See the slideshow for wizardly ways to transform roast belly pork

Photographs copyright Peter Knab

Roast Belly Pork (page 261)

Practical Playtime / Jobs For The Kids

  • Measure the oil.
  • Peel the 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.
  • Measure the soy sauce. 
  • Measure the juice.
  • Measure the cornflour.
  • Mix the cornflour with water.
  • Cut the butter with a butter knife.
  • Pick the rosemary spikes off their stalks.
  • Bang the seeds out of the pomegranate with a spoon. James did this for the first time aged 2 years 9 months.
  • Scatter the pomegranate seeds over the finished dish.

My cooking with kids recipe diary

Jake 5 years 5 months, James 2 years 9 months      


Jake has 'Cake Crumbly Day' today, when all of his class are asked to bring in cakes to sell and make a little money for the class fund. We spent 2 hours yesterday making gingerbread dinosaurs, banana and cherry muffins and apricot jam tarts. James was with us for most of it, but Jake just kept going, even putting the lattices on 12 apricot tarts.


Near the end, when we had made enough to take, I left Jake to make some tarts however he wanted. This was wonderful to watch. I gave him the sort of freedom he has when he draws or 'makes'. On this occasion it was right that we used recipes to start with because we had to finish up with plenty for the school. But Jake taught me that it would be better if he has a loose framework to start with, with some options to the types of things he can add.


James helped with this lesson, but stopped when he wanted to cut out the pastry his way, when I needed him to cut it my way but so that we had enough,.


I need to work on that loose framework. It could be wonderful. This morning, James and I put icing and sprinkles on some dinosaurs for him to take to day care. After we’d done four a head broke off one of the dinosaurs, so I said he could eat it. He then 'accidentally' broke a head or tail off the next four. 'Can I eat it daddy?'


A roast dinner is always a reason for excitement at our house. But for months James has not eaten meat unless it's on the bone. He started to eat the pork towards the end of this pork week, that on the whole was a huge success. A week that saw him start to eat carrots again, to eat a little sprout, and at day care he had some red pepper as well.


Pork Week


James will eat the crackling but not the pork. Why? It is much harder. I’m going to try him on a spare rib again. Jake loves both.