Poor old First Born has one of the myriad of lurgies floating around Melbourne and took today off school. He still felt up to his regular cooking night and decided to use the extra time wisely. He made two courses.


First on the menu was chicken noodle soup. In true Kitchen Playground fashion, I’m teaching him a scanty diregard for both prepackaged goods and the strict following of recipes. There was no chicken stock left in the freezer and I didn’t want to buy pre-made stuff so First Born made his first stock. Albeit a very basic one. He put a whole chicken in the slow cooker with a couple of tablespoons of my vegetable stock concentrate. He covered the whole lot with water and turned it on to high. Then we ignored it for a few hours.


I removed the kernels from three corn cobs, the knife work involved is a little beyond the five year old level. First Born roughly chopped a bunch of kale and then pureed it in the thermomix. I took the chook outof the slow cooker, removed the skin and bones and First Born shredded the meat with a coupe of forks. Then he added the kale, corn and chicken to the stock. For a final touch he chose rice noodles rather than the usual chicken noodle soup noodle. The slow cooker was a great way to introduce him to soup making as he didn’t have to worry about frequent stirring. After about half an hour we ate and it was fabulous. He’s turning into a jolly good cook that boy of mine. Best of all, he loves it.

He’s even learning to keep the shopping list up to date when he uses the last of something.


Lil Miss was allowed to help the young Master Chef with dessert. We amalgamated a couple of recipes and the result was moist and delicious. So delicious that even after a generous portion for dessert, a certain Lil Miss crept out of bed, into the kitchen and gobbled her way through a goodly portion before she was discovered.


Banana Yoghurt Crumble Cake
125g butter
120g muscovado
2 eggs
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
200g vanilla yoghurt
200g plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
60g butter
1/3 cup flour
2 tablespoons muscovado

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a 22cm springform pan with melted butter and line with non-stick baking paper. Or be lazy and use a round silicon cake tin.
  2. Beat butter and margarine in thermomix or with beaters until pale and creamy. Add eggs and beat well. Add bananas and yoghurt and combine. Add flour and baking powder and mix until combined. Don’t overmix.
  3. Combine extra butter, flour and muscovado until it resembles breadcrumbs and scatter over cake.
  4. Spoon mixture into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 50 – 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven. Stand for 5-10 minutes then remove cake from pan and place it on a wire rack to cool.