Kids Kooking

Thanks Colin for today’s inspiration.

Helping out in the kitchen as a youngster was putting away the clean dishes, then progressing to washing up and finally drying up.
Cooking was Mum’s job, though my Dad made some pretty good dough boys for stew and some crunchy suet based ‘balls’ we had sometimes instead of yorkshire pudding or stuffing with the Sunday roast. His Bread Pudding was also scrumptious, being dark and shiny when you cut it.

My first effort was boiled eggs, which I proudly took up to Mum and Dad on a tray one morning. We’d moved out of the council house into the one that Dad had built, so I would have been about 9, maybe 10.
boiled eggWith visions of the above, I burst into tears when they took the top off the egg which was still raw.
Dad put his arms round me and asked how long I’d cooked them for.
I told him I’d timed it carefully to three minutes, so he asked if I’d let the water come to the boil first. That bit hadn’t registered before so we laughed as he dried my tears and poured out the tea.
That was cold because I’d found it in the teapot, but they drank it anyway.

Mum let me help in the kitchen after that, mixing the yorkshire pudding batter, making the gravy with the meat juices, water from the veg, flour and gravy browning, and when she was baking, I was there to roll the pastry and cut out the discs, or beat the cake mix and test the finished product before taking it out of the oven.
At Christmas, everyone had a stir of the solid mass of currants, sultanas, cherries, brown sugar, black treacle, and other ingredients to make our traditional cake, and to make a wish. Eventually, Mum would marzipan it, and Dad would make the proper royal icing and spike it over the top. That cake was very much a family joint effort.
My pastry was never as good as Mum’s, but it was passable, and when it came to fried bread and fried eggs, well, I was your gal!

After my disastrous cookery class and being reprimanded in front of everyone for testing a sponge cake with a knife, things have improved and I’ve picked up several tips from friends, bank customers and even fellow shoppers on how to make crisp roast potatoes, get huge top hat yorkshire puds, and the secret of the perfect sponge (if you are not using real butter) is to add a teaspoon of cream of tartar and baking powder, regardless if you’re using self raising flour.
cakeIn my adult life, I encouraged kids in my care to help out in the kitchen.
As with Mum, it was being involved in the aftermath of washing up first, then we progressed to making things (funny, boiled eggs never came into it) like toast, beans on toast and cups of tea or coffee.
kiddy cookThe two boys, then 4 and 6, were content to stir the yorkshire pudding batter or dough boy mix (half each), and they loved getting their hands sticky ‘rubbing in’ the flour and fat for rock cake or scones.
Then later one foster boy wanted to be a chef so I let him loose in the kitchen though I was close at hand should he need me, and a foster girl wrote off two of my saucepans which burnt dry as she forgot them watching TV. We had take out that night.
kiddy chefI did something similar boiling eggs for sandwiches, and got engrossed with trying on a variety of clothes that had arrived by mail order.
One of the lads knocked on my door to inform me that eggs were blowing up all over the kitchen ceiling and were they meant to do that?
Thus, boiled eggs and I have never seen eye to eye.
I guess you could say the ‘yolk’s on me’  (sorry couldn’t resist).
egg joke

About pensitivity101

I am a retired number cruncher with a vivid imagination and wacky sense of humour which extends to short stories and poetry. I love to cook and am a bit of a dog whisperer as I get on better with them than people sometimes! We have recently lost our beloved dog Maggie who adopted us as a 7 week old pup in March 2005. We decided to have a photo put on canvas as we had for her predecessor Barney, and now have three pictures of our fur babies on the wall as we found a snapshot of my GSD so had hers done too. From 2014 to 2017 'Home' was a 41 foot narrow boat where we made strong friendships both on and off the water. We were close to nature enjoying swan and duck families for neighbours, and it was a fascinating chapter in our lives. We now reside in a small bungalow on the Lincolnshire coast where we have forged new friendships and interests.
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14 Responses to Kids Kooking

  1. colinandray says:

    We kids always got to lick the mixing bowl and utensils clean when something good had been mixed. Did you?

  2. colinandray says:

    I forgot – I have my Mum’s recipe for Bread Pud. Would you like a copy?

      • colinandray says:

        The following recipe was provided to me, by my Mum, at my request many years ago. Her bread pudding was my staple on long bike rides! It may not have been the most energy efficient, but it stuck my back wheel to the road while carrying it, and stuck me to my bike saddle after eating it!

        Bread Pudding

        1 small loaf or ½ of a large one
        3 oz brown sugar
        3 oz shredded suet
        1 egg
        about 2 tablespoons flour (see below)
        4 oz sultanas
        Sprinkle of mixed spice if liked

        Cut all crusts off bread, hold 3 or 4 slices in your hand, waft under a slow running cold tap, till wet. Squeeze out all water, put into mixing bowl, add suet and fruit and sugar plus the spice (if used) add the egg and give it a good mix.

        Add the flour then, to soak up all the water, it must not be too wet. You’ll have to judge the flour Colin, I used almost the 2 tablespoons, but you (or the cook) will know what it should look like (yes, I know, a bit of a mess!) You’ll have to judge the fruit as well, you may need more.

        About a 6” cake tin, greased of course, bung it all in, I cooked it on gas 6 for about 3/4hr, but once again Colin you’ll have to go by looks (and taste!). Once again Colin, a guess as I am on a gas cooker and you’re electric, try it on a MODERATE HOT OVEN (190C/375F) LEDGE UNDER THE MIDDLE SHELF.

        Let’s hear how you got on with it. If I don’t hear from you again, I’ll fear the worst!!! It’ll be fun anyway!

      • This is so similar to my Mum’s, except I don’t cut the crusts off, and soak the bread in water, then squeeze out all the liquid. I add a knob of butter to the mix rather than suet, then put it in a greased dish, cover with greaseproof paper and cook on a low heat (gas 4, electric 150C) for at least an hour, then take off the paper and cook for another 30 minutes. It’s nice if you can use a mixture of left over brown/white/granary bread too. I shall be trying this next time we go down to MOH. Thanks!! Aren’t our Mums the best?

      • colinandray says:

        Carol had a laugh with my Mum’s instructions. I had to explain what “wafting” was, and the basic idea around “bung it in the oven.” My Mum was from Birmingham so did not mince words! 🙂

  3. You got me scared of eggs!! I am letting our little man help out too, he does the salting and herbing of dinner, stirs with my hand on his (he is just 2 after all) and stuff like that…he helps where he can and enjoys it very much.

  4. I always wonder about people who say they have no idea how to cook – did they just grow up with someone who didn’t cook? Or are they just not interested? The moment I was allowed I wanted into the kitchen to try my hand at making whatever struck my fancy.

  5. Pingback: Yours was very nice | pensitivity101

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