSES Reference to specific problematic area Important in this exercise is the establishment of direct contact with the other members of the group (1). Detailed description Objective: Warm-up – Creating a space for cooperation. Course: Participants in the game form a circle. The exercise consists of transferring, without words, the various impulses that go from one actor to another. A person who starts the game comes into visual contact with one of the members of the group and throws him/her an invisible ball, only by means of a glance and a movement of the head. The one who gets the ball follows its way, receives it and passes it on. In another variant the participants pass the invisible ball just like in the

150 Spicing Up Vocational Training


traditional volleyball game. The impulse can be also transferred by clapping hands (once or twice) in different cadences. The standing rule in all versions of the game is coming into visual contact and maintaining the rhythm. Comments / Recommendations This is a typical activity for directing participants towards group work based on the ”here and now”. It can be used as a constant element of workshops – a type of ritual for starting each session, evolving over time to become rich with new elements introduced by the trainer and the group members. Such a solid anchor point for the meetings helps to build a sense of belonging to the group, as well as giving the group its own unique character. Duration Anywhere from a couple of minutes, to 20 minutes.

INTRODUCTIONS Reference to specific problematic area This activity improves verbal communication (2), allows participants to name and express personal needs, concerns, desires, and reveal their strengths and weaknesses to the other group members (3, 5, 6). Detailed description Objective: Integration of the group, self-presentation skills training. Course: This is a popular and very practical way to start working with a new group in which participants do not know each other. The students all have ten minutes to present themselves in pairs. First, one person speaks and the other listens, trying to memorise as many details as possible. After five minutes, they reverse roles. The goal is the exchange of lots of various pieces of information - that we consider important, that which best characterises us, and we want to disclose. The next stage is the presentations of each pair - Participants speak on behalf of their partner, in the first person, for example: “My name is Mark, I just turned 25, I have two younger sisters, and bikes are my passion. I can fix them and know all the world cycling champions. For two years I have been unemployed and this is my fundamental problem. I am looking for an interesting course to upgrade my professional qualifications.” Comments / Recommendations This exercise is especially useful in working with people who find it difficult to talk about themselves and express themselves to a larger group. Working in pairs allows greater intimacy and encourages the open expression of thoughts and difficult emotions. The technique can also be used in groups

151


that are already integrated. In that case, the nature of the information changes - for example, for assessing the situation of the group at a given stage, expressing needs and concerns, discussion of previously completed tasks. Duration A group of around 15 - can take about an hour.

KNOT Reference to specific problematic area This exercise requires intensive teamwork from all the members of the group, and teaches them to react to the needs of others (1), at the same time; it keeps the focus on efficiently working to achieve a specific goal (4). Detailed description Purpose: Working in a team and finding a solution to a difficult situation. Course: All the participants stand in a circle. The trainer asks them to look at their neighbours, standing on the right and left sides, and to remember those people. Another thing to remember are the three commands. “One” means moving at a normal, ordinary pace, “two” - very fast and “three” - very slowly. Participants must also remember to make use of the entire space, such that there are no unused spaces, or “holes”, and to maintain equal spacing between them. When the trainer gives the signal, the participants disperse, walking in different directions and exchanging a brief “hello” or “good morning” and a handshake with the person they are passing. The pace of movement is determined by the trainer’s commands. After a few minutes, the trainer brings this phase to a halt with the command “stop”. Now everyone looks around to find the person who was standing to their right at the beginning of the exercise. Having found them, they extend their right hand as far as possible toward that person, without leaving their place. Then, in the same manner, they locate the neighbour to the left. The students all - very slowly, as if pulling arms - join hands. Joining with their original neighbours in this new formation, they form a knot, which now must be undone, without anybody letting go of any hands. It is usually possible to return to the original circle. Comments / Recommendations The exercise consists of two independent parts. First, the participants focused on individual action must remember the various commands, experimenting with different forms of movement, while creating direct contact with each other. This is the stage of preparing them to perform common

152 Spicing Up Vocational Training


tasks. The second part, “unravelling the knot”, requires close co-operation - Every movement affects everybody else. Often, the linked hands become difficult to untangle. It is therefore important that the trainer keeps an eye on the entire group, ensuring that things do not become too boisterous. It may turn out that the task is too difficult for the group - then the trainer needs to symbolically “cut” a link. The game incorporates a very strong motivating factor - the group always wants to find a solution, the participants are motivated to find different ways to resolve the stalemate. The more entangled the knot, the greater the involvement of the group and greater satisfaction once it is untangled. Typically when the group manages to return to the circle, the participants express their joy with spontaneous applause. Duration The exercise lasts around 15 minutes. “The ‘knot’ was one of our favourite activities. The participants liked doing it many times, and it was always the high point of a session.” Anja Rozman, Slovenia

ME AND YOU Reference to specific problematic area Primarily, this exercise teaches co-operation and trust (1), and helps participants to overcome a fear of challenges (6). It gives support and attention to individuals who need it (5, 6). Detailed description Objective: This pleasant warm-up exercise is focused on relationships with other people. It can be very comforting for individuals who need support. Course: In pairs, one participant is blindfolded and the other leads him/her around the whole room, taking care of safety, avoiding obstacles. After a while, swap roles. Then everyone surrounds one person, who is sitting with his/her eyes closed on the floor, curled up, cut off from the world. They try to make contact with him/her, saying his/her name in various ways: inventing all possible diminutives of the name, using different colours of intonation and voice. At the end the person who was in the middle of the action tells the story of his/her experiences – what came to his/her mind, what was especially pleasant/appealing and why.

153


Comments / Recommendations This exercise can bring some joy, integrate the group and give support to the main character. Duration: 20-40 minutes, depending on how many people want to experience being in the middle and getting attention from the group.

NO THREAT Reference to specific problematic area This exercise requires close cooperation with a partner (1). Entering a leadership role enhances the sense of responsibility of the participants and their self-confidence (3.5) it also helps them overcome the fear of an unusual situation and a new challenge. (6) Detailed description Objective: Preparation for independent and responsible action within a team. Course: Participants split into pairs. In each pair one person - “X” closes their eyes. The second partner – “Y” - assumes the role of a guide who has to safely take the now blinded partner around the room, which is littered with obstacles: chairs lying in different places, and other objects, as well as other participants also moving around the space. “Y” has to remain very close to “X” and provide whispered instructions: forward, stop, left, slower, etc. In another embodiment of this exercise verbal commands can be replaced with the touch of a hand that “Y” has placed on the back of “X”. Removing the hand means “Stop”, moving it to the left shoulder - “left”, increasing or decreasing pressure - “faster” or “slower”, etc. After several minutes the trainer calls for the exchange of roles, and in later exercises can ask everyone to find another partner and repeat the action. Comments / Recommendations The exercise can be used at different stages of group work. When trying it in a new group, the participants have an even more difficult task, as they must also overcome the fear and uncertainty resulting from finding themselves in completely new circumstances. This is similar to many situations we face in everyday life. But in a later phase of the group process, the exercise consolidates and strengthens the positive experience of trust and mutual responsibility. It is important that the trainer pay particular attention to the safety of the participants. Duration The exercise can last about half an hour.

154 Spicing Up Vocational Training


“In the exercise “No threat” I think that it is better to cover the eyes to give more realism to the activity.” Veronica Estrada, Spain

NUMBERS Reference to specific problematic area The exercise is a simple warm-up, activating the participants, and helping to overcome apathy and reluctance to participate (1). Detailed description Objective: Taking up physical activity, overcoming the fear of being in the group. Course: Participants stand in a circle, working together. Their task is to “draw” numbers in the air using different parts of their bodies. It always starts with the simplest option - a hand (can be first right, then left hand). Then the more difficult forms are introduced: “writing” with the nose, stomach, knees, big toe, heel, buttocks. If the participants are quite physically fit they should be encouraged to really get active - we draw the characters, starting the movement from the floor and reaching as high as we can. The teacher can change the tempo of movement, and may also propose “writing” the entire alphabet, or “drawing” various geometric shapes. They may also ask the participants to make their own suggestions to the group regarding which body parts to use, what to “draw”, and how to draw it. Comments / Recommendations With its playful style, this type of warm-up is attractive for the participants as it diverts their attention from the actual physical exertion. It is also important that no one is directly observed by anyone else, and they are all focused on their own actions, which helps them to forget the fear of being judged. Participants in the pilot workshop explained the balance problems that emerged during the exercise - a few people experienced dizziness and light-headedness. Trainers should therefore pay close attention to the condition of the participants, and subtly suggest that some restrain their activity if appropriate. Duration The exercise lasts several minutes, and more elaborate versions (alphabet or various figures) about half an hour.

155


ONE, TWO, THREE Reference to specific problematic area This exercise prepares participants for working together on a single task (1), teaches them discipline, and sharpens concentration (4). Detailed description Purpose: Encouraging participants to work with their partners, and overcoming some of the difficulties in finishing tasks. The course: Participants stand opposite each other in pairs, looking at each other’s eyes. In the first stage of the exercise their job is to alternately count from one to three. If we assume that one person in line is “X” and one “Y”, the order of counting is as follows: X: “One!” - Y: “Two!” - X: “Three!” - Y: “One!” - X: “Two!” etc. It’s about keeping pace, developing a routine and fluent count, and surrendering to the rhythm. At some point, the trainer gives the signal to change. Now, in place of the word “one” is a gesture or a short action, such as a clap, pat, jump, swinging of arms, spinning, etc. The participants can also invent their own action. Now the order count is: X: (clap) - Y: “Two!” - X: “Three!” - Y: (clap) - X: “Two!” etc. In the next change - on the trainer’s signal - the word “two” is also replaced by another new action, and after a while, the same is done with “three”. If the participants flawlessly master the rhythmic wordless “counting”, they can start putting the original words back in their original places, successively replacing the gestures and movements. Another - more difficult - variant of this exercise is counting in groups. If the group has an even number of people - they count to an odd number, for example, five or seven, i.e: 1-2-3-4-5-1-2, etc. If the number of participants is odd, then they count, respectively - to four or six. Eventually the numbers are replaced with a gesture or action in the same way as for pairs. All participants stand in a circle, trying to keep the rhythm and pace of counting. Comments / Recommendations This exercise both helps in dealing with unexpected difficulties, and gives participants the experience of feeling the success and satisfaction which come from completing the task. Participants in the pilot workshop emphasised that the task seems very simple when watching others. In reality, however, it requires much effort and concentration. The exercise is best finished with a presentation by each pair - those who volunteer. It is at that point when new and important aspects come to light: the participants can demonstrate their skills to others. Another option is to suggest a change of partners during the exercise, which requires participants to reacclimatise themselves to the new situation, and demonstrates the need for elasticity when working in a group.

156 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Duration The exercise usually lasts under 20 minutes.

A SONG WITHOUT WORDS Reference to specific problematic area This exercise is integration-oriented, with participants working together (1) and having to concentrate in order to remember and repeat spoken and kinetic sequences (4). Detailed description Objective: Memory training and multitasking. Course: The participants listen to a short, simple song. Afterwards the group learns to sing it, and repeats it continually. Then the words are subsequently replaced with gestures or movement; the singing intertwines with action. The ultimate version of the song consists only in gestures. At the end of the exercise one can go back to the initial version, while everybody is singing a common song. Instead of singing a song, a poem or another short text can be recited. Comments / Recommendations The exercise can be difficult for those who don’t easily express themselves vocally, but working together helps them to get past their barriers and difficulties. An easier version is reciting a poem. The game can even be treated as an introduction to further discussion about the difficulties that arise for somebody attempting new and unusual challenges. Thanks to the exchange of impressions and experiences in the group, it will be easier for some participants to come to terms with their own limitations and weaknesses, and increase their self confidence. Duration The exercise lasts about half an hour – 45 minutes.

THE SOUND Reference to specific problematic area This exercise is about concentrating on a specific activity and immediate response (4). It also shows participants how one action can influence a whole group (1).

157


Detailed description Objective: Practicing responses to stimulate quick reactions, being creative and open. Course: The exercise can be performed in several variants. The participants are lying down, sitting or standing, their eyes can be either open or closed. The instructor walks up and down the room, once in a while touching various parts of the participants’ bodies and lifting up their hands, legs or heads. The task of each touched person is to make a sound responding to the touch. Other participants in their turn respond with movements to the sounds they hear. The impulse delivered to one participant by the instructor initiates the activity of the whole group. Comments / Recommendations Making noises may be a difficult task for some, even if they are performing alongside others. However, this exercise can bring lots of joy and creativity. Duration: 10-15 minutes

THE SWORDS Reference to specific problematic area This exercise requires participants to synchronise their movements with those of their partner, thereby teaching principles of cooperation (1), at the same time forces them to maintain discipline and concentration while working (4). Detailed description Objective: Teaching patience, concentration and precision, and adjusting to suit an assigned working rhythm. Course: The leader divides the group into two teams, and then they line up in two opposite rows. The first part of the exercise includes introducing the participants into the rules of the game. The first team receives invisible swords, in order to make specific movements with them, according to the successive signals, such as “one,” which means a thrust, “two,” meaning the cutting of grass and “three,” which means the cutting of a large ball in half. Every signal entails one accurate movement. The number and variety of movements depends on the imagination of the leader and participants. The task of the other team is to respond to the blows of swords in the established way, such as a step backwards, a jump or knee-bending. The exercise involves the acquisition of synchronized and rhythmical actions of both teams, which requires a strong concentration. To make the task

158 Spicing Up Vocational Training


more difficult the sequence of signals can be changed. After several minutes the trainer calls for the exchange of roles between the rows, and in later exercises can ask everyone to find another partner and repeat the action. Comments / Recommendations During the exercise, as participants have become used to their patterns of movement, a good idea is to suggest a new, totally different sequence. In this way the participants develop openness to change, and become aware of the need for the elasticity required for proper functioning in groups, and in working environments. The exercise can be used as an excellent physical warm-up, as it engages the whole body. Duration The exercise lasts about half an hour.

THREE STEPS BACK Reference to specific problematic area This exercise requires trust in one’s partner - it can only be completed by working together and compensating for each other. Participants begin to feel responsible for each other (1). At the same time it helps to tame difficult emotions - especially the fear which is produced by new, unknown circumstances (6). Detailed description Purpose: Breaking through barriers related to changing fixed patterns and behaviour. The course: The group splits into pairs - each pair with a little space around them. The pair then shakes hands and closes their eyes. On the trainer’s signal, they disengage their hands and take three steps backwards - with hands still outstretched to the front. They stop, and then try to return to the starting position so that their hands joined together again. They then perform the same exercise, this time starting with embracing each other. When the trainer gives the command, they loosen their grip and walk backwards again, taking three steps, all the while keeping their arms up as if still in the embrace. They then attempt to return to each other. The participants should be encouraged to try each variant many times, and it is also a good idea to also change partners occasionally. In the group-version of the exercise, all the participants stand in a circle with one arm outstretched to the front so that all their fingers are touching. With their eyes closed, they walk backwards, and then try to return with their hands in the same place.

159


Comments / Recommendations This exercise may prove difficult for some people, but overcoming their own fears and the experience of supporting their partner / group give a strong impetus for boldly taking up new challenges. The role of the lecturer is skillfully mobilising, especially the particularly stubborn members, and providing them with a sense of security. People taking part in the pilot workshop enthusiastically shared their impressions after this exercise. Everybody felt fearful that working with your eyes closed will pose a threat: “I was afraid that I’d end up on the ground, or take a tumble.” “It seemed to me that there was something behind me, that I was stumbling.” The participants were proud that they managed to overcome their fear, and yet amused by the fact that this exercise had brought forth so much emotion in them. Duration Between 10 and 20 minutes.

TOGETHER Reference to specific problematic area The exercise is based on group work (1), and enables the expression and experiencing of diverse emotions (6). Detailed description Objective: Experimentation with artistic forms – getting comfortable with materials and finding various forms of auto presentation. Course: The game includes a large sheet of linen (a quilt cover has proved to be a good solution). The participants work together while performing various tasks. During the first exercise they all squat down around the stretched sheet, holding it with both hands. At the signal from the leader, the sheet is resolutely raised. It remains suspended for a little while, and then drops, very slowly onto the floor (the participants are holding it all the time). This exercise can be repeated several times, adjusting the rhythm of breath to it – a deep inhalation, and a long and slow exhalation. Another group task is to build a figure of a bird out of the given fabric and animate it – to take flight, to soar, to touch the ground. The participants can be also asked to express various feelings while animating fabric: joy, sadness, anger, fear, etc. Another idea of a collective animation game is to divide the group into two opposite teams holding the sheet from different sides. The task of both groups is to send each other in turns the “waves” of air.

160 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Comments / Recommendations The group’s animation of the material (Which can also be thin plastic sheet) has an important integrative function – participants are literally ‘attached’ through the material they’re bringing to life. This demands close cooperation between all participants, who must pay attention to what others are doing, and adjust their own actions to suit that rhythm. Any type of animating activity is usually quite attractive for groups, as they get a feeling of a kind of creative power. It is also good to encourage the group members to think up their own animations for the material, using it to express themselves, their needs, and their experiences. Duration The exercise lasts about half an hour – 45 minutes.

YOU ARE A SHEET OF PAPER Reference to specific problematic area The exercise is intended as a warm-up. It can also help participants to concentrate on a specific task (4). Detailed description Purpose: To get participants moving, and motivate them to take an active part in the workshop. The course: All participants stand in front of the trainer, each with some space around them. The trainer is holding a piece of paper - in an upright position, and performs different movements, like bending a corner, turning it in the air, folding it in half, shaking it, holding it in a horizontal position, etc. The task of the participants is to find a body movement which corresponds to the movement of the paper. The exercise involves not only the body but also the imagination of the participants - each one reacts differently, which stimulates reflection. Comments / Recommendations The exercise is an interesting and intriguing experience, and allows us to discover the diversity of ideas and behaviours in a group. Participants are often not aware of how much effort they are really making - They concentrate on the task at hand, and forget about the fear they felt earlier. The exercise works well when the group’s energy levels are low, and what is needed is a refreshing “shakeup” for the participants. As well as sheets of paper, other objects can also be used - for example, cardboard boxes or scarves - these changes encourage creativity and the discovery of new ways to move within the group. Another useful variant is to propose to the students that they all try running the exercise themselves - they get the chance to observe the group’s teamwork, as well as trying their hands at leadership.

161


Duration This activity takes just a few minutes.

YOUR MOVE Reference to specific problematic area Primarily, this exercise teaches concentration, discipline, and coordination (4), and helps participants to overcome shyness and a fear of new challenges (6). Detailed description Purpose: Activation - to act independently and with initiative. Course: Participants stand in a circle. The trainer begins the game, explaining both its principles - take two steps forward and demonstrates a simple gesture, such as the rhythmic raising and lowering of one hand. The task of the next person, who chooses to enter into the circle, is to repeat the trainer’s gesture, and adding a second one. This may be, for example, nodding up and down. Each participant takes turns to enter the circle, always repeating what was already done, and adding their own actions. Thus, for example, only 1 person raises and lowers his hand, person No. 2 raises and lowers his hand and nods, and the No. 3 person does the same thing, while also standing on one leg. Comments / Recommendations The correct implementation of the exercise requires patience, as the degree of difficulty is different for each participant. People who volunteer earlier have a much easier task because they have fewer simultaneous movements. Each subsequent gesture added to the order of movements requires greater coordination. Therefore, we repeat the play several times, so that everyone can experience both simpler and more difficult forms of exercise. Duration The exercise - depending on the size and the enthusiasm of the group - takes several minutes to half an hour.

100 DIFFERENT GREETINGS Reference to specific problematic area Taking part in the exercise requires direct contact with a partner (1), also verbally (2). It also allows participants to demonstrate creativity, and showcase their own abilities and talents (3.5).

162 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Detailed description Objective: Training of creativity and verbal communication. Course: Training takes place in pairs. The task of the participants is to find different ways of saying hello and greeting their partner. Activities can be started from the traditional handshake or other conventional gestures - bowing, saluting and simplest of verbal formulas - “Hello!”, “How are you?” Then participants will invent more original and unusual greetings - elbows, noses, feet, back, at the same time adding more and more complex verbal forms. At the end of the game, the trainer can arrange a competition for the most interesting, or funniest greeting - each pair in turn present themselves to others, and the whole group selects the winners. Comments / Recommendations An important aspect of the exercise is its interactive form. Participants mutually inspire and motivate, and conduct genuine dialogue. The activity may be difficult for people who prefer to avoid bodily contact, for whom too much closeness with others is a serious barrier. The leader must therefore observe the reactions of individuals and decide whether it is appropriate to urge them to participate in the exercise. Duration The exercise may take from several minutes to half an hour. “We adapted this exercise to the people with mobility problems, forming couples with similar difficulties”. Veronica Estrada, Spain

TASK-ORIENTED EXERCISES ANIMATING OBJECTS Reference to specific problematic area This technique of animating objects develops self-expression and communication skills (2). It generates spontaneity of action and stimulates imagination, and consequently leads to taking action (3). Public performances lead to recognising one’s own abilities and skills (5).

163


Detailed description Objective: To practice animating objects and performing Course: The technique of animating objects is introduced by a warm up exercise with a box of matches. A face is drawn on one side of a box of matches (eyes, nose, mouth), which becomes Mr Match. The box is lying on the table and each participant, in turns, animates it — makes it wake up and “walk” around the room establishing contact with the audience. The animator is not supposed to say anything, only noises are allowed. He/she should not act too much with his/her face, otherwise it creates a competition to Mr Match (people will be distracted). The trainer starts this game by doing a presentation – he or she can, for example, show some scenes from everyday life like sleeping, eating, talking, working, etc. Then every participant tries to animate Mr Match. Afterwards colourful scarfs or pieces of material are put down on the floor (spread over the room). Participants are asked to stand next to a chosen piece of material. Then everyone is asked to talk about their choice (what attracted them to that material?, what are their associations with that colour?, what feelings come to their mind?, etc). The next task for each participant is to animate that piece of material, this time adding feelings to the scenes. Other participants are the audience and they clap after each performance. Finally, participants discuss their experience of animating objects as well as performing. How am I? How does it feel when the audience is clapping? What is it like after the performance? Sharing one’s thoughts and feelings with the group. Comments / Recommendations Operating an object (making a puppet out of a box of matches or a piece of material) is not necessarily an additional difficulty for people with disabilities, but means for better expression and communication. Having an object in one’s hand through which one can speak to the audience makes self-expression easier and often achieves better results with vulnerable individuals. Duration: 30-35 minutes Recommended twice, at different points of a course

BIRDS Reference to specific problematic area This exercise helps participants to explore how they see themselves and how others perceive them (5 and 6).

164 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Detailed description Objective: To become aware of one’s self imagine and become more self-confident and expressive Course: The exercise starts with exploring and discussing bird images in art (painting, drawings and illustrations) and their symbolic meaning. Participants look at some pictures of birds. They do some brainstorming in groups about the symbolical meaning of such images. Afterwards the whole group shares their reflections and discusses common associations with birds (popular saying, etc), also in other countries (for example, bird symbols of states). Afterwards the participants are asked to draw an invented bird to reflect their own personalities. At the end an ‘exhibition’ is created during which each picture is described by every participant except the author who only listens to people’s comments. Finally, participants are asked to act their bird out in front of everyone, one by one. In the summing up round, they are asked to tell the group what it is they wish for their own inner bird. If someone doesn’t want to share it, they can write it down and take it home. Comments / Recommendations If someone feels too shy to perform alone, he or she could do it with another person (couples could be formed) or ask someone else to perform the bird he or she imagined. If the group feels comfortable with acting out their inner birds, the trainer can ask everyone to do some dancing as birds (in a group) to some music. Duration: 30-35 minutes

THE BELT Reference to specific problematic area In the exercise the most important thing is concentration and synchronisation of each participant’s activity with the rhythm of the whole group (1,4). Detailed description Objective: Concentrating on a specific task and practising discipline. Course: Participants in the game line up in a row at an imaginary conveyor belt. The instructor presents and repeats several times the sequence of rhythmic and automatic actions accompanied with counting, such as standing with both arms leaning on the belt (starting point), and then the left hand puts a nail on the belt (one) and the right reaches for the hammer (two). After that, the

165


nail is fixed with one stroke (three), the hammer is laid aside (four), an alleged object is shoved towards a neighbour (five), left hand goes back to the belt (six) and the right hand also goes back to the belt (seven). On the cue from the instructor the first person in the row enters into action. Other participants join in succession, according to the rhythm of the “moving” belt. Comments / Recommendations This exercise is very helpful in developing basic skills for use both in employment and in everyday functioning. Most important is fitting in with the given tasks, which require much concentration and dexterity. The group’s loud, rhythmic counting helps to maintain the tempo. If the suggested version of the task turns out to be too difficult at the beginning, it can be reduced to four or five simpler moves. The participants themselves may also have some good ideas for various forms of production-line work. However, it could be difficult for some participants to coordinate their actions. Duration The exercise may take several minutes to half an hour.

CLOWNS Reference to specific problematic area This exercise develops spontaneity of action and stimulates imagination, and consequently aims at taking action (3). Public performances lead to recognising one’s own abilities and skills (5). Playing clowns also teaches dealing with difficult feelings, for example, being laughed at (6). Detailed description Objective: Activation - to act independently and with initiative and to handle reaction of others. Course: The exercise begins with the trainer handing out props - everyone gets a fake red nose to attach to their face (it’s best to buy or make noses for clowns on strings). This results in immediate response, laughter, relaxation, etc. It’s a good opportunity to take photos. The trainers talks about the tradition of short comedy dell`arte, and presents three rules of every clown in the proposed game: 1). Always count to three before you speak or act, 2). If you make a mistake - speaking or acting repeat it three times and then forget about it, 3). Always look at another person in the eye, never turn your back on him/her. Then the trainer with one of the participants demonstrates these principles in practice, and then initiates the actions of all clowns. The entire group of clowns experiments with different ways of

166 Spicing Up Vocational Training


walking, moving, speaking and gesturing, looking for their own unique expression. The trainer may ask the participants to invent other rules of the clown’s behaviour after practicing the first basic version. The workshop finishes with conversations of clowns in small groups about their imaginary brothers and sisters, and then forming a circle and summarizing the conversation to all participants. Comments / Recommendations Most participants have a good time with this exercise. For some people, however, this form of activity is uncomfortable. Acting a clown, however, can lead to breaking inner barriers, as commented by one participant: “A kind of transformation happened inside me. Something new was born, spontaneously, and not by a conscious decision”. Duration: 30-35 minutes

DOPPELGANGER Reference to specific problematic area This exercise is a reflection on individual skills, talents and predispositions (3,5) it also gives participants an opportunity to express their feelings, dreams and fantasies and talk about their problems, fears and constraints (6). Detailed description Objective: Developing skills of self-esteem and self-presentation Course: The group is given a variety of materials - Brown paper, textiles, household items, old newspapers, cardboard boxes, foil, plastic bottles, pieces of clothing, etc. Each participant will try to make a self-representative doll – a doppelganger. For about half an hour, participants work individually – creating the figure, examining the possibilities of animation, and preparing for a short show as proposed by the trainer. This may be, for example, to show themselves on a dream vacation, where their career will be in five or ten year’s time, or who they themselves would like to have become in that time. The trainer helps those who have trouble with manual work, or those whose imaginations need prompting. When everyone is ready, the individual presentations start. Each participant presents a scene in which the main character is the doll they’ve made. After each presentation the group has the opportunity to ask questions, and share their experiences. The doppelgangers may also be other forms of art - for example, each participant can create a collage or poster which they present and explain to the group.

167


Comments / Recommendations Classes are best begun by showing the group several dolls of different materials and explain how they were made. This boosts the participant’s confidence and encourages them to create their own simple pieces. Referring to visual communication is very helpful in articulating essential and often very personal thoughts and emotions. The language of shapes and colours – the language of the theatre - is a metaphorical language, which evokes many associations and allows a conversation to go deeper into the essence of things. A very important part of the exercise is that in which each participant receives feedback from the group, and can better define and supplement the presentations. Therefore, the trainer should very actively encourage the participants to join the discussion and mutual exchange of ideas. This exercise works well at the beginning of the group process, as it gives participants the opportunity to “hide” behind a character they have created. On the other hand, when the group is already well integrated, the feedback received by each participant is based on the shared experiences and knowledge of the individual members of the group. Duration The exercise may take about half an hour.

GATES Reference to specific problematic area This exercise is helpful in terms of developing trust in one’s abilities and self-belief (5). The simulation of unexpected circumstances and obstacles motivates the search for solutions and focuses on the goal-oriented approach (4). Detailed description Objective: Helping to break personal barriers, and mobilising participants to search for solutions in difficult situations. Course: The exercise consists of safe passage with closed eyes through several “gates” placed in various parts of the room. The “gate” can be represented by two persons holding hands (various shapes and sizes of gates) or by one person standing widely astride. Other participants are wanderers. Every “gate” invents its code of three sound signals demonstrated at the beginning of the play: the greeting signal (we are here), the warning signal (be careful, there’s an obstacle) and the victorious signal (you succeeded in crossing the gate). The task of persons moving with their eyes closed is to cross the respective “gates” successfully.

168 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Comments / Recommendations The exercise gives participants a feeling of success through crossing the symbolical gates. In a simpler version of the exercise all the “gates” can send identical signals. The instructor should make sure all participants feel safe. Duration: 15-20 minutes or longer, if participants want to change roles Recommended twice

HUMAN FACE Reference to specific problematic area The exercise requires participants to make direct, verbal contact with a member of the group and communicate their preferences (1 and 2). It also allows them to discuss situations in which they don’t feel comfortable and define their personal boundaries (6). Detailed description Objective: To make physical contact with another person on one’s own terms and to discuss different forms of contact. Course: The main subject of this exercise is the following sentence from the Gospel of Matthew: “If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Mt 5:39b). Before it’s presented to the group, everyone takes part in an exercise preparing us to start considering interpersonal relationships. In pairs the participants ask each other questions concerning various ways of relating to people. “May I shake your hand? May I touch your hair? May I give you a hug?” The addressee of the question can agree or reject the offered form of contact. The person who asked the question thanks the partner regardless of their answer. Afterwards the participants are divided into groups. Everyone gets the same fragments of the Gospel of Matthew (mentioned above) not knowing what the others are working on. The “sculpture gallery” appears; the participants look at other people’s works, they can ask the creators some questions or speak on their behalf, expressing the feelings which, in their opinion, are depicted in the sculptures. During the “gallery tour” the group discovers that all the sculptures were inspired by the same text.

169


Comments / Recommendations In this game there is a deep meaning and practical lesson, which was confirmed by comments from participants. - It was interesting for me to explore my own boundaries. I experienced opening my own, intimate space for others. Thank you for this exercise. It is a process of deepening mutual understanding and trust. Duration: 45 minutes or longer, if participants want to change pairs and work with other members of the group.

THE ICE FLOE Reference to specific problematic area The game has an integrative character, demanding cooperation from all participants (1), at the same time giving them a feeling of safety and sense of support from the group (5,6). It is also task focused, with its goal being to find effective solutions. (4). Detailed description Objective: Helping to break personal barriers with developing direct, close contact with other members of the group, and mobilising participants to search for solutions in difficult situations. Course: All the participants in the game are standing on a large sheet of paper spread out on the floor (a larger group can be divided into subgroups performing separate exercises). The paper is an ice floe among the rolling waves, while the participants are the castaways. The instructor gradually reduces the surface of the ice floe, tearing pieces of paper from various sides of the sheet. Nobody of those standing on the sheet can touch the ground, so they have to find a way to be contained in a place getting smaller and smaller. The game can include some additional elements; for example, the participants are trying to row or calling for help – they play the roles of outcasts and create together an actual stage situation. Comments / Recommendations This exercise usually strongly promotes effective functioning from all participants; a feeling of solidarity and shared responsibility is revealed within the group. Direct physical closeness can be difficult for some people, though usually most people are more occupied with completing the assigned task and coping with a difficult situation. The trainer’s role is to control the development of the activity and observe the reactions of each person. Seeing that a participant is having serious difficulties or blocks, the trainer can intervene, for example by entering the role of a rescue petrol which only has space for one, and chooses the struggling participant. It is also important that the

170 Spicing Up Vocational Training


trainer pays attention to safety, as the scenario may give rise to strong violent movements from the participant. Duration The exercise may take several minutes.

MAGIC SHOP Reference to specific problematic area This game helps in the recognition of the participant’s strengths and weaknesses, which in turn enables realistic self-assessment (5), and also allows the participant to deal with difficult and problematic emotions (6). Detailed description Objective: The naming and announcing of needs, assessing of participant’s readiness to change, realizing the need for self-sacrifice and effort. Course: The exercise takes the form of a theatrical play. The trainer assumes the role of seller and opens a symbolic shop with the skills, traits, feelings, and predispositions which are in demand among group members. Material goods in the store are scarves or any other items. The seller invites participants - customers - to benefit from promotions and special occasions, uses the jargon of advertising, and encourages purchases. The example presented below is a description of the exercise carried out with the participants of the pilot workshop. - Welcome to our magic shop - Now open for the first time in this part of Europe! Our goods are trademarked and top quality! Now’s your chance! - We’ve got everything you need! … The first customer enters the store... - I would like to buy a little love. - Absolutely! We have love in several colours: red, white, yellow. Which would you like? - Maybe red? - Of course! And how much love would you like? - Maybe two metres? - Oh! That’s quite a lot, love is expensive! How would you like to pay? - With hatred. - Well, for two meters of love you’ll need to exchange at least ten meters of hatred. - That’s fine, I’ll take it. Here you go. The seller provides the client with a red scarf and takes an imaginary payment. He approaches the next person. - Can I buy courage? - Courage? Naturally! I have courage in kilos, quite fresh, today’s delivery. Half a kilo is enough? - Perhaps more? - I have at this moment five kilos, but there has been a lot of interest in courage today, so I can sell you a kilo at most. - Ok, one kilo please. - And how will you pay? - Fear. - OK, a kilogram of courage costs ten kilos of fear. - Oh that’s too much! I’ve changed my mind. Goodbye! The customer chooses not to make a transaction. More customers make trades in the shop, acquiring, amongst other things: well-being, self-confidence, optimism, joy. The seller closes the shop. All participants give

171


the trainer their scarves - this is an important closing process, stepping out of the roles, coming back to reality of “here and now.” Comments / Recommendations The Magic Shop is an improvised exercise on many levels, in which the trainer (a therapist) uses his knowledge of the individual members of the group. Often the group as a whole is included in the transactions of individuals, suggesting what they could trade away, what they already have enough of, or what they really need at that particular moment. The final decision should always belong to the person concerned, and should always be a considered choice. The exercise is fun and spontaneous, which makes it easier for the group to cope with such a high intensity experience. It should be emphasized that despite its light, playful appearance, the exercise involves deep emotions and participants are confronted with difficult life problems. It often happens that the same people repeatedly come back to the shop with new orders. This exercise is best introduced to the curriculum only when the group is already well integrated, and the participants feel safe with each other and the trainer. Duration Work with between 10 and 20 in a group, the exercise can take about an hour, and in larger groups - more. “We had an extensive talk about the reasons why some of participants decided to visit the shop more times and some didn’t visit it at all. It was an opportunity to share their fears and frustrations and they feel relieved”. Anja Rozman, Slovenia “In general our participants are not used to this kind of exercise. They were shy, but didn’t close up, and it was a big success.” Ruth Bauer & Barbara Brandt, Germany

THE MARIONETTE Reference to specific problematic area This exercise develops co-operations with others and mutual trust (1). Moving to the music brings a feeling of freedom and control of one’s action, which increases personal motivation (3). Detailed description Objective: The game refers to the art of animation of a traditional marionette puppet and teaches different way of moving and expression.

172 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Course: The first phase of the exercise consists of working in pairs. One half of the group is sitting down on the floor, trying to loosen up their bodies and make them completely inert. Small pieces of string are being attached to the legs and arms of the sitting persons. The task for the rest is to “bring to life” their sitting colleagues – to set them in motion by pulling the strings in a very gentle way. After some time the roles in pairs are reversed. In the second part of the game the string is no longer necessary. All the participants become marionettes. At first they are asleep, and then they respond with movements to music impulses (fragments of different pieces if music), using animation experiences from the previous phase of the exercise. Comments / Recommendations Some participants may feel uncomfortable having some strings attached to their hands and legs. They could choose to have only one string attached, for example, to one of their arms. Duration: 15-20 minutes

MOTION ETUDES Reference to specific problematic area This exercise is about concentrating on a specific activity and its enthusiastic completion (4), and consequently on finding motivation (3) and recognising one’s own abilities (5). Detailed description Objective: Striving for precision and exacting completion of every task. Course: The exercise refers to one of the most popular methods of theatre workshop activities – to etudes, which are the short acting scenes based on a given theme. In this kind of game emphasis is laid on movement, while words are eliminated. There can be various themes, for example life functions or work. It is the question of elaboration of the very precise and accurate sequences of movements imitating some chosen actions, such as rinsing, peeling and cutting an apple or cleaning the bathroom. It is important to make the message suggestive and literal, and to build the etude, taking into consideration the smallest details and maintaining the consistency of the beginning, the middle part and the end of a scene. Every participant presents his or her etude to the group and together they discuss the performance. The role of the spectators is to help the “performers” to create the most realistic and convincing etude by giving them suggestions and instructions.

173


Comments / Recommendations Participants quite often begin the exercise in a shallow and mechanical manner. The task for the trainer as well as for the whole group is to hint at solutions and ideas which improve every movement and action, making them more vivid and self-explanatory. Both playing out the etudes and simply watching and discussing them have great merit. The skills gained during the exercise are useful in many every-day situations. It is good to repeat the exercise from time to time, remembering to introduce new, more difficult tasks each time. As a result, participants will gradually become more efficient at building thematic etudes and will be able to assess their own performances. Duration Exercise - a group with several people can take about an hour.

THE MUSIC AND I Reference to specific problematic area The exercise concentrates on verbal and non-verbal communication (2) and on polar emotions (6). Detailed description Objective: Practicing clear communication (using body language and verbalisation) and getting used to different emotional states. Course: An instructor prepares the recordings of three or more musical excerpts, set by the law of contradiction and separated with short intermissions. Half of the group performs the task, while the other half is watching and trying to guess the meaning of the presented actions (afterwards the roles change – the “actors” become the “spectators”). The spectators are asked to describe in detail what they see and how they understand presented gestures and behaviour. The point of the exercise is to find movements that suit the music. The instructor suggests the emotions to be expressed, in a way that is not to be heard by those who guess, for example: “You are full of joy”, “You are very sad and frustrated”, “You are walking down the street showing great enthusiasm and excitement”, “You are coming back home after a very difficult and tiring day”. This theme would be illustrated with movement, according to the changing rhythms and musical climates. The participants can also choose the themes by themselves. Comments / Recommendations Appearing on ”the stage” may be a difficult task for some, even if they are performing alongside others. Often, in such situations, it can be helpful for them to work in pairs, which gives a feeling of safety. The music is another form of support, providing a source of inspiration, and giving rhythm

174 Spicing Up Vocational Training


to the improvisation. The important completion of the exercise is the discussion of the various presentations – The trainer should encourage the ”audience” to watch attentively and give indepth commentary. Duration The exercise lasts about half an hour – 45 minutes. PATH Reference to specific problematic area “Path” can be especially useful in motivating change in a difficult life situation and breaking deadlock and a sense of failure (3), as well as directing participants towards specific educational challenges, professional development training, and self-discipline training (4). In addition, it can also increase self-confidence and belief in one’s own ability (5). Detailed description Objective: Ascertain professional needs and interests; determine the actions necessary to further development or employment, looking at the factors conducive to the implementation of assigned tasks and those which may be an obstacle or threat. Course: The trainer acquaints the group with the rules of the exercise, in which colourful scarves or other items of varying shapes and colours are used. It is best if the trainer is first to make a path - in this way the participants can understand the essence of the activity and are encouraged try it for themselves. The idea is to lay out the scarves along an imaginary path that leads to a desired goal. The example shown below is the work of one of the participants in the pilot workshop - X. The entire group actively collaborated with X during the process, providing many useful and valuable suggestions. X had volunteered for this exercise, but at first he was intimidated and had trouble choosing a particular goal. With the help of the group and the trainer, he formulated his idea for new challenges in the near future. I’d like to play the saxophone. X places a scarf to mark the point corresponding to the fulfillment of this dream - far ahead, at the end of a long road. He does not quite know what to do next. The trainer asks if X has ever played this instrument. It turns out that he has not only played, but already has some skill. These are very important factors for achieving the goal - X marks them with two scarves where he currently stands, at the beginning of the road. Someone from the group asks what exactly is the main objective of X - to play just for his own satisfaction or to make money? X puts down another scarf, “saxophone”, and explains its importance: I would like to join a band and play with others. After a while, he adds yet another scarf in the same place - There is a band that is interested in me, I could join them, but I need to learn more. The trainer asks if X is aware of

175


what specifically needs to be improved in order to be in this band. X thinks about it, tries to find an answer... Members of the group suggest to him: You need a lot of practice. You must have a good teacher. X, using scarves, marks out another stage on his path - I know a good teacher. The trainer asks, what then is the main obstacle to realizing the dream? Does X believe in his skills, and does he see a real opportunity to play in a band? X confirms that self-belief and self-confidence are the keys to his continued path to success and that his success depends on them. X takes three green scarves, which he arranges all along the road - they mean self-belief, and are very important at every stage of the path to his goal. First, to help to make the right decisions, then, to persevere in your daily work and in overcome difficulties. At the end of the exercise X travels the path he has created for himself, stops on a particular stretch, and wonders if he can add any important elements or change the layout of those already identified. He folds up his scarves and returns to his seat. Comments / Recommendations “Path” can be used in various forms and at different stages of group work. It can be used - as in our case - for specifying the tasks and challenges faced by participants, or as a summary and analysis of their progress. The exercise can be helpful in professional and educational contexts, as well as in health assessment and measuring the progress of therapy. It is advisable that each participant in the group tries to make his or her own path, because the direct experience of this exercise gives a sense of strength and motivation to undertake further action. The advantage of this exercise is the in-depth analysis of the factors that determine the existing situation and that can contribute to changing it. Duration Delivery time depends on the size of the group and its level of enthusiasm - creating one individual’s route usually takes several minutes, but can take up to half an hour. “The dynamic “path” was one of the most positive and useful of all the exercises we have done during the SUVOT project. People suffering from schizophrenia have lack of initiative, and future hopes. It was very positive both for trainers and for trainees to see how participants try their best with a lot of effort and finally they have achieved to explain some of their objectives and even how they could achieve them”. Nerea Hernández, Spain “In the beginning I noticed a slight resistance towards the Path technique because the participants face difficulties expressing goals. However, all participants set real goals and we made an arrangement that each of them will try to achieve them”. Anja Rozman, Slovenia

176 Spicing Up Vocational Training


PICTURES Reference to specific problematic area This exercise works to define and reveal the needs, desires, intentions, and plans of individual participants, and consequently supports them in their decision to carry them out (3) Detailed description Objective: Planning and imagining professional future. Revealing important topics for the group’s members. Course: For this exercise we need sheets of white paper, coloured magazines, scissors and glue. The task is to create a big poster – a collage about the professional future of participants - such as how they imagine the situation at the end of the course. They work together; everyone can add his or her own graphic element to a common image. Faces cut out of newspapers as well as words, figures and landscapes are arranged in symbolic configurations, revealing different ways of thinking and feeling. At the end, the participants divided into two groups create personal sculptures symbolizing their future professional situation. Each group visits the ‘exhibition’ of sculptures of the other group. The viewers can ask questions, addressing a specific person. The summary of this exercise is to talk about the emotions which were experienced in both activities. Comments / Recommendations The collective collage can be really empowering. Participants can also create their own personal collages. Recommended twice Duration: 20- 30 minutes

PIRATES Reference to specific problematic area This game allows participants to demonstrate creativity, and showcase their imagination (3.5). It also allows them to undertake role playing practicing different ways of behaviour in a safe group environment (1).

177


Detailed description Objective: To make participants more active and courageous Course: The trainers introduce this game by handing out texts about Great Discoveries (some basic information). Participants discuss the times of the discoveries – what was it like to sail into unknown territories? How did it feel to see the land and other ships? Then the trainer hands out some biographic information on famous pirates. The participants read out the information one by one, practising public reading. Afterwards everyone dresses up as pirates. The instructor and the participants put on clothes and materials, which can be used for pirate costumes. It’s a good opportunity to take photos. In the end sea scenery is prepared. The group makes a ship out of chairs and prepare themselves to sing traditional sailing/sea/national songs. The instructor hands out the texts of some songs. To begin, the group practices singing with texts and then, freely, with no text. Comments / Recommendations This exercise brings some fun and excitement, as dressing up usually does. The participants can be asked in advance to bring some clothes and hats for pirate costumes. Singing together consolidates the group and brings a feeling of unity and strength. Duration: 30-35 minutes

POSSIBILITIES Reference to specific problematic area This exercise can be especially useful in motivating change in one’s life situation by showing different possibilities (3), as well as directing participants towards specific challenges by a goaloriented approach (4). In addition, it can also increase self-confidence and belief in one’s own ability (5). Detailed description Objective: To brainstorm different possibilities of actions and events, to open up for unexpected solutions.

178 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Course: A brief warm-up takes us into the climate of today’s session. Participants form a circle and bounce a balloon in the air, trying not to touch the ground. The person who has a balloon calls the name of another person and passes the balloon to him/her. It is a very simple exercise, which makes participants active and at the same time allows them to experience the lightness of the balloon changing directions and making unexpected turns and moves. Afterwards participants are divided into small groups and get a fragment of a text (a short story or newspaper article or a fairytale, etc). The task is to play out the continuation of the story and the ending (first in small groups and then in front of everyone). Afterwards the ending of the original story is discussed. Comments / Recommendations This exercise is similar to “What next?” but here the focus is put on the action. Duration: 20-30 minutes. A SAFETY NET Reference to specific problematic area This theatrical exercise helps to alleviate anxieties and fears and increases mutual trust and understanding. It brings a feeling of safety and security in a team and improves integration of its members (1). Detailed description Objective: Developing trust in one another, eliminating anxiety in a group Course: A safety net is created by participants who stand at one end of the room, holding hands. They stand in a line forming a semicircle - some of them stand at the end of the room, some in its corners and some on the sides of the room. Two people stand in front of the net – they are catchers (it is best to choose the trainer and a participant). A member of the group who volunteers to be first goes to the other end of the room. He or she should have his/her eyes closed (it is best to blind-fold them). The task is to run from one end of the room to the other as fast as one can without the fear of hitting a wall. The task of the group is to make sure the person doesn’t bump into anything. If he or she is not running straight, but, for example, turning right, the net moves in that direction. Participants usually run in a straight line, but the net needs to be ready to move to protect the

179


runner. When he/she is in the middle of the room, the catchers need to stop the person in a safe way. It is best to catch the person in his/her waist to slow them down and bring to a halt. Comments / Recommendations As to the risks, it can be uncomfortable for the catcher to stop the runner, if he or she protects himself/herself by sticking out hands or elbows. The trainer should inform them that the catchers could be hurt this way. Paradoxically, the role of a catcher is sometimes more uncomfortable than the role of a person falling into the safety net. All members of the team should take the role of the runner, unless someone strongly objects. The first person to do the task needs most encouragement, afterwards the exercise runs smoothly as participants can see that they will be protected by the group. Duration: 10-20 minutes (depending on the number of participants as each of them does this exercise, one by one) Recommended twice “The participants were really motivated and the majority of them relaxed with ‘a safety net’ and overcame their fears.” Anja Rozman, Slovenia

SALESMEN Reference to specific problematic area The game requires participants to make direct, verbal contact with all members of the group (2), helps them discover their own strengths and ability to influence others (3), which reinforces selfconfidence and self-esteem (5). Detailed description Objective: Learning the precise content of communication and learning skills of self-presentation. Course: All participants stand in a circle. Their task will be to take on the role of a travelling salesman, and offer the rest their goods. The “salesman” is in the middle and asks the other participants in turn, moving around the circle, concentrating on each individual sale. Props can also be used - for example, a large bag or suitcase, which is well suited to the role of a salesman. Everyone decides what they want to sell to others, or the leader can suggest the type of goods (for example, we sell items that are available in real life, or purely fictional). The salesman tries to create original endorsements of their products to encourage as many people as possible to purchase them. Those remaining in the circle ask questions, declare their willingness to purchase or reject the offer. It is

180 Spicing Up Vocational Training


worthwhile to encourage them to briefly explain their decisions: “I’m buying this product because I’m convinced that it will be useful to me at work” or “I do not like your offer, because it is similar to television commercials.” The trainer writes on the blackboard or a sheet of paper the number of people who decide to buy the products of individual vendors, so that at the end of each can assess their achievements. Comments / Recommendations This exercise develops participants’ ability to present their arguments and teaches them to pursue an objective. The nature of the task motivates the search for ever new forms of information and persuasion, which is very useful in many situations of life. Participants entering the role of dealer must face the reactions of others to face their criticism, to meet different requirements. If exercise is too difficult for some people, you can offer to “sell” their goods in pairs, or with the help of the operator. Duration Exercise - a group with several people can take about an hour.

SELF-IMAGES FROM NATURE Reference to specific problematic area Self-presentation is helpful in terms of developing trust in one’s abilities and self-belief (5) and increases personal motivation (3). Detailed description Objective: to develop participants’ abilities of presenting themselves in a positive way Course: The group goes out for a trip with the trainers. Participants collect different kinds of materials from nature which they will use for making self-presentations - pictures/collages which will say something about themselves (petals, flowers, leaves, berries, sticks, small stones, etc which they associate with themselves or their character or interests). After they come back to the classroom, the collected materials are put onto a big table. The participants are asked to talk about themselves with the help of these materials (by holding them or pointing to them) by answering some questions, for example; How are you? What kind of person are you? What are you dreaming about? Afterwards everyone makes works about their self-image on large pieces of thick paper, using materials from nature and glue. The learners also write a short text about their piece of work/ about themselves. It’s good to laminate the text and the photos. When these works of art are ready,

181


participants can introduce them to the group. Finally, an exhibition can be organized (pictures can be hung up with iron wires). It’s a good idea to invite family members, friends, affiliates and staff of an organization to the opening of the exhibition. Comments / Recommendations If the weather doesn’t allow participants to collect materials from nature, a trip could be organized to a flower shop, for example, where flowers, leaves, plants, dry bouquets or cones can be purchased. It is important for participants to choose the materials they want to work with by themselves. It is a good idea to use natural objects for self-presentation, as there is something very soothing in nature. Duration: about 3 hours

A SHIP ON STORMY SEA Reference to specific problematic area This exercise brings a feeling of safety and security in a team and improves integration of its members (1). It also develops different senses – hearing and touch as well as belief in one’s abilities (5). Detailed description Objective: This exercise helps with taking part in group activities and increases the well-being of participants. Course: Participants should form a circle, holding hands. They will play the sea – individual waves. One person is asked to be a ship - to stand in the middle surrounded by the waves (it is best if someone volunteers to do it). He or she should have his/her eyes closed or covered with a piece of material. The task of the ship is to get to a lighthouse in despite of the noise and movement of the sea. Another person is selected to take the role of the lighthouse and try to ‘navigate’ the ship by calling it by its name (it could be the real name of the person). The waves move inwards and outwards (towards the ship and away from it) to cause confusion. The participants should always hold their hands in circle. They will also make the sound of the sea – hissing, whistling, whispering, swooshing to make it more difficult for the lighthouse to communicate with the ship. It is allowed to gently turn the ship round from time to time to make it lose its course. The ship can press (not push) against the waves, finding the way. At the end, when it is near the destination, the lighthouse can reach out his/hands towards the participants and lead him/her to the shore. It’s good for everyone to practice being the ship.

182 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Comments / Recommendations This theatrical exercise can be practiced with a variety of groups, with different levels of abilities and skills. They find it very helpful, comforting, integrative and involving. As to risks and challenges, it can be confusing to try to find one’s way through chaos and commotion. The role of the lighthouse should be given to someone who can project his/her voice though the crowd. The trainer should explain at the beginning that it is not allowed to push, catch or hold back the ship. Duration: 3-6 minutes for each participant, around 30 minutes for 12 people Recommended twice

WATER Reference to specific problematic area The exercise is relaxing, and encourages emotional liberation and provides positive experiences (5.6). Detailed description Objective: Eliminating anxiety, stabilising emotions. Course: Participants in the exercise are sitting comfortably on chairs or on the floor; their eyes are closed. They are listening to music (some tranquil romantic tune). The instructor suggests the subsequent situations, in order for the participants to imagine and feel them, and express them in motion. “There is a stream running near you. You bend down to it. You immerse your hands in cool water. You move your fingers, the water flows between your fingers. All difficult feelings, fears, burdens are taken away by the water. You can see them vanishing into the distance. You scoop the water with both hands and bring it slowly to your faces. You immerse your faces in the water, giving a very slow wash to your brow and cheeks. And once again, scoop up some water and allow it to wash over your neck and head. The water streams down your arms and your whole body. It brings you fresh energy and calmness. You scoop as much water as you can and splash it over yourselves. Then you straighten up and walk into the stream. How do you feel?” Participants share their emotions and impressions. Comments / Recommendations This exercise may be used at different stages of a course, such as the beginning a session (entering the space of the ”here and now”), or following activities which evoke strong emotions and require much effort. The trainer, leading by narration, may intentionally touch on events from the group process, in order to help participants get through difficult states and stresses. In another version,

183


the trainer adjusts the exercise together with the participants. Touching their shoulder, the trainer encourages a participant’s input. If necessary, real water should be used, as for some people with mental illness going into abstract visions may not be helpful. Each participant could get a bowl of water and relaxing music could be played (sounds of water of nature). Duration The exercise may take several minutes.

WE WOULD LIKE Reference to specific problematic area This technique works to define and reveal the needs, desires, intentions, and plans of individual participants (2), and consequently support them in their decision to carry them out (3), strengthening their self confidence, and sense of self-worth (5). Detailed description Objective: Revealing important topics for the group’s members. Course: Participants lie on the floor (on mattresses or blankets) in the position they find most comfortable, relax, and if they like, close their eyes. Their task is to say, out loud, what they would like to do, change, or achieve, starting each phrase with ”I would like”, for example, ”I would like to get rid of my fear of the future”; ”I would like to become brave enough to wear high heels”; ”I would like to be more comfortable in interactions with people”. Each can state their desires many times – the trainer stops the exercise at the moment when the participants seem to have lost their inspiration. An extra stimulation may be some relaxing peaceful music. Comments / Recommendations The trainer can direct answers towards a particular goal, suggesting, for example, that the participants concentrate on that day, the following week, or some point in the future. The suggestion can even be quite precise, such as ”We will try to talk about things which directly depend on us”. The participants, lying on the floor, do not feel as though the rest of the group is observing them, and therefore find it easier to be truthful and relaxed. Each participant’s contribution encourages the others to say what is really important for them. The trainer may take note of what particular people say, if they seem particularly important, or in need of further discussion at a later stage. The pace of the exercise should be unhurried, even serve to give the group a moment of relaxation. To end, the trainer can suggest a simple movement exercise – stretching the shoulders, the back, and standing up in ”slow motion”.

184 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Duration The exercise may take several minutes to half an hour.

WHAT NEXT? Reference to specific problematic area This activity is useful primarily as an exercise in verbal communication (2). Detailed description Objective: Develop ability to formulate ideas and build a coherent expression. Course: The trainer reads a piece of text (this can be any story - a fairy tale, magazine article, etc), and interrupts the reading at the most intensive moment, when there exists the potential for the story to go forward in a number of different ways. The task of each participant is to present their own version of events. Each in turn tells their imagined continuation of the story. To make it easier, participants might first write down their stories on pieces of paper and then read by them aloud. The entire group chooses the most interesting story (some type of a vote works best here), and finally compares the new ending to the original that the trainer has. A popular variant is a team game in which each participant comes up with one sentence to continue the story. Everyone sits in a circle, one person starts, and the others carry on developing the story “on the fly�. Comments / Recommendations Using a prepared text at the beginning of the exercise makes it easier for the participants to formulate their own statements. Additional suggestions are inspired by other people - all learning from each other, learning about different forms of communication, and different styles of reporting and storytelling events. Particularly valuable is the use of fairy tales, which allow participants to move in a world of imagination and literary fiction, and break away from current affairs. This serves to relax and motivate, and encourages them to be bold in their expression. Duration The activity may take approximately an hour.

WHO AM I? Reference to specific problematic area The exercise is a good way to practise communication skills (2).

185


Detailed description Objective: Development of thoughts and acquisition of needed information. Course: The leader prepares several watchwords to guess, written on the slips of paper. They are the names of actual persons or occupations, such as the Queen of England or a TV speaker. One of the participants stands or sits down in front of the group, with a watchword note attached to his or her throat or forehead in such a way that they cannot read what is written on it. The game consists of each person guessing the watchword attached to them. This person can only ask the others questions with “yes” or “no” answers, such as “Am I a man?” or “Is my job connected with politics?” etc. In a more difficult version the questions can assume the character of short stage etudes, and the watchwords are limited to the names of professions. Then the guesser’s task is to play the roles mimetically, while the rest of the group can prompt him or her in different ways. Comments / Recommendations To take part in the exercise, participants must individually recall and make sense of pieces of information, then create a logical whole. This requires concentration. In a situation, where one of the participants has trouble guessing their fictional identity, and takes too long to find the right answer, the trainer or others in the group should start hinting as to better lines of inquiry. Each group member should have at least one turn. Duration The exercise lasts about half an hour – 45 minutes.

GROUP GAMES Psycho dramatic, role-playing games offer an attractive way to achieve multiple therapeutic and educational goals. With their theatrical and playful character, they help participants to express their feelings and needs, and help them to overcome shyness, fear of the group, and personal defences. They are particularly useful in acquiring communication skills - learning how to communicate with others and how to present opinions, position - to explain their realities. Thanks to these new abilities, participants’ self-confidence and self-belief are strengthened. The ideas for group activities presented

186 Spicing Up Vocational Training


below can be an inspiration for creative experimentation with themes and conventions. A constant basis for group games is the arranging of an imaginary space, and improvised role play within a thematic context decided on either by the therapist/trainer, or by the whole group.

CHARACTERISTICS Reference to specific problematic area First and foremost, this exercise teaches basic principles of cooperation (1) and communication skills training (2). In addition, it familiarises participants with situations in which different types of attitudes and behaviour can clash, requiring good control of one’s emotions, temperament and behaviour (6). Detailed description Objective: Integration of the group, to reach a compromise and working together to complete the task. Course: The trainer hands out objects of clothing such as hats, caps, scarves or just ribbons in several colours. He explains that each colour has a different meaning, defines a different character trait, for example: red - optimism, blue - pessimism, yellow - hard work, and white - laziness, green - explosiveness, and black - stoic calm. Each person can be given one or more distinctive attributes that will determine their behaviour during the exercise. The activity can include such characteristics as complete sloth (single trait) or a hard-working and spontaneous optimist (three traits). Participants need time to memorise the character given to them and become familiar with it. The imaginary space for the exercise is a conference room, which each person enters in turn, having been invited to a very important meeting. Their task is to discuss the idea of issuing a European cookbook (it can also be any other idea), and listing the contents of such a publication (the participants have at their disposal a large sheet of paper and pencils, pens, and crayons). Each person tries to behave in accordance with their assigned a colour-character, looking for activities which are typical and distinctive - building their character, while also interacting with other people - reacting to their actions, trying to move the interaction forward. The role of the trainer - the moderator, is to steer the group towards the end goal, to reconcile contradictions and seek constructive solutions (this role can also be given to any of the participants, or even to two or three of them). At the end, the conference host invites all to celebrate success and compromise. It is a good idea at this point to have a real party, of sorts (maybe combined with a break for coffee and refreshments). Comments / Recommendations This exercise is usually very dynamic, full of confrontations, and it may run erratically and produce

187


very spontaneous emotions. Therefore, the moderators’ roles are especially important here, as they are responsible for keeping the entire process in check. They should find the “golden average” between allowing participants to use their initiative and decisiveness, and skillful intervention to avoid more drastic clashes. It is important to successfully establish a common ground, even if there is little to be found. Duration The activity can last an hour or longer.

ORGANISM Reference to specific problematic area This activity teaches interaction with others (1), and helps participants to discover their own uniqueness and individual place in the group (5). Detailed description Objective: Integration of the group, reflection on each participant’s place in the team; Course: Participants work together to ‘create’ a living organism. The teacher can specify that it is to be a human, or leave the decision to the group - they may prefer a plant or animal. Participants have a moment to reflect on what part of the body they feel they are at that moment. Creating the body should start spontaneously - one of the volunteers assumes a pose characterising the chosen body-part’s function, then explains to the others what’s happening. For example: - I am the right ear. I hear everything that is happening around me. Sometimes I hear too much. The next volunteer finds a place for themselves in an appropriate position relative to the ear and introduces himself: - I am the left hand. Nothing ever works out for me, I always spoil everything, and I’m good for nothing. The next people take their positions, trying to respect the proportions and shape of the created body. When everyone has their place, the operator asks everyone, in a single sentence, or perhaps a single word, to describe how they feel. The second stage of the game is to create a body in the same way, but this time using a different criterion - instead of selecting those parts of the body which they think they are, participants select those which they would like to be. Comments / Recommendations This exercise has a valuable cognitive component - it helps participants identify, define and reveal the emotions (positive and negative) associated with being in a group. This applies also to the broader context of social functioning in different situations and contexts (in a family environment, at work). The technique can be applied at all stages of the group process, though its function and meaning will change depending on the development of the group at the moment of introduction.

188 Spicing Up Vocational Training


Duration Exercise - assuming that both phases will be completed - can take about an hour. “One of our participants, who is VERY introvert sat down in the very middle and said “I am the heart, I am a tiger!” Ruth Bauer and Barbara Brandt, Germany

REMOTE CONTROL Reference to specific problematic area In this exercise, the individual activities of each participant much be synchronised with those of the others (1), which requires the establishment of verbal communication and agreeing to parts and roles (2). The simulation of unexpected circumstances motivates the search for solutions, resolution of deadlock (3) and activities which have specific goals. (4) Detailed description Objective: Training to cope with difficulties and decision making. Course: The game calls on general knowledge about specific locations and specific human behaviour under different situations and conditions. It requires the entire group to engage at the same time. The trainer is a narrator of the constructed story, describing each new phase of the plan, with participants trying to fit in with the narrator’s description. Example of an unfolding sequence: Let’s imagine that we are standing at a bus stop. It is very cold, there is snow all around. We are waiting for a bus which is running late, and we enter into a conversation with people standing with us at the bus stop. Finally, the bus pulls up, and the whole group gets on - we go and talk with fellow passengers, we react to imaginary landscapes that move outside the window. The bus drives into an underground tunnel, suddenly the lights go out, we can’t open the door - we’re trapped. Alternatively - the driver delivers us to a film set, where it turns out that we are a group of extras in a battle scene. The role of the narrator can be played by any one of the participants or by each in succession, all taking turns imagining further events in the story. Instead of the winter scenery the story might take place somewhere completely contrary – perhaps a very hot day. Instead of the bus stop as a meeting place, you can choose, for example, a desert island, where the group will discover a number of sunken ships and crews, and many surprises await our shipwreck survivors. Participants are always engaged in overcoming obstacles and difficulties. Comments / Recommendations The exercise is aimed at activating the participants, mobilising them to work independently, and to establish relationships and cooperation. Entering the continuously new, unexpected

189


situations requires spontaneity and flexibility. Participants in the activity are clearly convinced that their decisions and choices are bringing about the desired result. Firmly situated within the space created by the game, they can safely experiment with different ideas and solutions. However the operator, who is watching developments, has the ability to interfere, and “controls” the developments according to the plan of action, and responds to emerging emotions, needs and difficulties in the group. Duration The exercise may take about an hour. “We simplified the complexity of the stories to help everybody to perform the assigned role.” Nerea Hernández, Spain

TOWN Reference to specific problematic area This exercise serves primarily to increase teamwork (1) and verbal communication (2) skills. It may also be useful in targeting specific tasks to be performed in the area of professional development (4). Detailed description Objective: Integration of the group, ascertainment of professional and educational interests, animation of the participants through autonomous direction of an exercise (“Visits”). Course: The trainer explains the principles of the exercise. Together, the group “builds” a city in which each participant will determine their own place. One possible start is the delineation of several important points in the room - for example, marking out the centre square or plaza with a few benches or mattresses where residents can meet after work, as well as the main streets. The first part of the exercise is done individually - the participants look for a suitable place for themselves within the city limits and create their objects - houses, offices, workplaces. They utilize anything available in the room - furniture, props and scarves. They communicate with each other, explaining what each is doing, what places they’re making. After several minutes the trainer stops the action and asks that each participant in turn explains to the whole group, in a few words, their area. For example: - I built a sweet shop, which is housed in a two-storied building with a terrace. It is surrounded by gardens and situated right next to the main square. I work here as an assistant baker. Or: - My house is a vocational school. It’s easy to find, because it’s at the end of the main street, near the park, and it’s bright yellow. I am a maths teacher. The next step is when all the residents successively visit each participant. The whole group travels from one place to another,

190 Spicing Up Vocational Training


and is welcomed by the host, who gives a tour of the facilities, and talks about the project. The exercise can end with a meeting of all the residents in the main square. It can be either a picnic or a dance - it is important to create an atmosphere of relaxation. Comments / Recommendations In this exercise, the most important thing is the creativity and spontaneity of the participants. It combines two forms of work - individual and team. Every participant in the game has the opportunity to show their interest, passion and skills to the rest of the group. There is also room for fantasy - for imagining yourself in a new situation, unlikely, even impossible circumstances. This aspect is important for many, because it extends the boundaries of their reality (in psychodrama, called “Surplus Reality”). It lets them think about themselves with a greater openness to change, and see themselves in a new social role. The exercise can have different options depending on the specific needs of the educational or therapeutic programme. Instead of building a city, the group can create a multi-functional workplace - for example, a kitchen, with workstations for the various “experts”. Each of them talks about their duties, the difficulties to be overcome, and the interesting and rewarding aspects of their jobs. Duration Working with over a dozen in a group, the exercise may take about one and a half to two hours. “Town ran smoothly and in an enjoyable atmosphere. The participants co-operated very well and were very creative. At the end they built a wonderful town”. Anja Rozman, Slovenia

191


192 Spicing Up Vocational Training


CHAPTER 7

TIPS FOR THE CHEFS

193


CHAPTER 7: TIPS FOR THE CHEFS Hopefully you have decided to implement a cooking course with your group and are looking for some recommendations to follow when running the sessions. This chapter offers you some tips, guidelines and advice by the Chefs of the SUVOT project, directly from practice. The Chefs agree on certain values in training vulnerable people: firstly, feeling safe is critical to participants learning and, secondly, participants need to know that they can overcome challenges and accomplish goals through their actions. Hopefully, you have found this attitude developed through the different training sessions. Finding out information about your group; knowing something about each participant before you start working with them is essential. This will help you to plan activities and adapt the programme according to their needs and particular interests. You may be a more effective trainer when you are aware of the participants’ particularities and how those differences impact learning and development. Create a sense of belonging: Feeling connected is essential to participant’s positive adjustment, selfidentification, and sense of trust in others and themselves. Building strong, positive relationships among participants and teachers/ educators is important to promoting a positive atmosphere and mental wellness. Reinforce positive behaviours and actions: “Catch” participants being successful. Participants need to know that they can overcome challenges and accomplish goals through their actions. Positive feedback validates and reinforces behaviours or accomplishments that are valued by others. Developing individual talents and interests helps vulnerable people to feel competent and more able to deal with stress positively. Ensure that trainees enjoy the course: Facilitate the learning process by ensuring that trainees have fun during the course. This will increase motivation and prevent the participants from dropping out of the course. Throughout this manual you have found some practical exercises and games to put into practice the theoretical content as well as several visits and reflection time to share opinions. Motivation is crucial when working with vulnerable groups so try to make each session unique and special. Use the techniques appropriately: Role-playing techniques might help in conquering fear of new challenges, but we must be aware of certain limitations and take into account the important principles regarding the use of the described techniques in working with people who have gone through psychotic crises. It seems vital that the participants are assured a feeling of safety, skillful support, and motivation. It is also important to take into consideration the fact that the proposed exercises, no matter how they are implemented in the psychotherapy in the described materials, are designed to

194 Spicing Up Vocational Training


address specific social skills; they should not be used as a method for resolving participants’ personal problems, especially when the trainers are not qualified professional therapists. Reacting in the case of apparent difficulties with carrying out a task: The difficulty of a given task can be gradually increased accordingly. It is important to observe the participants and their cooperation. Sometimes it may be appropriate to avoid stubbornly nagging or even forcing a participant to do an activity, for example, something that involves physical contact. Instructions should always be easy for the participants to understand. They should not be complicated, and they should not include comments or difficult language which may give rise to a feeling of uncertainty, or demand long periods of close concentration. The group may contain people who have difficulties with concentration or understanding abstract materials, or have difficulty paying attention during longer exercises. Such issues can be addressed using shorter sentences and instructions, avoiding ambiguous statements, and by skillfully motivating activity. Gather feedback from your group: Respect the opinion of your participants and learn from them, they can give you good ideas to implement during your training sessions. Listen to their needs will make them feeling a special part of the group and thus more involved into the learning process. Encourage peer learning: Create space for participants to teach their peers. Participants need to know that they can make a difference. Peer teaching build self-esteem, foster connectedness, reinforces personal responsibility, and presents opportunities for positive recognition. Helping others and getting involved reinforces the sense of being part of the community. Encourage healthy eating habits: Good physical health supports good mental health. Healthy eating habits protect people against the stress of tough situations and might decrease negative emotions such as anxiety, anger, and depression. Stimulate creativity: The creativity contest exercises have been thought to give the trainees not only space to express themselves but also to work on their autonomy. These sessions could be a good opportunity for you as a trainer to see how the group works in a more autonomous way and detect weak areas to be improved. Adapt the manual to your reality and specific needs: Each learning group is unique, therefore try to be flexible and adapt the teaching units to their needs. Also, depending on your context, you could organize the cooking units according to the season of the year or taking into consideration national festivities or even to include typical recipes from your country and thus make the course more attractive for your group.

195


THE AUTHORS Four organizations from Germany (CJD), Poland (TEATR GRODZKI), Slovenia (OZARA) and Spain (INTRAS), with different but complementary experiences in the socio-health care, vocational training and psychodrama fields, have made this initiative possible.

INTRAS FOUNDATION INTRAS is a Spanish non-profit organisation dedicated to high quality research and intervention in the mental health field. Its main target group consists of people suffering from mental disorders, whereby the organisation also performs activities and offers services to the disabled, the elderly and people at risk of social exclusion in general. INTRAS nowadays consists of 8 centres in 3 different provinces in Spain with over 80 psychiatrist, psychologists and professionals in social and educational fields carrying out research, training and clinical practice. Years of professional work have brought INTRAS solid experience and excellent referential background in development of new technologies, programmes and applications for cognitive rehabilitation, training and mental health treatment. INTRAS is responsible for the coordination of SUVOT project. More information: www.intras.es Contact details: C/ Santa LucĂ­a, 19, 1ÂŞ planta, 47005 Valladolid, Spain Tel: +34983399633 intras@intras.es

OZARA SLOVENIJA Ozara is a non-governmental humanitarian organization, working in the field of social and health care in Slovenia. It offers different forms of psychosocial rehabilitation and support to people with mental health problems. Their aim is to re-include this collective in the social and working environment and also empowers them for independent and better quality lives. This organisation supports also programmes and self-help and advocacy programmes for people with mental health problems and their relatives. Ozara implements preventive activities, is active in publishing, education and the promotion of mental health. More information: www.ozara.org Contact details: Ljubljanska ulica 9, 2000 Maribor, Slovenia Tel:+386023300444 info@ozara.org

196 Spicing Up Vocational Training


CJD FRECHEN CJD is a large, nationwide vocational institution, running about 150 centres in different locations in Germany, employing 8,000 staff members and annually training around 150,000 young people and adults, who are in great majority suffering from various disabilities. Vocational program in cooking, catering and nutrition is one of the strongest amongst the 25 vocational programs carried out by CJD, designed by staff with outstanding expertise and reputation in the field. CJD acts as an intermediary structure between vocational education, research, rehabilitation and labour market, closely working with the National agency of labour with local and regional departments, universities and high schools in the province and psychologists, hospitals and other important stakeholders in the public health system. More information: www.cjd-bbw-frechen.de Contact details: Gemeinnütziger e.V. Vereinsregister Stuttgart Nr. 98, Clarenbergweg 81, 50226 Frechen, Germany Tel: +49022345160 cjd.bbw.frechen@cjd.de

TEATR GRODZKI Grodzki Theatre Association (Bielskie Stowarzyszenie Artystyczne Teatr Grodzki) runs educational and artistic programs (mainly involving drama and theatre) for vulnerable social groups in Poland, including disabled people, youth at risk and unemployed people, improving their educational and vocational opportunities. The Association employs 62 people with disabilities in its two vocational therapy units (sheltered enterprizes): Printing House in Bielsko-Biała and the Hotel and Rehabilitation Centre in Laliki, Beskidy Mountains. It also runs Occupational Therapy Workshops (arts and life-skills day centre) for 30 people with disabilities in Bielsko-Biała. In the last five years it has contracted and managed 15 projects financed by EU programmes, including two pilot initiatives focused on using psychodrama in adult education and drama and role playing techniques as a vehicle in education. Grodzki Theatre is a highly recognized institution in practicing circles of theatre, therapy and education. The Association was in charge of the truly innovative dimension of the project, developing soft-skills training through role-playing techniques. More information: www.teatrgrodzki.pl Contact details: Ul. Sempolowskiej, 13, 43-300 Bielsko-Biala, Poland biuro@teatrgrodzki.pl 48334975655

197


198 Spicing Up Vocational Training


199


The book you have in your hands has been designed to be a valuable and helpful resource in programmes for preparing disabled people for employment. The title hopefully speaks for itself. It reflects our attempt to find a synergy between formal aspects of vocational training and soft skills development to enhance multifaceted learning in an innovative way. We hope that the presented work as well as the participation of people with mental illnesses in vocational training helps to combat the prejudices and stereotypes associated with mental illness, increases possibilities for employment amongst those affected, and helps in reintegrating disabled people into the workplace.

SUVOT


Trainers handbook