Of course, British summer this year kicked the bucket the moment schools broke up. I’m rather pleased not to be a parent any more, in the sense of organising activities, camping and holidaying in Devon. Poor parents! Especially the modern types obsessed with orchestrating educational entertainment for every second of the day. Get over it – it does kids a wonder of good to be bored every now and then – and you always remember summers of the childhood as sunny anyway!
But instead of sniggering Schadenfreude I’ll now offer some relief: ideas for cooking with kids on a rainy day – which will be most of them. First off, baking: the most enjoyable activity in the kitchen without a doubt. You can make like my Grandma used to do to keep me quiet and occupied whilst she was cooking: set up a stool or a little table with random ingredients for me and announce a cooking competition. She’d invariably win – her productions were edible. But I had enormous fun anyway.
For real, you definitely want to make snickerdoodles; already the name is fun. Rolling the cookie dough around in the cinnamonned sugar like dung beetles, what’s not to like? And for the more ambitious, whoopee pies. Melting marshmallows might be the beginning and the end of it, but so what?
Muffins provide almost instant gratification; and these chocolate muffins couldn’t be easier. And a version of the Italian yoghurt cake is also known as the French toddler’s cake: no scales, just a yoghurt pot is used to measure out ingredients.
Cheese biscuits – the pastry will be ready in seconds and the shaping can freewheel wherever fancy takes it. The alternative recipe, cheese and black pepper buttons, involves poking holes in dozens of biscuits. Appealing? Decidedly.
For dinner, macaroni cheese will be a hit – just do the slicing and chopping yourself; the junior chefs can do the stirring. Take the same approach in making a meatloaf – chopping excluded, let your offsprings mix and mash the mince and all with their hands. How much better than that can a rainy day get?