Play with your food! This recipe is more of a concept than a recipe that needs to be exactly followed - you can make your mashed potatoes and sauce any way you want them. It's best to give the child their own portion of lava to pour, makes it more fun! Too bad the lava can't actually shoot out of the volcano, we're working on that. Variations of this can be found all over the web, so I have no idea where the idea originated. This is perfectly vegan friendly, as it can be made with rice or soy milk and margarine, in fact it was written that way when I found it at Veg Family. Enjoy!
- Put the diced potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer over medium heat until tender, about 15 minutes.
- When the potatoes are done, drain them and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the butter and milk and stir. Mash the potatoes well with a potato masher, then add a little salt if desired.
- In the meantime, make the "lava." Heat the milk in a small saucepan. Dissolve the flour in just enough water to make it smooth and flowing. When the milk is hot, stir the dissolved flour slowly into the saucepan. Sprinkle in the salt, then the optional cheese and stir until it is melted. Simmer the mixture gently until smooth and thick. Stir the ketchup into the sauce, but leave some red streaks showing, so that it looks "fiery."
- Divide the mashed potatoes among 4 serving plates. Have everyone shape them into mountains, then press the tops down lightly to flatten. Finally, have them make a small indentation at the very top with their thumb.
- Have the children arrange some of the peas or broccoli florets around the volcano. These are trees and bushes.
- Let each child pour some of the "lava" into the indentation at the top of each "volcano" with a small ladle. It should flow down the sides. It's fine if it drips over the "greenery" too. Eat at once, before the lava solidifies into magma!
I have to confess, I didn't eat it, but when I read the title and description, I couldn't help myself....I had to make it. :) I do have a little granddaughter that I'm sure will love to muck around in this. lol What a terrific idea for a child, and a great way to encourage them to eat vegetables. I do expect though there will be more playing then eating. :) Hats off to you BB. Honoured to make this as a "Thank You" for voting for Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia in the 2010 Kraft Hockeyville Competition.
If the ketchup is just for color, you could use a few drops of food coloring instead.
These were good, but I think I will leave the ketchup out next time. Love the idea, but wasn't thrilled about the flavor of the ketchup on mashed potatoes (even it was just a little bit). Kids love cheese and potatoes, so these work well (just don't let them play TOO much or there will be a mess haha! :)