We’ve only got our children to verify this, but school dinners (we’re in the North-East so it will always be dinner, not lunch) these days just don’t seem to be what they were.

Don’t get us wrong, from a nutritional standpoint, they’re definitely better, and it’s great that our kids are eating healthy, balanced meals (although this is not across the board) rather than the beige inspired creations we were used to, but it’s all got a little boring in our view.

Pink custard for example. When is the last time you had pink custard? People of a certain age will know exactly what we are talking about here.

And granted, there probably wasn’t much actual turkey in a turkey twizzler, but when served with potato smiles and beans, there were plenty of empty plates in our memory (cheers Jamie Oliver!).

Pizza and chips, burger (again probably not too much of a cow in them) and chips and spam fritters (now we are showing our age) were all regularly on the menu in our schools when we were growing up and it hasn’t hurt us, in fact it inspired us to become chefs. Ok, that’s perhaps taking it too far!

But it was really all about the desserts back in the good old days. Cornflake tart with pink custard, yes please; Blancmange (they would call that a panna cotta now!), go on then; and let’s not forget a classic sponge cake smothered in sprinkles – you had us at sprinkles!

This blog is, of course, all a little bit tongue in cheek, in fact we marvel at some of the things our kids say they had at school: “Mange Tout, Thai Curry, Avocado, Pistachio ice cream!”

Our response: “We were all (insert age here) when we first tried them, you’re lucky, you should have had school dinners when we were kids!”

Then again……

Enough of this nonsense, here’s out school meal inspired recipe.

Vanilla Blancmange with Strawberries


  • 4 cups of milk
  • ½ cup of normal flour
  • ½ cup of of cornflour
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • Piece of vanilla 3 inches long, or some vanilla essence/extract


  1. Bring three cups of milk to the boil.
  2. Add the vanilla and sugar
  3. Add the cornflour to the other cup of milk and add to the main mixture
  4. Stir and cook for another 10 minutes
  5. Pour into a mould and cool in the fridge
  6. Serve with sliced strawberries.
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SK Chilled Foods | Your Food. Our Passion
Your food. Our Passion.