Chocolate best medicine
Delicious cakes and big smiles were the order of the day when MasterChef New Zealand contestant Vanessa Baxter dropped into Ronald McDonald House.
Mrs Baxter spent an afternoon making zucchini fritters and one-cup microwaved chocolate cakes with families staying at the house while their children are undergoing treatment at Starship children’s hospital.
‘‘I cook with my kids all the time. Being in the kitchen is an important part of their lives.
‘‘I thought it would be great to come in and give something back. It’s heart warming for me and fun for them,’’ she says.
Mrs Baxter’s 11-year-old son Christopher was on hand to play the role of assistant.
The 46-year-old Epsom resident is one of six finalists still fighting for the MasterChef title.
In Sunday night’s show she had the task of making a roasted turduckenqua, which involves stuffing a quail inside a chicken, inside a duck, inside a turkey.
Starship patient Charlotte Tuuta-Kyle’s favourite creation at the class was the chocolate cake in a cup.
A month ago doctors found a tumour in the 7-year-old’s brain which they have been able to remove.
Charlotte’s family live on the Chatham Islands and they’ve been staying at Ronald McDonald House while she is treated.
The cooking class was Charlotte’s first trip out of her hospital ward.
Vicki Lee Harris dropped in on the lesson while her 4-year-old was in theatre being tested for a lung disease.
‘‘It’s good for the patients’ families to be able to have a break away from the hospital environment and all of the medical terms,’’ she says.
Taste test: Talia Edwards, right, takes a bite of one of the tasty treats MasterChef New Zealand contestant Vanessa Baxter showed families how to make at Ronald McDonald House.
Team effort: Vanessa Baxter helps Ebony Reweti and Kyan Edwards with their baking.