North Norfolk mackerel & mussel boil 'n' braise (page 202)

Practical Playtime / Jobs For The Kids

  • Cut the garlic butter with a butter knife.
  • De-beard and wash the mussels.
  • Wash the potatoes.
  • Peel the carrot.
  • Measure the tomato puree. 
  • 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.

My Cooking With Kids Recipe Diary

Jake 5 years 5 months, James, 2 years 9 months


James had another fall, walking back the 50 metres from day care. He fell right on his healing cut, opened it a little, got a huge scrape and bruise next to it. We got an emergency appointment for 90 minutes later. I’m so worried about his little head. I wish he’d land on something else. He was quite perky quite quickly and I cooked this meal with Jake who prepared the mussels for me then put them into the pan and put the lid on, so he cooked them.


James ate a few mussels and I remember the first time he had them when he tried to eat the shells. He then took the rest with him in a little bowl to the doctor and ate it all in the waiting room. He is fine, somehow. But there has been a massive change this last week. It started with the carrots and the pork and it’s just continuing. I was away and Jess fed them with a hot giant couscous and chicken salad and he ate everything. (What else was in this salad Jess?) If I look back to the sweet potato recipes that I made not long ago, with caramelised onions and pork, he wouldn’t touch them, but he ate sweet potato puree. He presses his fork into it until the puree comes through the tines and then he eats it all up.  


I can’t forget Jake in my excitement. Jake is my little food hero, so confident and clever in the kitchen and so talented at the table. I wish I documented more when he was James’s age because I think of the odd thing he will now eat that he once wouldn’t and I wonder if I went through all the same things with him. I can’t get carried away. I mustn’t, it could all change tomorrow.