Children and Sharp things.

Knife and Peeler

Knife and Peeler

It’s always been the case that our kids want to help out with  the cooking and recently Alex has been wanting to help chop up anything. This leaves us with the dilemma of letting him loose with a sharp knife and having to watch him like a hawk, thus preventing you from doing anything else OR say “No Way Jose” and loose his interest and keenness to be involved.

So thanks to Christmas, Alex has been enjoying helping in the kitchen using a special children’s knife set, from Opinel called Le Petit Chef. The set includes knife, peeler and a great device for covering fingers to protect them. In the handles there is a circle for the child’s forefinger to go in, which brilliantly leads the child to a safe and effective grip. As the supervising adult this means you can relax a bit! Everything is child sized but still with the blades sharp enough to properly cut hard vegetables. So yesterday Alex was again in charge of chopping vegetables for soup. I took charge of only the onion, whilst he got quite professional with carrots, celery, courgette and sweet potato. He has also been quite a whizz doing the vegetables over the festivities. It is great to get him involved, and he says, “This knife set is very, very good. Now I can do all the cooking!”.

Take a look at it in action in the photos below so you can see how they work and if you want to know more follow this link to take a look at in in the fiveotherwise Cook shop.

Peeler Knife

Many people say that you should never give a child a sharp knife, if that’s the case then when do they learn how to use on properly and safely? The key to teaching them knife skills is, as always, carefully supervised use of the proper tool. Show the child how to use the knife and guide their hands when they are first learning. Make sure they keep their fingers out of the way of the blade as it cuts, the finger ring and guard help with that. Never allow them to run their fingers over the blade or put the blade on anything that they are not trying to chop up. Always ensure the knife is used on an appropriate cutting surface and that the knife never leaves the surface and never goes near faces. You know your child’s ability better than anyone, so only proceed if your are sure; their safety is your responsibility. Also, it’s probably worth starting with the peeler as this is easier to use, and then you can demonstrate chopping whilst working together on a meal.

Leek, Potato & Spinach Frittata

This weekend we tried out a rather good recipe for a frittata that we’ve wanted to try for while, it’s a bit like the one at The recipe first requires you to fry the potato, leek and onion on the hob before adding the spinach, whisked egg and then putting the cheese topped dish into the oven to cook. It needs the ingredients to be cooked together in the same pan that then goes in the oven for 10 mins. You can use a frying pan with an oven proof handle but for feeding six this gets quite big. So using Tart Tatin, which is designed to go from hob to oven, is really neat. The layering made it a rather attractive lunch. See what you think.

Spinach and Leek Fritatta in the kitchen

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