Tales from the Kitchen

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School is out. Summer is here.

The days are filled with kids traipsing in and out of our home. Trips to the library. Walks and chats with my son. Extra-long cuddles. Cloud-gazing. Lazy days. Full days. Days filled with endless sunshine and seagulls swooping in the skies.

My little kitchen is humming. The dishwasher is running extra cycles. There always seems to be hungry kids hanging around waiting to be fed.

One of my most favourite things in the world is to cook. And to eat. And to have a gathering of big and little people around our table. I grew up in a home that was always open to guests and we could always squeeze in an extra place at the table. I am thankful for having seen the spirit of warm hospitality in our home.

One of my most favourite childhood memories is of me helping my dad in the kitchen at the weekends. Dad was a self-declared cook and somewhat of a legendary culinary expert in our family. And every weekend, he would take to the kitchen as chef and I was his very self-important little sous chef.

The kitchen was where I discovered the stinging heat of chillies. And the sense of proud accomplishment in completing the tedious and stinky task of shelling a mountain of shrimps. That was also the time when I almost sliced off my thumb while grating a carrot. Poor Dad carried me and ran about in circles in a wild panic.

I learnt some indispensable life lessons from the kitchen. Good times.

My nine-year old son has always loved hanging out with me in the kitchen. Even from his earliest childhood. Dipping his finger into sauces. Giving his nod of solemn approval as he tasted a dish. Blowing carefully at each spoonful just to be sure it didn’t lack anything.

Learning the names of spices and the faraway lands where they came from. Sniffing at bunches of herbs. Helping me to stir the pot. Watching a pie bake and bubble in the oven with utmost excitement. Cutting cucumbers and slicing tomatoes with the deep and careful deliberation of a child.

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It seemed like just a little while ago, his soft, chubby hands were happily playing pat-a-cake on a floury dough in the kitchen. And now he’s making lunch for the family. Time flies.

This is the Boy’s recipe for the oven-baked salmon with new potatoes and fresh dill. An all-time Finnish summer food. With a little twist of fusion since we are a fusion family.

All done in 10 easy steps! Happy summer everyone!

  1. Place salmon fillets on a baking dish.
  2. Squeeze a full lemon over the fish.
  3. Sprinkle some Himalayan salt/sea salt.
  4. Add a dash of pepper.
  5. Drizzle some coconut oil on top.
  6. Pop it into the oven to bake at 200 degrees C for 20 minutes or until fish is cooked.
  7. Remove from oven and glaze some Teriyaki sauce on fish.
  8. Snip fresh dill over fish.
  9. Add boiled new potatoes.
  10. Serve with a simple fresh salad or brown rice.

Enjoy this recipe with your child this week. All food made with love is the best sort of food.

P.S. If you would like to check out more recipes from the Boy, they’re on my Facebook page.

While they are at your side, love these little ones to the uttermost. Forget yourself. Serve them; care for them; lavish all your tenderness on them. Value your good fortune while it is with you, and let nothing of the sweetness of their babyhood go un-prized.

Not for long will you keep the happiness that now lies within your reach. You will not always walk in the sunshine with a little warm, soft hand nestling in each of yours, nor hear little feet pattering beside you, and eager baby voices questioning and prattling of a thousand things with ceaseless excitement.

Not always will you see that trusting face upturned to yours, feel those little arms about your neck, and those tender lips pressed upon your cheek, nor will you have that tiny form to kneel beside you, and murmur baby prayers into your ear. Love them and win their love, and shower on them all the treasures of your heart. Fill up their days with happiness, and share with them their mirth and innocent delights. Childhood is but for a day. Ere you are aware it will be gone with all its gifts forever.” – George Townshend (Childhood is but for a day)