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Wednesday, 7 November, 2001, 06:36 GMT
Students seek perfect turkey
Mince pies and other Christmas goodies
The students will even be taught which wine to buy
A Bedford college is offering to ease Christmas stress with a crash cookery course on how to prepare the perfect turkey dinner.

The seven-week course, costing 85 with 21 hours of tuition, will teach desperate cooks how to dish up both modern and traditional fare.

The 12 students will be taught how to make a roast turkey with a chestnut and wild mushroom stuffing, but for those with a bit of nerve, there is pheasant in a hunter's sauce.

Raj Mandal, head of catering at Bedford College, said: "They will learn everything except how to cook figgy pudding, simply because the ones you can buy in the shops are good enough."

A Christmas pudding
A variety of puddings are on the menu

Six men and six women have signed up for the course, and the youngest student is 25 years old.

"We didn't get any very young people interested. I guess they'll be eating kebabs for Christmas," Mr Mandal said.

He added: "Cooking Christmas dinner can be the most stressful time of the year.

"What surprised me is that we have just as much interest from men, who by tradition merely cut the turkey after a woman has done all the hard work.

"Nearly 100 seems a bit steep but all the equipment and ingredients are free. It is very worth while and we are not out to make a profit.

Bilberry pie

"Some who have enrolled are having to cook for a large family for the first time and others are looking for some fresh ideas as they have been cooking the same roast for years.

"Once they have finished this course, people will be able to really impress their mother-in-law for years to come. That appeals to a lot of people."

During the course, students will also be taught how to make a traditional pork-and-egg pie, salmon and a Christmas cake.

A special pudding is also on the menu: bilberry and syrup pie with ginger ice cream.

A wine tasting session will explain exactly which red or white to choose, as well as lecture in cheese and biscuits.

See also:

22 Dec 00 | Health
Surviving the big day
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