Toast for the one you love most

2009-08-26 00:00

CHILDREN’s food? I don’t believe in it, not in a restaurant sense of awful processed chicken nuggets, burgers and mini pizzas.

The United States, the United Kingdom and South Africa all, for the most part, buy into this idea of children’s food. Most of Europe doesn’t and there children tend to eat smaller portions of what their parents eat. As a result they are more adventurous.

However, I don’t cook neurotically for my five-year-old son. Tiger and I would be panicked most meal times if there were no such thing as pasta. When time permits I enjoy being in the kitchen with him. He loves to “help”. “Help” is inaccurate in this context, but peeling carrots or top and tailing beans with scissors are small, manageable chores that bring much pleasure.

We often attempt cup cakes and muffins with much bowl-licking bonding, and simple doughs. It may seem a lunatic idea to make fresh white bread rolls for your children’s supper, but bear with me for a second please. Children adore making them even though they more often than not turn out to be irregular floury lumps covered in jam, nutella, marmite and peanut butter. If you do make the effort it is very rewarding — our children (who are instinctively ungrateful) will adore us back.

I swoon when Tiger, with a mouthful of something we’ve made together says: “Dad you’re a good cooker.” I’m easily galled when he returns from a sleepover and talks about how his friend’s mum made this “delicious thingy”, which I find a serious challenge and have to compete.

For me, food, children and happiness are inextricably linked and share the same space in that grey jelly that wobbles behind my forehead. It is impossible not to love someone who cooks for you, especially the little things like buttered toast and boiled eggs.

The one great food writer and chef I’m most indebted to for her children’s recipes is the ultimate yummy mummy, Nigella Lawson. I’ve long wanted to hide behind her apron, but, as my wise and prudent editor likes to point out, this is a family newspaper so I won’t continue on that theme.

This is the domestic goddess’s simple and easy cheesy feet biscuit recipe. Fanx Nige.

 

IF you see a biscuit cutter in the shape of a foot buy it and you can make these cheesy biscuits. They will go down a giggly storm with children who seem to have a healthy prediliction for the grosser things in life. If you can’t find the right shape, you can always draw round your little loved one’s foot on cardboard and use that.

 

INGREDIENTS

100 g grated cheddar cheese

25 g soft butter

50 g plain flour

¼ teaspoon baking powder.

Preheat the oven to gas mark six or 200 degrees celsius.

METHOD

Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until the dough comes together. Form into a ball, wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Roll out the dough on a floury surface to three millimetres in thickness and cut out your feet. Put them onto a lined baking sheet and cook in the oven for 10 minutes for smaller feet and 12 to 15 minutes for large “daddy feet”.

They will continue to crisp up as they cool on the rack, so take them out when they’re still a little soft in the middle.

 

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