Ferninda sent a photo of the meat patties she made with her two boys. Both are less than three years old. It was their first attempt at helping Mama in the kitchen. Her two year old helped to crack an egg and mix the minced meat. Her other little toddler wanted to help Mama fry the patties. She let him, holding his hand, of course. It was an adventure for all three. There is nothing like starting young!
If the two year old has learnt to crack an egg, he can try making Egg-in-a-Hole.
1 Butter a slice of bread
2. Cut a round piece out of the slice of bread
3. Put the slice of bread into a non-stick frying pan at medium heat with the buttered-side facing down
4. Break an egg into a bowl and pour it into the hole in the slice of bread
5. When the egg is cooked, turn the slice of bread and egg over
6. Remove the fried bread and egg on a plate and cover the egg with the round piece of buttered bread
Perhaps the boys would like to try making seafood patties when they grow a bit older. Fish and prawn patties are yummy. The boys will love them.
300 grams fish fillet (seabass or dory)
300 grams of prawns/shrimps
2 string beans sliced thinly
1 tablespoons of fish sauce
1 tablespoon of cornflour
- Mince* the fish fillet or pound until it becomes a paste
- Mince* or chop the prawns
- Mix the fish and prawns together
- Add the string beans
- Add the fish sauce and pepper
- Mix well
- Add the egg and cornflour and mix well
- Form the patties with a spoon
- Heat oil in a frying pan. When little bubbles appear, the oil is ready for cooking
- Drop the fish and prawn patties into the oil gently
- When the patties turn brown, remove from the frying pan (fish and prawns cook fast)
- Place the patties on a piece of paper kitchen towel to drain (so that they are not so oily)
- Serve with a sauce or a dip
*I use a domestic meat mincer, which makes a good paste of the fish and the prawns
I served fish and prawn patties with a cucumber sauce once, and the sauce was a hit.
Add 2 tablespoons of sugar to one cup of warm water. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Add half a cup of vinegar and one tablespoon of fish sauce. Cut one quarter of a cucumber into thin slices, then cut the thin slices into quarters. Add the cucumber to the sauce. The cucumber sauce can be kept in the fridge if there are leftovers. The cucumber becomes pickled.
Ferninda said that she feeds her children with lots of fruit, which is a great start to cultivating healthy eating habits. Birthdays are special occasions and it’s possible to celebrate with fruity delights. Mini apple pies and mini strawberry and chocolate tarts make a refreshing change for a birthday treat. They can be served with fruit or ice cream.
Home skills for kids
Apart from teaching her toddlers to cook, Ferninda also wants to teach them housekeeping skills. Her elder son helps to scrub the bathroom tiles and her younger toddler manages a microfiber mop very well. (Remember he is 10 months old.)
What children learn when they are young will always be an asset to them throughout their lives. Recently, I came across an interview with a celebrity who talked about how his mother made him clean the house and do the washing from an early age, so he was not a hampered child even though he grew up in an affluent neighbourhood. I was a bit surprised, so I asked my mother if it was true. To my further surprise, she said “yes” it was, as she had to do the same. They also had to polish the wooden floor of the house with coconut husks. The floor was made of a valuable type of wood. The celebrity happens to be her brother.
Some ladies I knew many years ago had creative ways of teaching their children to do household chores. One lady’s three-year old girl used to get into her swimming costume and stand on a stool to do the washing up after dinner. It was “water play” for her. Another lady used to send her helpers on home leave during the school holidays so that her children had to help with the housework. The boys would only get their pocket money if they cleaned their bathrooms. These ladies saw that it was part of their children’s education to learn how to take care of their own homes.
If you are reading this blog post, you may be interested to know that Andrea, who is a regular contributor to this blog, has just started to contribute articles on sewing. Her articles on gardening and cooking have been very much appreciated. We are hoping to revive the art of sewing and have young people design and sew their own clothes and make tablecloths, bedcovers and all sorts of items which will one day be family heirlooms.
By Chayo, HomSkil Editor 1, 10 October 2021