So this was supposed to be posted last week, but we had a mad time trying to finish decorating our bedroom before our new HUGE bed arrived and basically life just got in the way, but hey better late than never right?
On wednesday night I was cooking our tea when the girls (we rarely if ever call them ‘the twins’) came in offering to help, stir and taste test of course. I must be honest here, our kitchen is very small and feels quite crowded when there are more people than just me in there so I will admit when I’m rushing and flustered I am often guilty of ushering the kids out and getting them to do boring things like setting the table and buttering bread instead.
I do feel bad when I do this so on Wednesday E&Ff came in and as I was in no rush I let them stay. After a few questions about gravy, like why I use corn flour instead of normal flour, one of them (I’m afraid I can’t remember which) suggested that they should do all the cooking right from breakfast to supper the next day.
I was quite taken aback by this offer but thought it was a great idea. They love cooking and can make simple meals and cakes. Expecting a barrage of question I was surprised to soon find myself alone again as they squirreled themselves away making plans, searching for recipes and writing a shopping list!
Our menu for the next day was:
Breakfast – crumpets and cup of tea
Lunch – beans on toast
Tea – Spaghetti Bolognese followed by chocolate cupcakes
Breakfast and lunch went swimmingly (lets be honest not much could have gone wrong there) and then it was time to take their list and buy the ingredients that we didn’t already have for tea. They did really well in the supermarket. They must have learnt something from my obsessive reading of labels and checked all the “price per 100g” on the bottoms of the price labels and picked up the types I usually buy *disclaimer here, I usually buy the value range on the majority of items but there are some sneaky things that they remembered.
After buying some much needed school shoes and our groceries we made our way home and the girls set about following my spag bol recipe. They have peeled and chopped before but onions were a new one to them yet after a quick masterclass (don’t chop the root bit off) they were set. Many tears later, luckily from the onions not the loss of fingers, we had onions in the pan cooking. They made a fab team as they took it in turns stirring the pan and chopping the mushrooms. E gets a little freaked out by raw meat(this is something we are working on) so Ff quite happily put that in the pan and between the two of them managed to get the whole lot of ingredients in and bubbling.
Next they started on the cupcakes, now this is where they got adventurous. They weren’t interested in using my boring recipe that they always make, they wanted something special and fair play they managed to find the most scrummy moist chocolate cake recipe I have ever tasted. This is the recipe they used here.
Did they need my help? Apart from draining the spaghetti because our pans are sooooo big? Nope, they asked advice of course but I didn’t physically lift a finger!
Did anything go wrong? Only some small issues, like the spaghetti was overcooked, but lets be honest that easy to do even if you have been cooking it for years. we ended up eating quite late, but I foresaw that and fed the baby something earlier. The only other issue was that the cupcake recipe called for only 15 minutes in the oven but they took 25 minutes and went a little flat because they had to open the oven to find that out.
So did I learn anything from this? Yes! I learnt that my two 12 year olds are more capable than I give them credit for, they can be safe in the kitchen, follow recipes, go shopping in a supermarket not just the local shops. I also learnt that when I am stressed and rushing to do 13 things at once in the kitchen that I have two sous chefs willing to step in and do something. Just last night I had one keeping an eye on the fajita filling in the pan while the other was making the pancake mix at the table while I managed to console a screaming baby.
If you’d like my spaghetti Bolognese recipe I’d be happy to post it. It’s very simple, even 12 year old twins could follow it!