My oldest (Andrea) just turned 5 and the younger one (Arno) is turning 2 at the end of the month. Until recently playing together for them just meant being in the same room, or Andrea irritating Arno by tickling him or him grabbing whatever she’s playing with. Then this weekend they suddenly started playing together and it is wonderful to see it. They were climbing the little hill outside in our garden and probably spend about an hour up there. I took them some oranges and then said when it’s done it’s time for Arno’s bottle. Andrea burst into tears when I said this because she knows that means it is naptime for him. She told me she doesn’t want him to go and sleep she wants to play. Then last night after work I was busy getting laundry from our bedroom when I heard the box with the legos being thrown out onto the floor. Directly after that Arno comes storming into the room shouting ‘ANDREAAAAAAA’. He did a very quick u-turn when he discovered I’m in the room, and not Andrea, but he then found her in her room to go and play blocks with him. Even though they are naughty together I’m loving it. I’m just hoping they don’t get to the same level of naughtiness me and my brother use to get to.
On an unrelated topic. Heston Blumenthal. I just love that man. His cooking shows are my favourite, and eating at one of his restaurants, or a meal cooked by him is on my bucket list. Even though I watch his cooking shows I never thought of cooking any of his dishes until ‘How to cook like Heston’ came on. There are so many good tips in that series. I’ve made his slow cooked scrambled eggs, and it is so creamy and wonderful I could eat it all day long.
Recently we decided to try out his mashed potato recipe, and that is another winner. I don’t think I ever want to eat normal mash again, but unfortunately it takes too long to cook it his way all the time. And I still took some shortcuts, and adapted it a bit. Here is what I did.
I did not measure the number of potatoes, only took the amount I usually make for us as a family, and to have lunch the next day. He also said take waxy potatoes, but I had two different types of potatoes, no idea what kind, so I had no choice but to mix them.
Put unsalted water on the stove, and heat to 72ºC (I used a meat thermometer on the water, because it’s the only one I had). Peel the potatoes, keep the skins, and cut into equal sizes. Rinse the potatoes very well, and put it in the water.
Keep it at 72ºC for 30 minutes. I checked it about every 5 minutes and put either the heat up or down. After 30 minutes rinse them again, and then put them in a pot with boiling salted water. Cook until it is very soft (falling apart stage)
While that is boiling add the potato peelings (I washed those as well) to a cup of milk, and bring that to boiling point. Remove from heat, and let that stand for 20 minutes.
Drain the potatoes and put it back on the plate to dry out. The recipe said to put the potatoes through a ricer and then a fine sieve, but I put it through our food mill (moulinette) that I got to make baby food, and then added 250g butter and the warm milk and a bit of salt.
That was the most delicious mash I’ve ever had in my entire life, and both kids had seconds. We had it with meat and vegetables, but I could easily have eaten just a plate of that on its own.