From pancakes & biscuits to Master Chef Junior. A growing trend in Spain is to encourage kids to help out in the kitchen.
Not technically his first pancake day – his 3rd really – but the first time he will help to make them and help to eat them.
This year pancake day – or to give it its technical name Shrove Tuesday – fell on the same date as Dani’s mum’s birthday. And I forgot – which means of course that Dani also forgot – to get his mother a birthday card and present.
My attempts to blame this blogging thing fell on deaf ears naturally, but it was worth a try. It’s true, I did spend most of my free time yesterday writing when I should have gone shopping but that is no excuse of course. I have no idea what Dani’s excuse is. He is not saying – just keeping schtum; clever boy.
Little kitchen helpers…
We recently bought him a little chef’s outfit. Not a fancy dress costume but an apron with his name neatly embroidered on the front and the smallest chef’s hat we could find. It seems with all of the cooking programmes on TV and now even a Master Chef Junior show that parents are keen to get their kids into the idea of preparing and cooking food. It has become a popular pursuit in Spain. It also gives the kids a sense that they are genuinely helping out in the kitchen. In Dani’s case this is certainly true. He loves helping out in the kitchen even if his version of helping is more like getting in the way.
For the past few months I have baked biscuits for Dani since he started eating (in my eyes at least) far too many of the factory made sugar bombs. I was keen to make my own biscuits with no sugar (we use honey instead) and now he helps me to make them. The best thing about this is that he prefers my biscuits to the commercial brands. That gives me a great deal of satisfaction. Maybe I should try to sell them? If they pass Dani’s taste test and with no sugar (or artificial sugar substitutes) then perhaps other parents might like to buy them.
The recipe is written below at the end of this post. It is so quick & easy and they really are quite tasty. Try it for yourselves and let me know what you think.
Does anyone have any other simple biscuit recipes to share?
This year, as there was no way that he was going to leave me in peace to do it alone, I thought it would be good fun for him to help make some pancakes.
While he seems to enjoy all aspects of the cooking he particularly loves the small electronic scales and measuring out the ingredients. He loves the scales so much that unless you are very alert and quick enough to intervene he will press the tare button in mid-measurement. So you need to have an eye on the exact weight at the time he presses the button or it is back to square one: empty the bowl, place it back on the scales and start all over again.
This time I managed to avoid repeating any steps in the process. The ingredients were correctly measured out into the big bowl and he helped to mix the batter. Now for the really fun part of making and tossing the pancakes.
At this stage I would like to point out that safety is of the utmost importance and we always keep Dani at a safe distance from the cooker at all times in a purpose-built protective platform.
He loved watching the pancakes being cooked and of course the traditional tossing was highly amusing. Naturally he wanted to have a go. “Not for a few years yet little man!”
Finally came the real test. The proof of the pudding so to speak. Typically for a kid of his age this was short and sweet. He tried one pancake with cheese (his preferred flavour enhancer these days) and didn’t seem particularly keen. After a couple of bites he reached for his milk (which he gulped down) and asked to go to bed.
Oh well. Not really a problem. He enjoyed helping to make them and that was the main aim this year. I am sure that next year he will not only be making but also eating the full pancake.
How old were your kids when they got hooked on pancakes?
Dani’s Biscuit Recipe
This recipe produces a shortbread-like biscuit which is fairly brittle but delicious.
150g Plain Flour
2 Tablespoons Honey
Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.
Melt the butter in a pan and add the honey.
Stir the butter/honey mix into the flour until it forms a large dough ball.
Roll out the dough (aim for 5mm thickness) and cut into small circles.
Place them onto ovenproof paper on the oven tray.
Cooking time: 10 minutes.