“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
I think it terrifies my boys to know that when their friends arrive all with ipads in tow I am going to declare – ‘no electronics sorry’……..yet the same kids keep on coming back! I look at the faces of my own boys after a huge playdate without computer games, and they are glowing and I feel I have helped to add a little to that euphoria.
I find the addition of homemade food is always a hit. Again, I wonder if my boys would love to one day find crisps, cheese balls and other such ‘snack’ in the pantry – but alas it is not going to happen. What always does occur is a huge mess as I cook up a storm in my funny little kitchen. It is great to have appreciate bellies about – and boys so love to eat. When I enquire whether they just want me to cook or whether they want to help – it is unanimous!
So today, I found four tweens ready to play and cook and eat. The agreement was pizza and ice-cream and we wanted everything from scratch. As the makeshift volleyball game seemed in full swing around midday I decided to produce the pizza dough swiftly and pop it into a sunny nook to rise whilst preparing the rest. We chopped and grated and ended up with the boys’ favourites of olives, mozzarella, fresh tomato paste (Ok, I admit I made that too), mushrooms, pineapple, and smoked ham. Dough was rolled and before I knew it the boys had placed themselves into teams. The decision had been easy apparently – just a vote on who wanted pineapple split them evenly. There was sharing and chattering as all the crew got together to build their pizzas. Laughing and huge grins for the camera and a polite request for an ipad back – just for a photo!!!
The Auckland autumn sun came out at the perfect moment and the boys voted a movie would be boring and a picnic was in order. Suddenly four rather grown up lads sat up to their pizza – discussing their favourite ingredients and trying each other’s to vote for their preferred combo. Now that, I thought to myself was much more fun than ordering in (naturally I hadn’t ventured back into the kitchen at that point).
Then came the ice cream and some Whittaker’s white chocolate and raspberry melted into a creme anglais seemed to work superbly. Creamy and lush, tiny bowlfuls even managed to be passed over the back fence for some visiting Grandchildren who were beyond excited to be served by a contestant from MasterchefNZ.
As I wash up and resurrect the kitchen one of our junior guests pops his head in to say – Thanks – and I reflect on how beautiful these children have been, how thrilled they are to be involved, how simply polite and generous they are with each other and I am so proud to be a Mum. (and a foodie)