Cook­ing is child’s play

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE -

THE SCHOOL hol­i­days are great — if you are a child, that is. All those end­less fun-filled days with­out dou­ble maths and home­work to do. But par­ents have the headache of en­ter­tain­ing their off­spring, or in my case at­tempt­ing to wrest their elec­tronic de­vices from them (I find Chi­nese burns are quite ef­fec­tive).

If my chil­dren were more sporty we would be out­side play­ing foot­ball and cricket, or per­haps pitch and putt. How­ever, for some rea­son, they have never been huge sports fans and re­gard the out­doors with acute sus­pi­cion.

So, what to do with en­er­getic chil­dren? Well, cook­ing ob­vi­ously.

Alex is nine and dur­ing the spring hol­i­days I gave him his first proper cook­ing les­son. With some guid­ance he man­aged to make an omelette on his own. And since then he has re­peated the trick several times — he is quite non­cha­lant about it now. A few weeks ago he de­cided that he wanted to ex­pand his reper­toire.

Al­though the temp­ta­tion with chil­dren is al­ways to make cakes and bis­cuits, Alex, ever prac­ti­cal, said he wanted to make some­thing savoury — and one of his favourite dishes is broc­coli soup.

I started Alex off by finely chop­ping some gar­lic and an onion my­self (I was slightly ner­vous about let­ting him loose with a very sharp knife for the more in­tri­cate stuff), but I did give him the knife to chop a large piece of broc­coli into flo­rets while I held my breath. Thank­fully, he did it very well and safely.

We sautéed the onion and gar­lic in a lit­tle veg­etable oil and then added the broc­coli. Alex boiled the ket­tle and very care­fully poured the boil­ing water into the pan to cover the broc­coli. He then crum­bled in a veg­etable stock cube, some salt and pep­per and a cou­ple of tea­spoons of light soy sauce.

We waited 15 min­utes be­fore turn­ing off the heat and al­low­ing it to cool slightly be­fore we plugged in the hand blender and took turns to liq­uidise the soup. “Do we eat it now?” Alex asked.

“Yes, but first we taste it,” I told him, hand­ing him a spoon.

“Hmm,” he said with a stud­ied ex­pres­sion. “Per­haps some more salt.” Sea­son­ing ap­plied, we sat down to eat our soup with some cream, some grated cheese (Alex’s idea), some crou­tons I had made ear­lier plus a crusty roll.

What to do with en­er­getic chil­dren? Well, cook­ing ob­vi­ously

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