Being away from family and friends has its challenges. For me, one of the hardest things is being away from the youngest members of our clan. They change so quickly! Living on the other side of the globe makes it inevitable that I will miss certain things like first steps or new words. The Jam is one of those little ones that it is hard to be apart from. He’s three years old, as of November 2014, and he lives in Ireland with his mom, dad and baby sister. He’s great fun, precocious and full of wonder and curiosity. Despite living thousands of miles from each other, we’ve managed to create and maintain a really great relationship. Not only do we chat quite often we also love to read books together. I’ve gotten him books that we “share” as we each have a copy of Chicken Licken, The Enormous Turnip and There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly. We read them together over Skype (isn’t technology grand?) and when needed we make up our own endings (he doesn’t really like that the Fox kills all the birds in Chicken Licken!).
It’s quite hard to be away from him and his sister. They are two great kids who make me smile and laugh a lot. To be honest, I can deal with not seeing my own siblings or parents that often but these two…man, is that hard! Due to this, I decided to try and find an activity we can do together outside of reading when I was home. So, the last two times I was home I put some time aside so we could do some cooking together. In January we made a simplified version of Nigella’s Nutella Cheesecake and in August we made Pizza Baguettes. Pizza Baguettes were definitely a little more child friendly – and they worked well for his Montessori training.
Since coming back to Korea, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to incorporate this type of activity into our Skype dates. Finally, a few ideas and a lot of research later, I’ve decided on some simple recipes that we can do together. Well, I can do at my table and he can do with the help of his parents!
Update: I am now living back in Ireland and I get to hang out with the Jam and the Melon quite a lot. Nearly every time I cook at their house, I have them help me in some small way – measuring spices, weighing vegetables, checking we have all the ingredients and we also look at basic hygiene, health and safety practices as well as “manners” around cooking. We wash our hands thoroughly, wear aprons, clean up, do the dishes (okay, I do the dishes and they watch me), use knives etc under my supervision, being careful with hot pots etc. It’s been great fun as well as a challenge. Two little ones being supervised by their aunt is a lot different than 1 little one being supervised by his mom and directed by his aunt!
So, needless to say, I’m really excited to share these recipes with you – and they’ve been child-approved by the
one two and only! You can find links to all our recipes below as well as in the main recipe index.