Young chefs at work

 Last month, I had a few kids over for a baking session.

Five years ago, very few children would have been interested in such a session. Today, the plethora of food shows on television and the Masterchef Australia series have kindled the interest of  many young ones so much so that they are interested in how food is cooked, presented and critiqued. My nieces tell me that their children, ranging in ages from seven to sixteen, now finish homework and dinner well in time so they can plonk in front of the telly to watch these shows. The three judges on Masterchef have inspired them to the extent that that they talk of food that needs "more seasoning", or vegetables that need "to be a bit more caramelized" and the importance of "plating up".

Being exposed to these shows, children are now learning about food from different countries, showing an interest in cooking and the willingness to try new dishes. Unfortunately, many of the ingredients, fruits and vegetables that are used on these shows are not available in our markets. One can't go too far or too authentic with international cuisine in a Chennai kitchen because (a) exotic fruits and vegetables are not available all through the year and (b) if they are, they can be expensive.

During this session, we made food with ingredients easily available in most homes like bread for sandwiches, macaroni, pizza with a home made scone base and bubble and squeak, loved by both kids and grateful mums as they can be packed as school lunches. Also, apple doughnuts and easy and popular scotch pancakes that could double as delectable desserts.


Bubble and squeak

Scone pizza

Apple doughnuts
Scotch pancakes



Baking day was the most exciting day for the little ones. And this is what we baked:
Nutty brownie muffins

Shortbread shapes.  Creative, to say the least!


Double chocolate bread pudding

Slices of ooey gooey cake
And this plate of bubble and squeak was made by one of the girls. Yummy!

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