Katy Ashworth at Butlins

So, Katy, what do you like most about presenting I Can Cook?

The kids! It’s great to work with children while you’re cooking – even if those flour fights do sometimes get out of hand! They say the most amazing things, like “Ugh – it looks like alien blood!” when we’re squashing tomatoes. We often have to stop filming because I’m falling about on the floor laughing.

I get such pleasure from hearing the imaginative stories they come up with. Children find the whole filming thing fascinating, but we also have lots of silly conversations and games when the cameras aren’t rolling. My favourite little helper was called Jake. When I told him, “Hold your horses,” he replied, “But I haven’t got any horses.” It was so funny, I had to walk off the set for a while.

Here at Butlin's we love your funny little songs, Do you write them yourself?

Not ‘The Washing Hands Song’, unfortunately. I reckon that could get to No 1 if we tried! But yes, I wrote most of the songs on the guitar with my friend Jonathan while I was still in university. We had such a giggle writing them together. They’re quite surreal. I mean, when would you normally get to sit down and write a song about gold-digger buns or chunky banana bread?

So was there lots of singing when you visited Butlins?

Yes there was! The show was a cacophony of music, cooking, flour, dancing and fun! With the amazing opportunity for children to come and cook with me. And, of course, there was plenty of singing ‘The Washing Hands Song’. As i expected it was a really fun experience. I never went to Butlins when I was a kid, so it was a completely blank canvas for me – ready to be splurged with paint.

Did you train as a cook?

Nope – I’m no chef! All credit for the brilliant recipes in I Can Cook must go to the very talented cooking consultants, Sally Brown and Kate Morris. But I do love to cook. I held a cooking party with my panto friends last Christmas. And of course, I included some of the recipes from I Can Cook.

Why is it important to get children interested in cooking?

Cooking is a great way of bringing people together. One of life’s greatest pleasures is sharing and eating food together, and making food for others gives children a fantastic sense of pride and achievement. Getting young kids started in the kitchen is key. Given the chance, all children love to cook, and using your imagination in the kitchen really helps to keep them interested.

Do you find that grown-ups make the recipes, too?

Well, I certainly do, so I’m sure lots of others do the same. A lot of parents tell me how much they like the food, and how good it is to have tasty children’s recipes that aren’t just cupcakes.

And finally, Katy, what’s your favourite food?

It changes all the time, but at the moment it’s a type of maize flour dough I ate on a recent trip to East Africa. It was like a big piece of Play-Doh. You rip bits off and dip them into a spicy tomato sauce with onions and potatoes. It’s simple but delicious – it doesn’t actually taste like Play-Doh!

I Can Cook products and images supplied courtesy of Lakeland. The I can cook range is now available at Lakeland stores nationwide and at lakeland.co.uk

Fun recipe to try at home

Here’s an easy I Can Cook recipe for your little ones to make. We think they’ll love it!

Spiced Fun Buns To make eight buns you will need:

3 dessert spoons currants

1 dessert spoon chopped peel

2 dessert spoons caster sugar

60g butter, softened

110g self-raising flour

Big pinch of mixed spice

1 egg

  1. Wash your hands and put an apron on. Preheat the oven to 180°C for fan ovens/200°C/Gas mark 6. Measure out all the ingredients. Put some baking paper on the baking tray.
  2. Put the currants, chopped peel and sugar into a bowl.
  3. In another bowl, tickle the butter, flour and spice together until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, fruit and peel to the flour bowl and mix with the fork – just a few gentle stirs.
  4. Break the egg into a cup and beat with the fork, then add some (but not all) to your fruity mixture. The mixture should be firm enough to shape, but not dry. Add a bit more egg if needed.
  5. Using your hands, tear the mixture into eight pieces. Now, without shaping them, place on to a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.