Mackerel with salad cream & boiled eggs (page 298)

Practical Playtime / Jobs For The Kids

  • Measure the olive oil.
  • Measure the fennel seeds.
  • Measure the vinegar.
  • Take the olive stones out. Teach them to do it by first pinching the tips, then squeezing out the stones.
  • Whiz together the dressing with as much supervision as they need. I do this with James who is 2 1/2. Both he and Jake know they are not allowed to touch the machines or blades if neither Jess nor I are there.

My Cooking With Kids Recipe Diary

Jake 5 years 1 month, James 2 years 5 months


We had this meal and some of the mackerel brandade together for dinner. I was testing furiously and I really want the kids to taste as much as possible, which is so much harder now that I don't have them with me for lunch. It's been nearly two months now and I still can't bear Jake being at school, Jess being at work and James being at day care. I just can't get used to it.


This meal was all pretty straight forward; the kids liked the eggs, potatoes and mackerel. James loved the mackerel but still won't eat tomatoes, even these cooked ones, but he will eat cooked tomato sauce with pasta. I've just found a photo of him gobbling up little tomatoes from the plants when he was 1; he even ate the green ones. What happens to change that?


Casey found the sauce too acidic, but ate everything else with no problem at all. She's eaten a lot of mackerel with us over the last year. Jake likes the sauce's acidic bite, in the way that he likes big blobs of dressing on salad before I toss the leaves. He likes sucking on lemons too, and has taught James to do so. Jake finds the puckering very funny but I think James is not so sure. As with all acid and spice, start kids off with a little, you can always add more.


I'd made the original with soya beans, because I wanted to use broad beans but didn't want to peel them. I left them out of the final recipe but it was a good reminder that you can buy these beans frozen and they make a good alternative to frozen peas.