Monday, August 16, 2010

Head of the (Cooking) Class

I highly recommend cooking with your kids!!!  Matthew loves this activity.  It is science and fun mixed all up in one.  Marisa got in on the fun this weekend for the first time too. 

She, Matthew and Kevin made Banana Bread from scratch.  We be old school with our $9.99 hand mixer from 1997.  I do not think they even make the brand any more but whatevs.  No, I do not have a fancy pant-sy Kitchen Aide mixer and, yes, I know the virtues that owners of those extol.  I have had one on my Amazon wish list since we moved into a larger house but I actually kind of dig the old school mixer and wooden spoon, the work out my arms get and the fun of seeing everything come together by my hand.  I digress...

The hand mixer actually is a great item to have with little kids because it is small and noisy and they can easily hold it plus I could care a less what happens to it 'cause $9.99, 1997.  The kids worked together so well it was almost amazing!  They gave each other turns smashing the bananas up with the hand mixer and pouring the flour and salt and baking soda and sugar in.  Matthew broke the eggs and helped with the vanilla. They helped to butter the dish and pour the mixture in and Matthew marked it with a M! They (Kevin) put it in the oven and OMG did the house smell so wonderful. Matthew had me turn on the light in the stove and they both stood watching it bake for awhile!  The Banana Bread turned out perfectly and the kids were pretty proud to eat the finished product for breakfast this morning!

My roll/job was mostly just to remind Kevin not to forget this or that and watched the whole process unfold.  On  a side note, I was sorting through the raspberries we picked the day before at a nearby farm - RASPBERRY PICKING IS THE BOMB!  We cannot wait to go back to the farm we visited to do some apple picking in the fall!

Both Kevin and I have been baking or cooking with Matthew since he was a wee tot.  Kevin is definitely the more adventurous of the two of us.  As I mentioned the kids get basically skills in the kitchen but also the science!  We get all Alton Brown on them and, for instance, we will discuss the differences between the baking soda and baking powder and what is does to the food it is being added too. 

I have been making the Saturday morning pancakes the past couple of months and Marisa definitely has the helpfulness bug right now so every Saturday morning she knows the drill.  She gets the wooden spoon, bowl, measuring cups of all kinds as well she helps to bring the, Bisquick (what?  we are not that anal about homemade stuff!), milk carton and (gulp) eggs to the counter top.  She usually eats a yogurt while I make the pancakes but I think soon enough she will be able to help with the eggs and mixing.

I have such fond memories of watching my Mom and Dad baking and cooking dinner and they both taught me a lot about how to manage in the kitchen.  I feel like it is special that both kids enjoy it and want to do it.

My biggest learning yesterday about cooking is that it helps teach the kids to work together cooperatively.  They both stood on their respective stools and stirred and mixed and Matthew kindly told his sister how to do things and she watched and it was truly a wonderful way to end the weekend! 

Next up, I am thinking about some easy to make meals that Matthew can help with so he can see what goes into the food and, MAYBE, in turn he will actually eat a meal without complaining bitterly about it!  HA. 
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