May 3, 2010

Max is in the kitchen

I tried a new tactic with the kids tonight after swimming lessons. Usually they are hungry, tired and want everything yesterday. This post swimming condition always gets to me and no matter how organised I try to be, it is never enough.
We walked in the door tonight and it started up, you know the drill-

'Ok, time for a bath while I get dinner on boys....'
'Oh come on mum, we are hungry......I don't want a bath...'
'Please hurry up, wash the chlorine off so your hair doesn't turn green and then get out....'
(my mum use to tell me the same thing about the hair, actually I use to go to school with a kid who's hair really did turn green because of swimming, and you know I get that story out whenever needed!)

Max was the first out while Alex was pretending to be a deep sea diver. When he reached the kitchen you could almost trip over his lip it was so long. I decided to go for a diversion tactic and asked him what he would like for dinner
OK I said, we have mince or sausages, what will it be?
"Oh, lets just have sausages.."
"shall we have them with salad and oven sliced potatoes?"
"Yeah....that's good"
and for some reason I then asked..
"Do you want to make the salad?"
Sure enough the lip was scraped off the floor, a smile appeared and he was bustling around the fridge before I could utter another word.

Max is 8, of course he should be in the kitchen helping out with dinner and what a great way to start. Max picked out all the ingredients, made the salad dressing and took great delight in putting it all together.
 I forgot how helpful and interested kids are in and around the kitchen. I spend all day cooking so when I am home I kinda want to get it all over and done with, however just seeing the concentration and determination on his face to make the best salad he could, was enough to remind myself to invite him in and help cook the evening meal more often.
Once he has mastered cutting soft ingredients (cucumbers, tomatoes, olives etc..) we'll then move on to the harder ones (potatoes, apples etc).
Great work Max and the salad was a perfect match with our Italian sausages and fennel and sea salt roasted potatoes (BTW, these were really, really good!)

(Smashing of the garlic is always a winner)

(squeezing of the lemon is always harder than it looks)

Here it is Max, your salad!

Max's family salad
1 tomato, sliced
1/2 cucumber, sliced
7 olives, stoned and sliced
1/2 green capsicum, cut into pieces
3 handfuls of mixed lettuce

Place all ingredients into a salad bowl and pour over dressing just before serving.

lemon and basil dressing
1 garlic clove, smashed
juice of 1/2 lemon
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
5 basil leaves, chopped
salt and pepper

Smash garlic with something hard then place in small container with lid.
Add remaining ingredients, place lid on and shake vigorously.
Pour over salad just before serving, removing the garlic clove.


TKW said...

I'm going to show this post to Miss D.! Maybe we'll make Max's salad this week! Hooray for Max!

Bryan said...

How cool! Miss Lu is 8 and she loves our time in the kitchen, One of here favorites is smashing meat with the tenderizer hammer before breading.

Looks like max is doing a great job with the knife there, you should be proud.

Dinners and Dreams said...

It's so precious when the little ones help in the kitchen. My daughter loves it. Btw, the schnitzel recipe below is amazing!


Camilla Baker said...

Thanks guys, Max was very excited to hear you comments and is looking forward to his next creation!

natural selection said...

Great scene here this is exactly how I learned some of my best meals! I still remember!

Thanks Chef!

Janette said...

Thanks Max I showed this to Thomas (2 1/2) who said can he make a salad like Max when his older.

We are going to start with throwing in the lettuce and tossing the salad.....knife skills will have to come later when his older :-)

Camilla Baker said...

Thanks guys for the comments.Have any of you made it?