Aubergine 'burger' with smoked paprika & Greek salad (page 78)

Practical Playtime / Jobs For The Kids

  • Measure the olive oil.
  • Squeeze the lemon.
  • Cut the feta with a butter knife.
  • Peel the red onion. Start your child off by cutting off the tops with a knife. Then peel the skin just enough to give them something to grip and then pull off. This is extremely satisfying at any age.
  • Scoop the seeds out of the cucumber with a teaspoon.
  • Take the olive stones out. Teach them to do it by first pinching the tips, then squeezing out the stones.
  • Measure the tomato chutney.
  • Pick the basil leaves off the stalk.
  • Mix the lemon dressing.
  • Brush the aubergines.
  • Mix the salad.

My Cooking With Kids Recipe Diary

Jake 5 years 4 months, James 2 years 8 months

James split his forehead above his eyebrow yesterday. We had gone out scooting and he had his helmet on. We got home and I went inside. He turned the corner of the house, fell within maybe five seconds, still wearing his helmet and hit his head on the corner of a brick. Regardless, I was inside, I missed it. Jake was there and he got me straight away, the cut was so deep, so huge on such a little forehead. Jake helped me get James some milk, while I held the skin together and Jess got the car.


At the hospital, I couldn’t tell them exactly what happened. I tried to calm him with milk in the car. We bought him sweets and crisps at the hospital, trying to bribe rather than calm him.


There was a wonderful nurse who managed to get some butterfly plasters on his head while we waited. She got him looking at the fish tank and she put one on me and one on Jess. Then later some gel. We had to hold him down to get him stitched, he couldn’t have a general anaesthetic because we’d fed him so much. He screamed and he screamed and he screamed for me even though I was holding his face and looking into his eyes. Jess and I couldn’t quite get our hands into the right places. So he would pull away from the needle even though they assured us there was no way he could feel it.


He has very smooth skin and very clear skin, and somehow this was like him starting to say I’m scared. This is a scar he’ll always have and I’ll always see it and I’ll always think, I should have put him straight to bed. I shouldn’t have worried about cleaning the scooters before we put them away.

He slept when we got home from hospital. I looked around and I went to the bricks, a pile of them behind a huge water butt. I looked around the garden and the house and there are an impossible amount of things that the boys could hurt themselves on. When we were in the hospital a women asked us to keep an eye on her 3 year old in a buggy who had meningitis and had lost her limbs with septisitis, while she called her mum. She had just been told that her youngest might have meningitis too. We don’t know that we're born.