Kitab Khana was packed with children on Saturday, as young book fiends and budding chefs came together for the Enid Blyton picnic held on Saturday as part of the Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival.
The event helped the kids learn more about one of their favourite authors, through a delightful sampling of some of the food mentioned in her books. After all, who doesn’t remember those mouth-watering afternoons of reading about buttered scones and jam tarts, picnics and midnight feasts?
On Saturday, food blogger Amrita Rana recreated some of those English classics for the crowd of young fans, as volunteers read out passages from Blyton books like Famous Five and The Six Cousins of Mistletoe Farm.
Over a 90-minute session, Rana taught the 150 kids aged 6 to 12 how to make scones, tarts and peanut butter. “I was so surprised to find that all the children already knew a lot about food,” she says. “One little girl stood up and told me exactly how peanut butter was made. Another said lettuce was good because it’s fibrous! They all were really involved in the workshop.”
When Amrita asked who would help her make scones, seven-year-old Om Pherwani’s hand shot up. “I love cooking,” he said. “I often make cakes with mum at home and even pack chocolate sandwiches for my sister. As we don’t have a TV, reading and cooking are my only hobbies.”
Another Enid Blyton fan, Sarah Fernandes, said she liked the tart demonstration the most. “My mum bakes too, and I help her all the time,” she said. “Cakes are my favourite. But I like books better. I am looking forward to the book swap event tomorrow.”
The only time the well-behaved audience, who all want to be on Masterchef, went awry was when the scones and sandwiches were distributed at the end of the workshop. They had learnt a lot, and it was time for some sweet rewards. Who could blame them?