The Usborne Cookbook for Boys

Father Christmas was keen to encourage Boy Lacer’s interest in cooking this year and he got him The Usborne Cookbook for Boys (Father Christmas was also planning to make an apron for him, but didn’t have time). Cooking is probably Boy Lacer’s favourite subject at school, which is therefore a shame because he’s only got one more term of it, as they don’t do any cooking at school beyond the Easter holidays of year 1 (although if Boy Lacer joins the ASD unit in the school when he reaches juniors, he will be able to do cooking again then, although as Boy Lacer is currently doing quite well at school, he may not join the unit). Boy Lacer has shown interest in my cookbooks for years (he used to be fond of Annabel Karmel but he’s moved on now to Jamie Oliver) and he enthusiastically sat through the Nigel Slater Christmas episode with me this year (so when a few days later we were at a family party and Boy Lacer meets the dark haired, bespectacled husband of one of Mr. Lacer’s cousins, Boy Lacer goes to me “Is he the man who makes the nice food on TV?”, there was certainly a resemblance).

I’m on a constant look out for cooking classes out of school for Boy Lacer but all the cooking classes I find are for 4 and under. So I am consequently trying to overcome our tiny kitchen and get Boy Lacer (and Girl Lacer) into the kitchen to do more cooking with me (I’ve hated how I didn’t do much cooking with them when they were younger because of the kitchen),

So the first recipe Boy Lacer chose from The Usborne Cookbook for Boys (which Boy Lacer says Girl Lacer can look as long as she’s pretending to be a boy at the time) was Meatballs, which is an adaptation from the Hamburger recipe. It was nice and straightforward, with lots for Boy Lacer to do, with just me chopping the onion and rolling the meatballs at the end because I can’t trust him yet not to put his fingers in his mouth between rolling the meatballs and washing his hands again. I also made a simple sauce from a garlic, onion and basil passata (which is tantamount to cheating in my book, I normally buy plain passata but they were out).

The meatballs turned out absolutely delicious and I don’t even like meatballs!

Overall I would recommend this book, it’s very basic with lots of how to information and diagrams, so perfect for kids. Some of the stuff is still a little advanced for Boy Lacer but that’s because I think this book would be good for anyone up to teenagers.

The recipes include lots of boyish food i.e. ‘normal’ food that’s not all pink fairies and princesses (Girl Lacer has a few girly cookbooks). There are lots of sandwich or potato fillings and dips, pizza, pasta, noodles, pies, some meat dishes, smoothies and baking. I’d recommend it.

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