Master Chef I Am Not!

When your child looks at you with those precious pleading eyes, there is no way you can resist.  Today my pawly princess is at home, having a duvet day. She awoke with a temperature and really bad cough, I made the decision almost immediately to keep her off.  She needs at least a day at home in the warm to recover from this bug.  My son, also had a blocked up nose but insisted he was okay to go to school.  He Loves School!  He hasn’t had a day off sick for years, so I dosed him up and got him to school.  The thing is, us parents often feel really guilty for keeping our kids off school.  With all the emphasis at school on Non-Absence Certificates, our school has bronze, silver and gold.  Kids are made to feel lacking, just because they are ill!  I can’t say I’m on board with this philosophy, if you’re sick you’re sick for god sake!!!

I even felt guilty when we stopped at the local shop on the way home, one of the shop assistants was talking to us “Oh, we’re having a day off school are we?” Making me feel like I had to explain to this complete stranger that yes, she was very sick, she was not skiving!!  I’m sure she meant well, but I still couldn’t help feeling judged!

So, here we are sat watching Junior Master Chef USA on the TV.   My two do love watching shows like this.  Competitions between kids such as The Big Spell really spark their interest, which is fine by me!  Blue Peter was probably the closest thing when I was a child to inspire and educate.

My daughter loves to cook, unfortunately I do not.  Neither am I any good at the baking phenomenon.  Although seduced by The Great British Bake Off which I was hopelessly addicted to, I have never been gifted in the art of bakery.  This has meant a few disappointing bakery session for my daughter.  She wanted to make a New Years Cake.  So I thought, I know, I’ll dig out my faithful Classic Delia book…  Yeah, well, it didn’t exactly turn out the mixture consistency I was after.  It looked a bit like scrambled egg to be honest.  So I knew it was not going to turn out very Berry-esk!

I was right!  My daughter was expecting a well risen tower of fluffiness, what we got was a flat slab of dense misery.  We persevered and it looked passable once decorated,  but it certainly would not win any competitions, not even a Junior one!  Quite amusingly however my cherub was full of advice for me, on how to improve my mixing skills.

“You didn’t mix it right Mummy, it didn’t have enough air in it!”   Good advice hey!  “You need to put some bicarbonate of soda in it next time, we used it to create air in science Mummy”, well I guess I should be relieved that she has been listening and learning at school …  “Okay, darling, next time I’ll let you read the recipe and mix, how’s that!” secretly thinking, Yep, and you can do all the cleaning up after too!

As great as these programs are, they do put a lot of pressure on us parents to be as equally brilliant in the kitchen, which I’m sorry is just not the case.   Until I had kids I really did not spend much time in the kitchen, before I met my husband I only entered the kitchen to get a Bud out of the fridge!   I guess you could say I’m self-taught. Now I spend the majority of my time in the kitchen, when my family are home anyway…  Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining, I do get a sense of fulfillment cooking for my family.  I just sometimes wish it was a more natural skill…

The meal I enjoy cooking the most is Sunday Roast.  It is a real family event in our house and makes me feel warm and gooey inside.  It is also one of the few meals we eat together so it feels special.  This meal does not seem like a chore, it really is a pleasure and the best thing is, all my family love it too!  Result.

My pale princess now requires attending too, Chicken Soup is on the menu me thinks!!  (Well out of a can.. but hey ho.. I can manage that!)

Target:  Play Cook


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