Tips to avoid going into the kitchen: Cultivate a 'kid chef'

As you already know, I think cooking is a horrible activity. But an activity that has been thrust upon me out of functional necessity since I moved to the countryside; moreover, to an area that is too remote for food home-delivery. Gits.

After a fraught Saturday night trying to cook a cock pheasant, that involved much burning of vegetables, I started wondering. Do we actually need to cook food?

Now there's a question. And after doing a bit of research, I found the ongoing debates about the subject to be pretty bloody interesting. In fact, after examining the evidence, I am not actually sure that 'cooking' per se, is actually necessary at all.

'What are you on about you crazy wombat?' I hear you cry. 

Ah! Hear me out. Boffin after boffin noted that humans were the only species on the planet to 'process' their food by cooking it. Not only that, but they pointed out that processing food nearly always leads to a deterioration in the nutrients provided. So therefore, the logical conclusion is that we should we eat everything in its raw state.

But then I got thinking about the consequences (yeh, I know. A bit of a first for me); If I was seen wondering around Forest Hill gnawing on a raw sheep's leg, people would start talking. Plus, the thought of eating raw meat and vegetables was significantly less attractive than the thought of cooking. So I needed another plan.  

And then it dawned on me ..... Izzy! What's the point of going through all the pain and hassle of having a kid, if they don't make themselves useful?

"Izzy, I am going to train you how to cook our dinners," I told her matter-of-factly.

"Ok," she replied. Blimey that was easier than I thought [punching the air victoriously]. 

Ten minutes later, her hands were washed, she was garbed in an apron and chef's hat, and I had placed the ingredients in front of her.

"I would like you to make me Tandoori Chicken Burritos, please," I commanded.


Pic.No.1. A natural-looking Izzy surrounded by her ingredients

Izzy looked at me blithely, "I don't know what to do," she said.

Crikey, the youth of today; they don't know they're born. It wasn't like that in my day. When I was five (in the olden days), I'm pretty sure I could cook a three-course meal for a family of ten if required. And that was in addition to walking five miles a day to school on my own, and then back again. Barefooted, of course. In the snow. And only wearing sack-cloth. Plus I am fairly certain that I only ate coal until I was about fourteen years of age.

"You need to mix all those ingredients," I said pointing at them, "with the chicken in the bowl."

"Ok," Izzy said, and proceeded with her task.

Pic.No.2. Izzy learned how to juice a lemon


Pic.No.3. Come on! You aren't working quick enough! Izzy transfers the chicken from the marinading dish to the roasting tin
And as it turned out, the girl did well. She managed to make the whole recipe, and only stalled on the bit where the chicken had to be put in the oven. "It says that an adult has to help me," she stated after reading the recipe guidelines. 
"Blimey, do I have to do everything around here?" I asked her, donning a pair of oven gloves and plopping the chicken into the oven. 

Thirty minutes later, the cooker beeped to let me know that the chicken was ready, and this is what came out........


Pic.No.4. The final article: Tandoori Chicken


Pic.No.5. Tandoori chicken served in a tortilla with minty yoghurt and salad (salad is the devil's food. I only included it in the picture so that the Burrito didn't look boring)

Nice one Iz! It was bloody super-tasty, and I think it was healthy too, although I am not really bothered about that.

So all in all, 'kid chefs' are definitely the way forward when it comes to avoiding the kitchen. How do you avoid going into the kitchen?

Recipe for Tandoori Chicken

2 large skinless chicken breasts
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
100ml (3 1/2 fl oz) thick natural yoghurt
2 tbsp tandoori spice blend
1 tbsp sunflower oil

To serve:
2 large torillas
Mixed salald
Chopped tomatoes and cucumber
Minty yoghurt (bought)

Cut the chicken into thin strips and make three deeps cuts into each strip. Place them in a large, shallow dish. Squeeze the lemon juice over the chicken.
Put the yoghurt and tandoori spices in a bowl and mix together. Spoon the yoghurt marinade over the chicken until it is completely covered.
Cover the chicken with cling flim and chill for at least an hour (I left them for four hours).
Preheat the oven to 200C (400F or Gas 6).
Brush the sunflower oil over the bottom of a baking tray.
Place the chicken strips on the baking tray and cook them form 20 - 25 minutes or until cooked through.
Serve in a tortilla with salad and minty yoghurt.

Annie (Lady M) x

Anne Dickens | The day after yesterday


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