An eight-year-old boy had a younger sister who was dying of leukaemia, and he was told that without a blood transfusion she would die. His parents explained to him that his blood was probably compatible with hers, and if so, he could be the blood donor. They asked him if they could test his blood. He said sure. So they did and it was a good match. Then they asked if he would give his sister a pint of blood, that it could be her only chance of living. He said he would have to think about it overnight.
They next day he went to his parents and said he was willing to donate the blood. So they took him to the hospital where he was put on a gurney beside his six-year-old sister. Both of them were hooked up to IVs. A nurse withdrew a pint of blood from the boy, which was then put in the girl's IV. The boy lay on his gurney in silence while the blood dripped into his sister, until the doctor came over to see how he was doing. Then the boy opened his eyes and asked, "How soon until I start to die?"
from Anne Lamott's brilliant Bird By Bird.
And, really, what more is there to say? That fierce bravery, innocence and brilliance in children everywhere that can just take your breath away.
In honour of the amazingness of kids, I thought I 'd suggest two dishes that are great fun to cook with them. It is rather counter-intuitive, but I find sometimes the messiest of recipes are in fact the most kid friendly. No matter how hard I try whenever I make these yoghurt flatbreads I end up with flour everywhere. Throw a few kids in the mix and there is only a bit more flour for me to sweep up which is hardly a deal breaker. And they love rolling them out so much. I always cook the flatbreads on the BBQ because I like the smoky flavour and I recommend using them as the bread in a sausage sandwich for a special kids dinner. Makes you feel quite good about yourself as opposed the flash of shame when using normal white bread.
Another great one for the kids, with their little hands, is turning a leftover red rice and quinoa salad - here is the recipe for one from an older blog post but you could use any grain based salad - into little fritters. Just add an egg or two and enough flour to bind, mix it all up and put the children to work to form little patties which you then gently fly until crispy on the outside. You really do have to yield control to the midgets here - some fritters will be tiny, some will be huge, very few will be perfect and round. But remember if they are busy doing this, they will not be emptying the entire contents of the pantry or smearing toothpaste over the bathroom floor or colouring in the walls or any of those things that tend to happen when your own hands are covered in sticky batter. Serve with yoghurt spiked with lemon and salt and pepper.