After school, while the children were playing together upstairs, I devoted five minutes to setting up the table (pictured above), hoping to entice my children into the kitchen. Their interest was indeed piqued when I showed them the equipment all ready to go, but when I told them they might use the proper knives I suddenly had two very enthusiastic chefs, hands washed, ready to help with dinner preparations. For Buddy and Daisy it was simply a chance for a chopping and slicing free-for-all. For me it sneakily supported my ongoing (and I know, common) parental quest; endeavouring to expand Buddy and Daisy's rather limited diet.
First they wanted to tackle the cherry tomatoes. When the slippery red spheres kept shooting off the table, and the juices squirted everywhere, there were giggles from them and worried glances finger-wards from me. So I showed them how to place the stalk indentation on the board as a firm base and to pierce the skin with the knife-tip first. They persevered and managed to slice every last one of the tomatoes between them. And no fingers, thank goodness.
Then they cut up the broccoli, and didn't need nearly as much supervision. Daisy preferred using her hands to hands to rip off the florets but Buddy used his now trusty knife to cut off individual stems.
Then they took turns to pulverise some garlic and fresh rosemary snipped from our garden. Both absolutely loved using the pestle and mortar and took time to smell the heavenly aroma that resulted from their determined grinding and squishing.
Daisy added the garlic and herbs to some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and we marinated the chopped tomatoes in this mixture while the baked potatoes had their last 20 minutes in the oven.
Buddy and Daisy were feeling pretty hungry by now and when dinner was served they really tucked in - enjoying it all the more for having helped to prepare it. Of course they didn't actually eat any of the garlic and rosemary tomatoes *sigh* but they were certainly interested in whether I was enjoying them. Maybe next time.
They were absolutely delicious, by the way.