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It’s raining potatoes

This week we are making delicious Pumpkin scones. A recipe greeted with mild trepidation by adult and child alike, but, as always they left carrying far fewer than they had made. Most children know about the funny or scary faced pumpkins we carve out and light up, but most children also think they are simply a novelty torch for halloween and so it comes as a bit of a shock that we can actually eat them!

Whilst they cooked we had a try of some pumpkin and some seeds, initially a lot of the kids weren’t all that sold on the idea of having a taste – and then they were offered points. One point if you lick it, two points if you nibble it and a once in a lifetime two hundred points if you ate it all and quick as a flash the pumpkin was gone. I was telling my husband this evening. ‘what do the points mean?’ he asked. The answer, absolutely nothing, just the thrill of having achieved something really good. He felt this rather fraudulent until I pointed out that they now know they like pumpkin and that discovery alone made them happy! (He still thought this was a bit of a cop out!)

After we’d had a little tasting session we set about looking where foods come from, underground, over ground or on a tree. We discussed just how a big the tree would have to be to grow pumpkins and decided  that would just be silly! But how about carrots, onions, pears and plums? They got them mostly right, with the exception of the flying potatoes… lets hope it doesn’t start raining!



The Humble Crumble

It’s days like this that send Mums into panic. You wake up, it’s cold, dark and wet and by tea time the sun is shining and those of us who ventured out in raincoats and jumpers are hot and sticky and wishing we didn’t have quite so much to carry! It used to be the case we’d look out of the window and decide whther it was a shorts or trousers day, but since moving up a school, my son  now has a winter uniform and a summer uniform. Summer involves a polo shirt and shorts, winter a shirt and tie and trousers. At seven years old, buttons and ties are unconquerable it seems, and so, whether he freezes or not, a summer uniform it is… Where my child is concerned a simple tie really will make a man of him!

Food is the same, after a cold play at the park, splash in the puddles or anything else you may do when the sky is black and you need some fresh air, you need warm hearty food, the most versatile of which is a good old fashioned crumble. If it’s cold they can be served with hot custard, if the sun’s appeared a nice scoop of ice cream Eaten hot or cold the crumble is the king of puds as far as I’m concerned and great to make with your children.

When I tell people what I do they often look confused, in fact I once interviewed an ex-home economics teacher, who taught in a secondary school. She insistantly told me how few things you could do with an eleven year old and so they made pizza using ready made bases and cheese on toast and that was pretty much that – she wasn’t offered a job! I suppose I expect quite a lot from my little cooks, they are given most of their ingredients and then must measure out the final one,I use old fashioned balance scales and the kids love coming to the front and carefully scooping in the flour. They measure, they squidge to rub in, they mix, they roll, they cut, they grate, they chop… they do it all from start to finish with no complaint and happy smiles. Preschoolers are capable of so much more than most of us believe, with a bit of help they can make the most perfect pastry.

Anyway, back to the crumble. here is my very simple recipe that even the kids can make.


Fruit – your favourite, a mix of apples and pears is lovely, as is plum.

10 oz Plain Flour

7 oz Brown sugar

7 oz Butter

Layer the fruit up in an over proof bowl and then simple rub together all the other ingredients until it starts to go lumpy – then stop before it forms a ball. Add a teaspoon of cinnamon mix in then lay on top of your fruit.

Cook at 200 oC until nicely browned, time will depend on size of crumble!