There are many reasons why I want my boys to grow up knowing how to cook. It's an important life skill but I also want them to appreciate the time and effort that goes behind having food on the table each night, know where their food comes from and for them to be confident, good eaters - understandably children are far less likely to be picky when they've made a meal themselves.
But with four young boys in the house, including a toddler at my heels, I don't spend as much time as I'd like cooking with the boys, or getting them involved in meal prep.
Anna's began Anna's Family Kitchen in 2018, inspired by her love of food and desire to feed her own family healthy, home cooked wholesome meals that look wonderful but are simple and easy to make. So her recipes are perfect for children to get involved with - nothing too fancy, great introductions to a variety of cooking skills and foods they are going to enjoy making and eating.
On the menu for the children to make were typical Anna meals: omelettes, pizzas with homemade tomato sauce, chicken fajitas, chicken tikka massala and banana loaf. Anna talked the kids through everything step by step, makng sure all the children were engaged by putting them in small groups to cook and letting them taste as they went along. And obviously they all got to eat their food once made - happy news for Gabriel whose favourite foods are pizza and banana loaf!
Gabriel was a little apprehensive prior to the workshop as he was attending alone, but the group was small and intimate, and a lovely bunch of kids. Anna put Gabriel (and everyone else) at ease right away and made sure everyone knew each other. Gabriel was one of three boys and they were kept involved and busy throughout, despite being slightly more distracted than the girls. We were in showroom but it felt like we were in a real home kitchen, and as a mum of three children herself, Anna was brilliant at engaging the kids throughout - ensuring they had lots of fun while they learnt.
I wish I could say that having made the omelette and chicken tikka massala, Gabriel was happy to eat them. Sadly he was stubborn and remained adamant that he didn't like omelettes or spicey food. But he was happy to get his hands dirty making them and learnt a great deal about their ingredients and the process of making them. And he now knows how to make a basic tomato sauce - he told Flynn the recipe from memory when he got home, so I'm happy! Gabriel has promised he'll make us tomato pasta and banana loaf next weekend to show off his skills, and hopefully his interest grows from there.
Anna runs both adult and children's cookery classes and having seen the kids' one in action I highly recommend them. The children had a great time and I'm sure the adult ones are sociable, fun affairs too. And more importantly, Anna's food is DELICIOUS. Fresh, uncomplicated meals that are genuine crowd pleasers without the need for hours in the kitchen... maybe I should sign up for her adult one.