Canisha's Dad (my son, William's much older brother) is in Oulu* on business and her Mum has her hands full with the other two. Every time a plane flies over, Aria points and says, Daddy’s on that! Then Shanra says, No, he’s not, he’s in Thinland! She’s learning to pronounce her ‘th’s as ‘th’s and not ‘f’s and when she heard someone say ‘Finland’ she thought they were in error and actually meant ‘Thinland.’ (And also, who decided the word ‘lisp’ had to have an ‘s’ in it? Talk about cruel.)
Where was I? OK, Canisha came over Sunday and we spent the day together.
It was a food-filled day. We started with a picnic in the gardens: sandwiches with boiled eggs, thick slices of colby cheese, an old-fashioned salad of cucumber and tomato and T.'s home-made chocolate muffins to finish. They were still warm and gooey in the middle with pieces of real chocolate.
Then we went for coffee at the Italian restaurant where William's much older sister (Canisha's aunt, my daughter) works. She always takes William out to the kitchen to show him to the chef who is the restaurant owner’s mother and we always hear squeals of delight and we’re not sure whether it’s the old lady or William.
Then we went home to cook dinner.
If you’re cooking with children, try this. It’s exciting, involving and tactile – children love to throw flour around and not be regarded as naughty - but it’s also dead easy and no fuss as long as you don’t mind your kitchen covered in flour.
Ingredient list: three potatoes, a cup of flour and an egg.
Boil the ‘taters, then mash and combine with flour and egg to make a dough. Roll the dough on more flour into a snake with a diameter of about an inch then cut the dough snake into half-inch sections and place them on a floured tray.
Boil up a big pot of salted water and have your sauce cooking or reheating if you want sauce**. Drop the gnocchi very carefully into the water. When they are ready to be eaten, they will rise to the surface. How do they know? asked Canisha. I don’t know, I replied, typically.
I do know they were delicious because Canisha ate her whole plateful. Then she had another chocolate muffin.
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*I only ever got to go to Sydney on business. (Although I did have to go to Launceston once. I suppose that’s overseas.)
**We had a meat ragu from a previous day, almost a Bolognese sauce but not quite; speaking of which, Neil has posted a good recipe here, cooked for hours, just how I like it. Of course, you don’t need a sauce - you can eat your gnocchi drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of parmesan or lightly grill them with a shower of crumbled blue cheese and some torn sorrel leaves or put them in a casserole, pour some thick béchamel and a sprinkling of paprika over them and bake them until the edges are almost crunchy.