By Frog Michaels
Author, A Helping Hand
Covid has turned people’s worlds upside down. The emotional repercussions of the last two years, having kids at home 24/7, home schooling them and watching over them to ensure they are kept busy, doubtless take their toll - never mind what children themselvesexperienced and felt during these horribly uncertain times.
As an author of a cookbook, A Helping Hand, and as a foodie, I know only too well how therapeutic cookery can be - it’s a great activity for stay-home kids and parents - it can be bonding, it’s engaging, and it helps take your mind off things during the stress this pandemic has brought.
The lockdown that we have all experienced on a global level has been an excuse for people to spend time mastering things they perhaps didn’t have time for before, when lives were busier and lived outside the confines of their homes. Cocktail making, for example, has seen the price of cut-glass barwear and bourbon sore. For anyone who might have missed the cooking ‘bubble’ here is something to get you started.
I love baking. I try not to do it too often as if there is cake ‘lying around’ in our house, it is never for long! What’s magical – what I love – is not only the promising aromatic fug it creates in the kitchen, but the chemical reaction that takes place right there in front of you. A ‘slop’ of cocoa, flour, milk, sugar and egg can be thrown together, before being popped into the oven – and in just a short while it is transformed from a liquid slosh to a springy, spongey solid. And it never fails to make me feel just a little bit accomplished, the spring of the sponge reflected in a new spring in my step. It’s the culinary equivalent to a wash and blow dry – it never fails to make you feel better.
Given my love for all things food, I embarked upon a cookbook with the aim of keeping it simple - simple recipes that work well for children and parents alike. Anyone who wants to make easy, fuss-free Western family classics is my reader. If people are new to cooking, they’ll find a host of recipes they can conquer.
I hope the video that is included is something that parents and children alike will find engaging, especially during the upcoming school holidays which, at the best of times, sometimes do appear never ending!
It’s great fun to do with small children as this particular dish looks fantastically impressive, but aside from poaching a chicken (which you can do the night before – I am all for getting ahead) it is really just all about clever assembly. And inspire of it being such an easy dish to accomplish - it looks much harder than it is - there is something very satisfying in eating it together. I have fed this dish to people from all over the world and no one has ever not liked, no, loved it!
With love and good vibes from Singapore!
PS: The Cookbook Helping Hand had a sell-out first edition that was boosted by a great deal of press and publicity that supported both the concept of the book, and the ethos behind it: to create happy households. We are now on our 3rd edition and proud to be endorsed by French Chef Damien Boudier who appears in the Michelin Guide, Paris.