School’s out: go stir crazy

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE - BY VIC­TO­RIA PREVER

WHEN YOU reach the ‘I’m bored’ stage of the school hol­i­days, cook­ing is a great way to keep lit­tle hands busy. Most chil­dren’s cook­ery cour­ses will be booked by now. So here are some tips and recipes from the pro­fes­sion­als, to in­spire you to get busy in the kitchen with your chil­dren or grand­chil­dren:

1. PLAN AHEAD

Have all equip­ment out and ready be­fore you start. “Know what recipe you want to make and make sure you have all in­gre­di­ents to hand” ad­vises Ni­cole Free­man of the Kids’ Kitchen. “It sounds ob­vi­ous, but kids have lim­ited pa­tience, so up­front plan­ning makes the cook­ing ex­pe­ri­ence more fun for every­one.” Free­man also rec­om­mends weigh­ing in­gre­di­ents first for lit­tle ones. “That way cook­ing is quicker, less messy and you can ask them to find each in­gre­di­ent in turn.”

2. RULES

“Es­tab­lish kitchen rules like wash­ing hands and not touch­ing stove knobs or knives” says chef and cook­ery teacher Lisa Roukin “Then give fre­quent re­minders about what’s ok to touch and what can hurt them. Even older chil­dren need safety re­minders es­pe­cially if they’re work­ing with a p p l i a n c e s and knives or at the stove.”

3. RE­LAX

Get out­side your mess com­fort zone and let them be creative. “It’s amaz­ing what chil­dren can do when you let them”, says cook­ery teacher and caterer, Fa­bi­enne Viner-Luz­zato ( home­cook­ing­with­fa­bi­enne. co.uk). “The youngest ones just need more at­ten­tion for tasks like sep­a­rat­ing eggs and mea­sur­ing but the older ones can be more in­de­pen­dent.”

4. NOSH­ING IS GOOD

“Tell them how real chefs work — tast­ing as they go — and en­cour­age them to do the same.” says Free­man. “This can get even the fussi­est eaters to try things.” She also rec­om­mends en­cour­ag­ing the chil­dren to share their good­ies. “Eat­ing what they’ve made at a fam­ily sup­per or tak­ing baked good­ies for a fam­ily tea is a great way of them show­ing off what they have made”.

5. FUN WITH FOOD

Viner-Luz­zato sug­gests in­vest­ing in fun cook­ing gad­gets like an in­stant ice cream maker or choco­late lolly mak­ing sets. “Cre­at­ing lol­lies or ice cream is mag­i­cal for chil­dren.” Chil­dren will also love har­vest­ing their own in­gre­di­ents.

“When you pick your own, they’ll taste food at its very best and maybe try some­thing they’ve pre­vi­ously been wary about” says Roukin. “You can of­ten pick a range of pro­duce, in­clud­ing broad beans, peas, gar­lic, beet­root, berries and cur­rants.” Find a lo­cal farm at pick­y­ourown.info.

Here are some recipes to get you started and help the summer fly by.

Chil­dren love get­ting creative in the kitchen

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