A couple of years ago my cousins wife said to me, “our kids will never know a life that doesn’t involve TV you can pause”. She actually sounded quite sad as she said it and although I never gave it much thought at the time she is right.
As children our TV was limited to an hour or so of programmes per day spread over five channels, There was no live pause or TV on demand. Computers (for those who were lucky enough to have them) were huge cumbersome affairs with black and green screens. There were no tablets, no smart phones and if there had been they would have been useless as there was no internet. Can you imagine a life with no internet? A life without at your fingertips news, weather, shopping and social media?
It has become a source of concern for me how much time my son devotes to watching other people playing games (any parent who reads this who is familiar with Minecraft and Stampy will know EXACTLY what I mean) on YouTube. In fact, only last week he turned down a trip with friend in favour of an hour on the iPad. I didn’t allow it and mayhem ensued or as it is called in our house “the iPaddy”. That evening I started to have a long, hard think about our collective use of devices and how much we could do if we downed them for a while. I made a pact with myself not to casually peruse Facebook or Twitter during family time and rather than setting my son up with the iPad or the TV and a snack whilst I cooked dinner I involved him in the planning and cooking of a family meal.
We decided upon carbonara and even though there was a puddle of cream on the kitchen side where it missed its destination, shell in with the egg yolk and a near miss with a finger and the cheese grater the end result was a delicious meal and a very, very happy child declaring “that was so much fun, can we do it again and make pizza?”.
There is something quite wonderful about seeing your children connect with the food they eat, I think it helps them understand their food, where it comes from, how it is made and, that it doesn’t just show up on their plates three times a day!
Basic Pizza Dough (makes 4 thin, medium sized pizzas)
- 500g strong white bread flour
- A teaspoon of salt
- One 7g sachet of Easy Yeast
- Half a tablespoon of sugar
- Half a pint of luke warm water
In a jug mix the yeast and sugar with the water. Leave to stand for a few moments.
In a large bowl put the salt and flour. Make a well in the middle and add the warm water a little at a time to form a dough. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for about 10 minutes until silky and elastic.
Shape the dough in to a ball, dust the top with flour and cover in cling film. Leave for at least 15 minutes before dividing the dough in to four and rolling in to thin pizza bases.
Scatter over toppings of your choice and bake in a hot oven (preferably on a pizza stone or piece of granite) for 10 minutes.
Adapted from Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver.