I had an interesting email a few days ago from Fiona Bird, who some of you may have seen on Masterchef...
"I do hope that you will find the time to consider "Stirrin' Stuff" - a campaign to get families cooking.
I am a mother of six living in rural Angus and have spent the last 15 years rearing my family of five boys and one girl. Number six is now four and at last I have the time to devote to this campaign. I entered Masterchef this year and made it to the final. In the semi-final Union Pictures & Gary Rhodes gave high profile to my ten year old who made delicious chocolate brownies; one of my friends said "Lily clinched it for you!".
I am not really a Masterchef, just a mum with loads of children who wants to see other mums and dads in the kitchen, with their kids, getting stuck into chocolate brownies or whatever grabs their fancy!
I am getting charitable status for "Stirrin' Stuff" and hoping to get the enthusiasm 'stirred' up by the Waitrose bus and other initiatives that inculcate 'kitchen time' into real shared family activities and routines.
The idea is to offer an alternative to both the chore of preparing a meal or snack and the temptation of sending for a 'carry-oot' ("takeaway" for us Southerners - Ed's Note!). There is the real and intriguing possibility of getting all the family in the kitchen (maybe not all at the same time!) 'Stirrin' something up and talkin' about all sorts of 'stuff'- a sort of therapy that's good for the sanity as well as the 'santé'. It is an opportunity to lose the inhibitions of trying to cook something from simple ingredients and the chance to vary the diet because it was made by the person who is going to eat it.
This is not just a fad that can be taken up by those better informed and motivated than most , this is about 'doing things together' and building confidence in people's ability to do things for themselves in a way that isn't patronising."
Email Fiona for more information or to support her campaign.
Fiona (top, photo courtesy of BBC TV) & some of her children getting stuck in in the kitchen...
I am right behind Fiona and I'm very glad to give it a mention. All of my kids enjoy cooking and even just being in the kitchen when cooking's going on; I suspect they know it's a good time to talk to me and they enjoy "testing" ingredients, "licking" the bowls and generally having a go at things. Often several will decide to cook different things at the same time - chaos! But as their skills develop, great fun too. The older four are quite independent & can manage to produce simple meals, cakes & biscuits for themselves, though I do supervise anyone still under 10... and when I can get them to wash up afterwards, I'll know I'm doing something right!
Visit Stirrin' Stuff's own Website...