Friday 30 December 2011

Kids in the kitchen

Children can easily join you in the kitchen. And, with supervision, they can even
use kitchen appliances from 5 years of age. Make it a habit to involve your kids
with specific tasks when you prep food, cook and wash. This way, children develop
a good understanding of food and where it comes from and a natural desire to
eat the results if they are involved in the cooking process. All the while, you will
also have spent valuable time with your ​​children - incredibly, one of the major shortcomings in today's families. Our children are aged 5 to 22 and they can all 
cook. Molly at 5 is able to make a bread dough from scratch, chop vegetables,
peel potatoes and there's a whole lot more she does with snacks in her own kitchen.
Research from DPU has shown that it is through projects like our own Garden to Tummy that children get their first encounter with culinary craftsmanship.
The gardens are all about cooking with 10,000 meals per year for children.
Everything from potato soup to wok dishes - and the interesting thing is that they
eat it all. They get to use real kitchen tools, like sharp knives (under supervision)
and it is essential that they do. When children feel that they are being taken
seriously, they feel that what they are doing is valuable. So, start straight away and
let your kids into the kitchen. It may be tiring at the end of a long stressful
work day, but the energy that you give your children when you spend time together
in the kitchen, you get back tenfold. Remember, of course, to watch the
boiling water and sharp objects - always supervise.

Sunday 4 December 2011

Christmas at the farm

It was a cold and windy morning in Humlebæk for the second day of the Aarstiderne Julemarked or Christmas market. A respite from the pouring rain and the sun shone upon the fields and barns as visitors flocked for the festivities.  Children climbed on hay bales, there were sleigh races and straw doll crafts, Christmas trees a plenty (all from the Aarstiderne FSC certified forest in Jutland) and, of course, the lure of something tasty to eat in the gaardbutik.

With sunshine streaming in through the windows, it was hyggelit indeed to sit on the benches and enjoy the baked goods fresh from Charlie's bakery in the farm kitchen.

 And at the cake school there was a chance to try your hand at making honey heart cakes! There was plenty to inspire and the delight.

 And the menu today had a delicious selection of soups and a beef and ox stew - tasty and warm us up after playing in the chilly outdoors.

Back outside Danmarks Naturfredningsforening or the Danish Society for Nature Conservation brought along many furry friends for the children (and adults!) to meet: including badgers, foxes, hedgehogs and a seal...

Wednesday 30 November 2011

In the spirit of schnapps

Long lazy lunches muster up scenes of endless conversation buoyed by food and drink that compliment each other seamlessly. After a busy week at work there is something so soothing to the soul about spending time cooking favourite dishes to be shared with friends around the family table.

Good food walks hand in hand with liquid refreshment, some beautiful fresh juices and good organic wines to puncture the meal.  In Scandinavia, schnapps has a long tradition at the table, therefore what better than homemade schnapps to accompany each course and how easy it is to make your own. It is a wonderfully personal touch to be able to offer your guests homemade schnapps with their meal.

Schnapps is actually incredibly straightforward to make, as long as you have the right equipment. It requires a clear spirit such as 40% vodka for the base and a thoroughly clean bottle for storage. Once you have these in place the fun can begin. It’s time to choose your flavour.
Here your options are almost endless and entirely dependent on your tastebuds. We recommend trying locally sourced ingredients, for us this was Bog myrtle, St John’s Wort, Green Walnut or for a truly different flavour, blackthorn. For those with a sweeter tongue, berries work brilliantly and very helpfully are abundant in the summer forests. Look out for wild raspberry, strawberry and blackberry for the essence of late summer in a bottle.
Look out too for the exiting herbs that can be found at specialist suppliers, I am particularly interested to try some of the mint variations I saw recently in Torvehallen.  Pineapple, chocolate, strawberry mint could lend them selves perfectly to task.
Depending on your choice of ingredient your schnapps will be ready for tasting within days, meaning it need only be a small matter of time before inviting friends to lunch to taste your wonderful creations if you are willing to share.  Prepare to feel proud.

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