Living in London our weekends were mostly spent eating, drinking or hungover. I dread to think how many days I wasted sleeping away my fuzzy head, but at the time we had no other pressures or worries and the biggest decision to be made was which pub we’d eat lunch in that day. I could take as much time relaxing as needed, as long as my brain was half way engaged on Monday mornings.
These days we like to fill our weekends up. They feel like they last longer for Will if we do, and for me they detract from the occasional monotony of childrearing and housework. But finding activities to suit all four of us is becoming harder and harder and inevitably leads us to the shops, which is not good because a) it’s busy, b) I end up spending money and c) Elfie doesn’t particularly like it. Our other favourite past time is eating out but again this activity doesn’t exactly thrill the younger members of our family.
We really haven’t got out much as a family this summer, thanks in part to the crappy weather and the fact I’m rubbish at making decisions about what the hell to do but also because of Will’s hectic weekend schedules, so our time together is always really precious.
I had a bit of a brainwave for the last miserable Bank Holiday Monday: as it was tipping it down outside I put together a pizza party. Food + stuff you can roll out = fun for everyone.
I really struggle for family activities sometimes, especially on a budget, and get so bored with walking round the park countless times. I’d love to hear of any of your lifesaving child-and-parent entertaining activities.
Back to the Pizza. Elfie did end up eating most of her ham off her pizza before it was cooked, but it’s games like this that have helped her understand that food is made, it goes in the oven and then comes out cooked. Voila!
This is the simplest activity. All you need is the ingredients for pizza dough/bread (the ready packs of this are great, though I just made mine in my bread maker), a couple of cloves of garlic, a tin of chopped tomatoes, mozzarella and toppings of your choice. Finely chop the garlic and cook in some oil for a couple of minutes before adding the tomatoes. Simmer for about 20 minutes with some dried herbs (I use thyme and oregano).
I like to roll out the pizza dough on Polenta to give it a bit of somethin somethin, and I use polenta to stop the bases sticking to the baking trays. Cover in the tomato sauce then add your toppings. My favourites include:
– Anchovies, capers and red onion
– Ham, pineapple and mushroom
– Garlic mushroom and cheddar
– Anything with a bit of added pesto
You can literally stick anything on top of these pizzas, bake for 30 mins at 190 degrees C and BOOM. Dinner and an afternoon entertainment activity, all in one.