Like most parents, we don’t want our kids to go into the big bad world considering that opening a tin of beans constitutes cooking, and fish pie a culinary dark art. To encourage them, apart from giving them tips on basics , What we have done from the time they were about 7 or 8 was do ‘Saturday meals’. This involves one of them choosing whatever they want from recipe books (no matter how complex), and then (with our assistance) spending often most of the day on preparing it. We used to do it roughly once a month, and it did get pretty complex – Baked Alaska was far from the hardest. but in the last few years have fallen out of the habit, instead playing with things like how to make the perfect roast potatoes, or duck breast.
Yesterday, however, we started again, and Kat to the lead, with prawn balls (to a recipe that she and I made up, trialled and improved), salmon and trout parcels and an artery stopping chocolate pudding. The most complex bit was making chocolate sheets that were marbled and waved (i.e. not flat). As ever, you discover things as you go – for example, we’d have been better making the sheets flat, then bending them when they were semi-solid as they would have been a more even thickness. But, for a first go they were pretty good. And, it was a good reminder that it’s good fun and something we must do more often.