How does your family go on road trips? The VS family loves a trip to the country and after years of travelling a couple of hours to visit grandparents, the kids are pretty awesome in the car. No screens, they each pack a bag of things to do, and good tunes are essential to make the trip more interesting (and distract them from whatever argument they’re having).
As a child, my family never left home with out the Muppet Movie soundtrack. But we’re not such nice parents and actually, after a couple of years, kids songs were making me a bit stabby. We went on a music offensive, determined to get them onto stuff we liked too. If you’re still stuck on non-stop rotation of Wiggles, here’s a list of songs that saved my sanity and got the kids onto more palatable music.
These days, the kids’ tastes are awesome and we can chuck on anything. Which leads to the new interesting dilemma of swearing in songs. We usually just let them slide by and mostly they don’t even notice. In fact, after several intense weeks of Icona Pop, Miss F only realised there was naughty words in it when she was in a friend’s car and they heard the bleeped radio edit. And of course, my kids mostly sing along to most songs with their own mondegreens, which makes the whole swearing thing much easier. Like this Yacht track, which we belt out with “When the ship hits the sand” (awesome video but maybe watch first and decide if it’s ok for your kids). Also on our playlist, this Unknown Mortal Orchestra song is apparently all about Ninjagos and Miss F is positive that Florence Welsh is singing, “long live salami” in What the water gave me.
Which segues us nicely into pizza territory. Finally I’ve done up a Vegie Smuggling pizza sauce, which I dollop generously onto small pita breads (conveniently bowl shaped to hold more sauce), and top with salami or ham and cheese for the kids and more elaborate with roasted eggplant, olives and rocket for the adults.
Six-vegie pizza sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 tsp brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled, grated
1 zucchini, grated
1 large potato, peeled, grated
4 button mushrooms, grated
1 tsp Italian herbs
2 tsp Balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp tomato paste
400g can crushed tomatoes
The onions cook slowly for a while – get them going, then do the rest of your prep while they’re cooking.
Heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan over low-medium heat. Add the onion, and cook slowly for 10-15 minutes. Keep the pan covered, and just stir every couple of minutes. When the onions are translucent, remove the lid, sprinkle over the sugar and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are golden brown.
Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or so before tossing in all of the vegies. Again, you want to sweat them down, so give the mix a good stir, cover and give them about 10 minutes cooking time (lift the lid and stir every few minutes).
Remove the lid, add in the herbs, vinegar and tomato paste. Pour over the can of tomatoes and mix really well before recovering and simmering on the low heat for 10 minutes more.
Blitz the sauce up and use on pizza or mix through pasta.
Makes about 4 cups & freezes really well.
Like this recipe? It’s from my latest cookbook, ‘Kitchen Collection’. You can check out a copy here.