Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How to cook with kids

1 4-year-old
3/4 cup millet
3 cups water
500ml coconut milk
1tsp salt
1tsp vanilla extract
4tbsp agave nectar
Various fruit toppings

Step 1: Choose a simple 4-ingredient recipe like above. I had leftover millet grains that Lauren has outgrown, a carton of coconut milk in the pantry and agave nectar from when I made them pancakes.

Step 2: Let your kid help you measure and scoop. And if she wants to get her hands in there and play a little, why not? Add millet and coconut milk to a saucepan.

Step 3: Add water and bring to boil. Simmer on low heat for about an hour, or until pudding thickens.
Step 4: While the pudding is cooking, give your kid a (healthy) snack. Or she'll ask for it herself. She'll also open the fridge and look for more snacks. And perhaps give you ideas on what else you can add to the pudding, like peanut butter, hundreds and thousands and chocolate. Say no nicely.

Step 5: Stir pudding occasionally to prevent sticking. It should have the consistency of rice porridge.
Step 6: Add agave nectar and stir.
Step 7: Right about now, your kid would wander back to the kitchen looking for something she can "help" with. Let her dry the jars you're going to pour the pudding into. Or perhaps style a picture or two with the jars.

Below: picture by Angelica taken on the Sony.
Step 8: As your kid gets impatient and asks for the hundredth time whether the pudding is done, send her to her worktable with some paper, glue and packing material from some plates you bought.
Below: A row of lanterns for the (upcoming) mooncake festival by Angelica.

Step 9: Pudding is finally done! Kid can stop nagging. Let her spoon it into the jar; it'll be messy, but let her.
Step 10: Put the pudding in the fridge to chill. When taken hot, the pudding tastes like bubur gandum, a local sweet porridge dessert made of wheat. So fans of bubur gandum now have a healthier alternative with this millet pudding!
Step 11: When it's chilled, garnish with your favourite fruit topping. I used durian, mixed berries and grapes.
Note: This is not the typical custard-y pudding that's smooth and jelly-like. It's more the consistency of oatmeal porridge. It takes some getting used to, especially for the kids. Angelica ended up asking to eat the berries on their own after a few scoops of the pudding. Lauren woke up from her nap right on time, when the pudding is chilled and all the cooking drama has ended. Maybe next time I'll cook the millet longer for a smoother consistency. 

This pudding would make a great breakfast or afternoon snack. I actually love this pudding warm and topped with slices of durian flesh! 

The end.
Thank you for reading!:)

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