I am transported back to when I was about 6 years old and it was a very heavy winter with snow blizzards and freezing ice on the roads. I still trudged to school with my brothers, in our wellingtons and duffle coats and we watched our breath form ice rings as we spoke. It was a giant adventure for us and we took our time getting to school. Making sure our hands stayed in our pockets as much as we could in between snowball making and general tomfoolery. The journey home though was as the crow flies, short and direct as we were going home for a winter feast. I’m sure our mum timed the opening of the oven door to directly coincide with our return to the back door. Wellies off, trousers on radiators, in our pyjamas ready for the feast. So imagine, 3 excited kids who had just trekked through the Arctic Midlands blizzard to make it home safely in time for freshly made buttered scones. The sofa was pulled up to the open fire and we sat there savouring and demolishing lots of succulent and tasty food. I firmly believed my mum was the best cook.
Years on, my son delightfully says ‘you are the best cooker in the world, ever mummy’ I can hear the joy in his voice as he says this without reservation and with complete belief. History is repeating itself and this bit of my childhood I am happy to engage in.
We started cooking together my son and I, as soon as he was able to stir a wooden spoon. He is still content to sit there at the kitchen table eating raisins and stirring air in his bowl whilst I do the ‘work’. He has a firm fascination with food and all it’s wonderful smells and delights. Whenever we are shopping he wants to smell each lemon and loves the fresh herb section, he is happiest reading through the cookery books on rainy days and we plan our next culinary adventure.
We have a menu board in our house which makes my wife feel like she lives in a hotel. I plan the menu on a Sunday and write the shopping list accordingly. Our son is starting to have quite a sophisticated palette and thinks nothing of eating kedgeree or fish en papillote. But his favourite is pasta stars with grated cheese. Making scones, biscuits or cakes with my son, welds me even closer together with him. We share a moment of togetherness which is just magical. When the timer goes off and the food is cooked, we are both jostling to get the first sample tester!
When we start cooking we always say: what’s the first rule of cooking?
What’s the second rule of cooking?
Put our aprons on
So a wipeable Peppa pig joins us on our gastronomic delights and I think she is most happy when we are making chocolate mouse, as there is a big bowl of yummy chocolatey goodness and a wooden spoon to lick before its gets washed up. A good day for us is a chocolate moustache and sticky hands, that means we have had a good day in the kitchen.