Sesame glazed herrings with sticky onions & beetroot (page 166)

Practical Playtime / Jobs For The Kids

  • Measure and mix the dressing.
  • Lay the onions, beetroot and herrings onto the tray.
  • Mix the salad. 

My Cooking With Kids Recipe Diary

Jake 5 years 3 months, James 2 years 7 months


We’d had a lovely Christmas in Norfolk and the boys helped me enormously in the kitchen. It was much less rushed than usual, and I was more relaxed. But we mainly cooked sweet stuff. So James was happy to taste. He and Jake made a huge Pavlova practically on their own.


James really is playing havoc with my theory because he comes into the kitchen more and more, to help me make coffee, to work the food processor to turn off the timer. Anything Jake and I are doing in the kitchen he wants to do too. But he won’t taste as we go. The other day it was a sweet quince paste and he didn’t even want any of that.


Aside from this, Jake and James are starting to have little chats together. I’d dreamed about this since James was born, when Jake was roughly the age James is now. It is so lovely. James copies Jake, that’s really how he started coming into the kitchen. So why won’t he copy him when it comes to eating? 

He ate some orzo that I’d cooked with turkey stock for lunch, with a bit of truffle in it that he refused. Jake had a little of that, a cheese sandwich which Jess was making.

'Can I have tomato and basil please mummy?'

'No tomato.'



'Mummy, can you do the basil like a flower?'

Jess had already sliced it and put it on.

'Oh,' disappointed. 'Can you do the beetroot like a flower then?'

And we did.


I gave him a tasting portion of the herring which I’d cooked with mackerel and he really liked it. I’d looked over to Jess for a second and it was gone!!