Sally and Flea go to London.

Flea and Annabel Karmel One of my first posts on this blog was my confession that, when she was in pre-school, Flea’s usual breakfast was cereal in a cup.

We’ve moved on from those days. We’re older, wiser, more sophisticated.
Yes, now that Flea is four, she’s big enough to get her own breakfast, thereby allowing me an extra two minutes in bed. I know. Bad Sally.

Perhaps sensing we need to develop better breakfast habits, Cereal Partners UK invited us along to a cooking event in London, where we’d get tips on cooking with wholegrains and nutrition from the likes of Annabel Karmel, Lesley Waters, Greg Searle and Zoe Ball.

The event was held in what I can confidently say must be London’s nicest kitchen. It was all artfully distressed French furniture, painted floorboards and stylish artwork on the walls. Obviously, we fitted right in.

Within five minutes, Flea had bumped into a coffee table that probably cost more than my car, knocking it into an alarmingly tall Zoe Ball, while I squeaked “Celebrity down! Celebrity down!

We then chatted with the team from Nestle, who kept smiling even as Flea loudly announced her favourite breakfast was not Cheerios, in fact, but brioche. “My kids love croissants, too,” one of the execs confided to us.

My daughter then spat out Lesley Water’s muffin and spent 20 minutes squirting a tube of black icing onto a plate, with a generous amount distributed across her face.

Then Annabel Karmel introduced herself, like some kind of angel in a pink cardigan, and asked Flea if she liked to cook with her Mummy. Flea nodded. “And do you make fairy cakes?” asked Annabel. “What are fairy cakes?”said Flea.

Flea and Annabel
Annabel wasn’t phased in the slightest and proceeded to teach Flea how to make delicious bumble bees out of crushed Shreddies mixed with melted marshmallow, butter and peanut butter, in the process handily addressing that wonder-if-Flea's-got-a-nut-allergy question – she doesn't (although if your child does, this recipe works just as well without the peanut butter). 

I'll confess, I'm not usually a big fan of 'cute' food, feeling life's too short for fancy shaped sandwiches,  but the bees looked impressive and required almost no cooking skill. Even I was able to knock up a couple of bees in around 5 minutes -  although Susanna said mine looked more like a bat, which I found deeply hurtful, if accurate. Annabel also offered to send us some recipe books to try out at home, and I'm looking forward to seeing if anything tops the chicken and apple ball recipe, which is a regular standby for us.

Despite our lack of social graces, everyone was really nice, and it was great to catch up with A Modern Mother, A Mother’s Ramblings, Nixd Minx, Suburban Mummy and Are We Nearly There Yet, Mummy.

Just to round the day off, as we left, Zoe Ball leaned over and said to me, “My little boy always has dirty nails, too.
It’s so important to leave a good impression, isn’t it?

About 

Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.

16 Comments

  1. 5th March 2010 / 5:53 am

    Was nice to meet you both too. I did feel a little bad about the icing creation and worried my daughter was leading yours astray and then thought well at least they are entertaining themselves!

  2. muummmmeeeeee......
    5th March 2010 / 10:25 am

    I bet those nails were a lot cleaner at the end of that cookery session…
    There’s an award for you over at mine so check it out x

  3. 5th March 2010 / 11:28 am

    Bees or bats who cares? Suonds like you had a great time – still curious about how you make bees though…

  4. 5th March 2010 / 11:48 am

    Are you sure Flea is not Annabelle’s daughter? They look alike and are about the same size.

  5. S.
    5th March 2010 / 11:57 am

    Is Flea ramming a skewer up Annabel Karmel’s nose?? Please tell me she is. If so, can I arm her with a few more and maybe she could meet Supernanny, that woman with the baby routines (I honestly can’t remember her name at the moment. I’ll ask Netmums!) and any other baby mentalists / whisperers / whatever. (Although marshmallow and peanut butter bees do sound kind of yummy. *begrudgingly*)

  6. 5th March 2010 / 12:15 pm

    @Nat – Personally, I think they were very restrained to keep the icing on the plate, considering the number of REALLY expensive things in that house.
    @CJ – lots of fun, yes!
    @Mummmmeeeee – Ew.
    @Tattie – the full recipe is on the Cereals UK website but basically you melt butter, peanut butter and mini marshmallow in a pan, then stir in crushed up Shreddies. You end up with something a bit like play-dough. Roll a ball into a shape, use a knife to make little slits and then slide in a Shreddie for each wing, then use icing to make black and yellow stripes, and pop the whole thing on a stick. Yum!
    @A Modern Mother – LOL. Annabel is a tiny little pink angel, I think.
    @S Heresy! Heresy! I’m totally with you on Gina Ford et al, but I loved the AK books when Flea was smaller, and there are a couple of her recipes we still use almost every week. Her kids’ baking sets rock, too. The peanut butter bees are quite tasty, and sort of healthy. We thought they’d make a change from Rice Krispie cakes, at any rate.

  7. 5th March 2010 / 12:21 pm

    Oh that second picture is a caption contest waiting to happen!
    Looks like fun though (and unrelated- Fle & The Little Dude have the sam t-shirt :D)

  8. Liz (LivingwithKids)
    5th March 2010 / 1:50 pm

    I’m glad you had such a lovely time – and I really love the pictures of Flea with Annabel.
    I’m only sorry I didn’t get to see you. Even though I probably walked past the house on my way back from the Common. *sigh*

  9. S.
    5th March 2010 / 5:00 pm

    Re: Heresy. I actually do have an AK book I think and it does (I *suppose* I have to admit) have good ideas in it. I just grump about people who make the perfect SAHM thing look a breeze. *grumble, grumble, grouch* And I will give her that she does look remarkably unfazed for having that thing stuck to her nose!

  10. 5th March 2010 / 7:36 pm

    It does look like Flea is ramming the bee up my nose and yes she is about my size ! Anyway it was fun showing her how to make the Buzzy Bees and I think she has a natural flair but then with a name like Flea, Bees should be second nature for her..
    A kids cookbook called ‘You Can Cook’ will be winging its way over to you and there are some yummy recipes for you to make with Flea including a very delicious Chicken Tikka Masala and a yummy quick and easy dessert Frozen Berries with Hot White Chocolate Sauce…Enjoy..

  11. 5th March 2010 / 8:20 pm

    Ooh, I am deeply impressed that you’ve actually had a comment from THE Annabel Karmel. I’m sure the dirty fingernails were caused by the black icing…

  12. S.
    5th March 2010 / 10:31 pm

    Oh god. Now Annabel Karmel hates me. *The shame*
    :-O
    (And Frozen Berries with Hot White Chocolate Sauce sounds delicious. Sigh.)

  13. MrsW
    7th March 2010 / 1:23 pm

    Looks like Flea’s ramming that skewer up Anabels nose! lol – I wish – I find her rather sanctimonious in a Martha Stewart kinda way… in print anyway!

  14. MrsW
    7th March 2010 / 1:31 pm

    I should add, since she’s been hanging around and all, it’s not personal, I find the whole lovie-foodie industry around children pretty much oozes sanctimony – the “do this and it will work with all children” bit wears me down – cos nothing works with all children (someone tell Jo Frost pleeeeeeze!)

  15. 8th March 2010 / 5:13 pm

    I love Annabel Karmel and have used her recipes quite a lot over the years. Looks like fun … well, for the most part!!

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