Katy is a BIG hit in this house. I’m actually quite fond of this particular kids programme, for a start they actually cook real food rather than a series of ever odder food art/sculpture and I’ve also really seen the benefits of the way they help the children perform tasks by describing the kind of movement they need to do. Parroty pinchy fingers and grr-y claw hands have helped with the frustrating preschool tasks of button doing up, green pepper ripping and egg cracking in this house.
Anyway these were inspired by a recent episode.
Tomato and Cheese Spirally Pinwheels
We started with a packet of ready-made puff pastry. You may make your own pastry if you wish – this VERY simple recipe already took about 3 hours to do because everything takes a long time when you’re three so it’s packet all the way for me…
We also assembled; flour for dusting, tomato purée, cheese, basil and black pepper. We added to the basic recipe; olive oil, paprika, fruit vinegar and the scrapings of old tapenade in the bottom of the jar.
First we rolled out a rectangle of pastry. More challenging than it sounds. Especially when one of us is dead set on eating most of the pastry raw…
Then squeeze tomato purée onto the surface – making a smily face with it is purely optional. Then I swerved from the recipe adding some paprika, a dash of sweet vinegar (I use one from a local shop which is vinegar mixed with fig must but any will do including balsamic) and a drop of olive oil and a smear of tapenade. (None of this is essential..) Then mix it all together with the back of a spoon and spread it out over the pastry.
A bit of pepper – and what kind of face? She’s having a lovely time people, really.
Then grate a light snow of cheese over the top. (All over the surrounding floor and table is entirely optional)
This is a good bit.. pick and rip basil leaves, strewing them artistically over your rectangle. The basil is sadly not homegrown, I just can’t keep them going over the winter. My mum manages it on her windowsills but she has virulently green thumbs and house that doesn’t reach my dank and mould levels. It’s 60p supermarket pot of basil which did the job admirably then ended its short stalky life enlivening a pot of soup.
Now for the tricky bit, rolling it up. Not the easiest tasks for small hands but she managed it. The idea of doing the same thing side by side is I will resist the temptation to lean over and do harder bits for her and she can watch my hands and copy. It’s a technique that works well in coaching with children and I’d recommend it. This was the hardest bit to keep my hands to myself in though.
Or maybe this bit, the chopping up… Still the roll is quite robust though they benefit from a small reshaping squeeze as you place them, spiral up, on a baking sheet. Ida managed perfectly well with her small knife and we talked about the saw-saw-saw movement she needed to use and why she needed to be careful with her fingers.
Then into the oven for about 15 minutes baking and… Ta Daaaa!!!
They taste great and have worked brilliantly kept in a airtight box and reheating a couple at a time for snacks. Zeph’s had them in his sandwich box as well.
The more eagle-eyed among you may have noticed the bowl of eggwash on the table. It didn’t get used in these but in the sausage rolls we made next and to paint what felt like the entire room which I mentioned before…
I’m not going to bore you with the sausage rolls but we grated two apples in with the sausagemeat which was a resounding, scrumptious success. I’m always going to do it from now on.
And on that bombshell revelation I shall leave you, wiser in the wisdom of leaving small people alone with beaten egg and with a small daughter who has expanded her knife skill repertoire.
A good afternoons work.