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Hospitality - Chopping and changing

A practical exam, this year's Intermediate 2 hospitality award was one of the most difficult in a long time, said Elaine Gardiner, principal teacher of home economics at Bannerman High in Glasgow.

Students had to chop and change far more than usual between the recipes for starter, main course and dessert. Not only that, but the ingredients were quite expensive at a time when school budgets were tight. Mrs Gardiner has issued a plea to the exam setters to think more carefully about costs in future.

The starter - a smoked fish flan - was a particularly expensive course. Her pupils used smoked haddock because it was the cheapest option they could find. The main course was turkey koftas with rice, and the dessert was a chocolate orange meringue roulade.

Students are given the recipes to follow by the SQA and are allowed to practise them once before the two-and-a-half hour exam, although in the course of the year, they will practise the various skills involved, such as pastry-making.

The roulade recipe was not a good one, said Mrs Gardiner, as neither the students, a Glasgow Metropolitan College lecturer who visited her school, nor herself was able to make the meringue without it cracking. "It was the recipe - I tried it on numerous occasions," she said.

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