Archives for posts with tag: toddler

I’ve loved Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar ever since I was a child which is lucky since I’m often asked to read it several times a day.  I decided an Eric Carle-inspired Saturday morning baking session was in order with this ‘tear-and-share caterpillar bread’.

I made the basic dough on Friday night and left it to prove in the fridge overnight.  This meant all the boring bits were out of the way before getting the children involved.

After breakfast I added some cheese to the dough and cooked some frozen chopped spinach, squeezing the excess water off through a fine seive.  At this point my eldest wandered over to ask “what are you making Mummy? Bread rolls?”.  “I’m making caterpillar bread”.  That did it.  High/chairs were drawn up for him and the baby so they could watch.  The baby was less excited about the whole thing and promptly jammed his finger in the kitchen drawer.  Otherwise it went smoothly.

We separated some of the dough off to make the caterpillars head and dyed it red with tomato puree.  I kneaded the spinach into the bulk of the dough to make the caterpillar’s body and one nice green leaf.  We used kalamata olives for the eyes, nose, antennae and feet.

We went out for a walk to allow our caterpillar to become a big, fat caterpillar and returned home not a moment too soon as he was almost too big to fit in the oven!

I haven’t made this delicious beetroot risotto since before the boys were born but it is a great one for adults and babies alike. Although not for toddlers.  Not according to the toddler anyway.  His main complaint was that it was red.  I said it was purple.  He said…well you can imagine, it was a lengthy and unproductive discussion.  I don’t think it can have helped that (unbeknownst to me) he had tomato risotto (aka Orange Rice) at nursery.

Earlier in the day I had been trying to think of ways to distract the boys from the fact that we were having blackberries for the third day in a row.  Then, whilst attempting a (futile) rainy-day decluttering of The Cupboard of Doom, I stumbled across a set of lego man ice lolly moulds.  Surely this could not fail.

Sadly, for anyone looking for actual recipes here, there was not much change to the sorbet/jelly recipes that I have previously written about: 400g blackberries and 40g sugar.  Fruit gently stewed and juice (yield 200ml, three lollies) pushed through a sieve. I added just a dash of lemon and about 20ml water to help achieve a firmer freeze.  They took ages to set though and only one of them was firm enough for an outing at dinner time so I probably could have got away with more water.

The 39 year old was certainly impressed: “Oh, cool, a Lego man icy pole!”

The toddler was also impressed but more so when the man’s head fell off onto the table.

I’m still in the ‘can’t have too much of a good thing’ phase with blackberries.  It is only the first week in August after all.  It might last a while for me but I might have to rein myself in a bit when my husband starts throwing me a slightly nauseated look at the appearance of yet another blackberry creation.

Part of the problem is that my toddler loves blackberry picking (choosing to do that rather than go to the water park today) and then you have to do something with all the blackberries (although more go in his mouth directly than come home in his basket).

Anyway, today’s delight was a just-set blackberry jelly.  Pretty much the same recipe as the sorbet but with enough gelatine to set the liquid.  I infused a little mint with it today.   I felt they belonged together since the mint was growing in amongst the blackberries.  Not everyone agreed.