Anyone who has read (bless your heart) my home school musings over social media will know I have a little Gordon Ramsey brewing at Emerald Lodge. Cooking was added as a tired afterthought to the list of ‘stuff to do’ today, and as Indi loves a cook book, I thought I’d dig out one of my old favourites. When he saw it on the board, he was all over it like a flannel – searching for his next creation. I was just hoping I might be able to rustle up the ingredients!
So…he settled on a lasagne…I knew I had sheets at the back of the cupboard somewhere…mushrooms, oh yes, kale – no, but dearest Hugh suggested cavelo nero – and we only bloody had some; it popped up in Lidl last week (dark cabbage, had it once before) so we were good to go. Hell, I like a challenge and bechamel sauce at 10am sounds like fun.
Indi stared in awe at the book cover for a good 20 seconds, before asking for the man’s name. I didn’t tell him all about dearest Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage exploits, though I have a feeling we will end up watching some re-runs in our immersion of his cookery passion. He simply said ‘I want to be like him’, so I said that it was perfectly possible in the future!
I love the speed of his stirring – whether he will remember making his first roux and infusing the milk I don’t know, but I certainly will.
Cute…Eti was playing in the other room but kept getting called through by Indi to smell things and taste things. After we boiled the posh cabbage, Eti kept coming through to steal it! Hardly an appealing bit of booty but hunger is hunger!
Sorry Hugh, not quite enough bechamel sauce in the reduced quantities so the top layer is rather ‘textured’…
…but it tasted beautiful with such a subtle flavour. They ate the lot, along with me and my two helpings (one for baby on board, oink oink). I watched them munching up this creamy concoction and marvelled at their acceptance of the texture, flavour and colour. I don’t know whether it’s luck, but these kids are not fussy. I do wonder if it’s because (apart from consistently being offered a bizarre mix of food stuffs since being weaned) of their involvement in the actual preparation of food. If I presented it blind, would it go down as well? It is hard work having a small eager person in a place riddled with danger, but I just take a deep breath and remind myself he would learn nothing if I didn’t let him experience all aspects of the kitchen. He chops with sharp knives, he can operate the gas rings, he can switch from grill to fan oven….but he also knows he can burn himself, and what to do if he gets burnt, and how dangerous it is if the gas is coming through and it isn’t ignited. He knows what gas smells like. His little 6 year old mind is firing on all cylinders as he takes on board these essential life lessons.
So, the kitchen was a bombsite, but bellies were full and Indi had taken another step forward in his cooking discoveries, something we wouldn’t have had the time to do were we at school for six hours in the day. I am so proud of my littlest chef
By the way, ‘Veg Everyday’ is a really great veggie cookbook, and there’s a whole chapter on stuff you KNOW you’re going to have in your cupboards in order to rustle up something nutritious, quickly. I love the magic ‘great for everything’ dough recipe, as you can use it for all sorts of bread products, and we have made so many homemade pizzas with the method. Daz adores the Indian flatbreads, but as it involves smoking out the kitchen for a good two hours, it only appears on high days and holidays in our house! Here’s the link to the cookbook: River Cottage Veg Every Day! (River Cottage Every Day)