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ChristopherBlackwell Post number 26316 Posted: 15th May 2020     Subject: Lockdown ativities, cooking with children
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‘Keep the ingredients off the floor! ’ – 15 tips for cooking with kids

It’s never too early to learn to cook – and the perfect lockdown activity. Top chefs and bakers share their tips on making it safe and fun
Stuart Heritage
@stuheritage

Fri 15 May 2020 06.30 EDT

Lockdown isn’t much fun for parents of small children, who now find themselves attempting round-the-clock childcare while possibly juggling work as well, and with the added hassle of overseeing a schedule of schoolwork.

I’ve found that the best way to cope – aside from a renewed interest in drinking – has been to get the kids involved in cooking. Mine are young (five and two), but if they can help out at dinnertime a little, I’ve decided that it counts as home-schooling. Here are a few tricks that I’ve discovered to gain their interest, as well as some expert tips.

1. Bake, bake, bake

Assuming you’ve achieved the tricky task of sourcing flour, bread dough should be your new best friend. It’s simple enough that older kids can make it themselves with light supervision, and sturdy enough that smaller kids can give it a real battering if they want. The highlight of our day is now the knockback stage, because it gives my children a chance to punch something other than each other. Another really good starting point is cake-mix packets. There’s no technique to them; just a cracked egg and some oil. The big kid cracks the egg, the little kid pours the oil and then they each get a spoon to mix and (most importantly) lick. The cakes aren’t very good, but it kills half an hour, so whatever.

2. Check you have all the ingredients first

As Mary-Anne Boermans from series two of The Great British Bake Off says: “Make sure you have the ingredients before you suggest a recipe. Nothing kills the mood faster than a promise unfulfilled. If you’ve suggested brownies, then find you have no cocoa, a Nutella sandwich is going to be a hard sell. ” Also, adds the food writer Signe Johansen, it doesn’t hurt to have everything prepped before the kids arrive on the scene. “Avoid wasting ingredients by measuring out as much as you can before you start, ” she says. “Depending on how old the kids are, ingredients can go flying or fall on the floor. ”

3. It’s about having fun – not perfect results

Let the kids take the lead. As David Atherton – 2019’s Bake Off winner and author of the forthcoming My First Cook Book – says: “It’s not fun if you’re always controlling it all. Having fun and starting the learning process around food is way more important than the perfect fluffy cake. ” Incidentally, Atherton’s recipe for near-instant banana ice-cream is a winner. Take two frozen bananas, two spoons of yoghurt, a teaspoon of vanilla and a teaspoon of malt extract. Blend until smooth.

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6. Keep it simple

Alice Fevronia – a teacher and 2019 Bake Off alumna – suggests picking recipes that the kids won’t absolutely ruin. “Stick to simple recipes that don’t need to be too precise, and allow them to make decisions in adding additional things they want to. Flapjacks and cookies are a good place to start. ” The chef Romy Gill likes to present her kids with a single ingredient – say a fruit, vegetable or pulse – and ask them to list everything they can make with it. With potatoes, for instance. “I do this stuffed Indian flatbread called aloo paratha, spicy chips or a mashed potato bake with carrots, spinach, beans, cheese and a little bit of cream or butter. ” However, “they are not a fan of jacket potatoes. School has ruined them”. The best way to meal plan, especially when young kids are involved, can be to limit the options, says Boermans: “Don’t give too much freedom because tiny brains can’t cope. Don’t ask: ‘What do you want to make? ’ Rather: ‘Do you want soup or a sandwich? ’ It’s still their choice, just with a bit more focus. ”

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https://www.theguardian ... stem-farming

Wisdom is what is left after you have done all the dumb stuff
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