So far we've made banana ice-cream, sushi rolls, salad, orange juice jelly, shortbread, green bean salad, omelette and guacamole. Sushi is especially wonderful and tactile - fingers spreading out rice - cutting fillings - rolling up the seaweed (which the little cook would rather eat just plain by itself). I am amazed that these tiny hands are nimble enough to whisk and even, with careful guidance, slice green beans!
My love of cooking started at a young age - when I was about four or five. I am so glad for the encouragement and opportunity my mum gave me so I would feel comfortable in the kitchen preparing edible (and inedible) meals and learning one of life's great skills - making wholesome food for yourself and others.
Let's be brave and encourage the same in our little ones...
~Real banana ice-cream ~
5 free-range egg yolks
1 litre full-cream milk (we use raw)
1/2 cup cane sugar or honey
2 very ripe bananas
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Prepare the custard by heating milk in a saucepan on a low heat until just below boiling. Meanwhile whisk egg yolks and sugar in a jug or bowl. Pour in warm milk and whisk vinously - then tip back into saucepan. Continue to heat and stir custard until set (when the back of a wooden spoon stays coated with mixture). Cool. Stir in mashed banana, spice and vanilla. Freeze in a ice-cream machine or (as we do) pour into popsicle moulds.
~Gluten-free sushi rice ~
Its funny to put the "gluten-free" in the title but most store-bought sushi is not free from gluten - despite being rice based, the vinegar often contains wheat or grain alcohol and the mayonnaise most certainly does. It is so easy to make your own sushi rice though!
2 cups short grain sushi rice (will make about 6 rolls)
2 cups water
1 cup white vinegar (rice wine vinegar is perfect)
2 tablespoons cane sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
Soak rice for a few hours in tepid water and rinse thoroughly. Combine rice and water in a medium-sized saucepan and bring to the boil. Lower heat and simmer with the lid off for 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and cover for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile in a small saucepan bring vinegar, sugar and salt to the boil. Stir till dissolved and remove from heat to cool.
Spoon rice out into a long baking dish (I like using a ceramic or glass one) - then sprinkle rice with vinegar mixture, turn it over carefully without squishing the rice, fanning the steam as you go. I use the packet of seaweed nori sheets for this - but a real paper fan would be better. You want the rice to look shiny but not "slimy" with vinegar so just add a little at a time. Cover with a damp tea towel while you get your sushi fillings ready.
Roll sushi rolls by hand or using a mat and fill with whatever you feel like - we love combinations of slices of avocado, cooked egg omelette, cucumber, lettuce, tamari chicken, smoked salmon, tined fish - all delicious with a delicious smear of wasabi and tamari sauce (gluten free soy sauce).