Kids in the Kitchen
Guest Post by Char Huskins
Do you get your grand kids in the kitchen with you? Teresa has talked often about her granddaughter in the kitchen, and I love reading those posts! I have a 9, 11, and 14 year old, and they have all been clamoring to help me cook, bake, create, and mess up the kitchen this summer. My 9 year old daughter is especially determined to do some kind of cooking or food prep EVERY day, and she even calls her time “Food Craft” time. The boys draw.. Martha bakes!
I home-school my two youngest, so we have extra time for projects and learning life skills. Just this week, Martha has made microwave chocolate cake (she forgot the sugar, so it was a very cocoa powdery cake, and not very edible), a lunch “bar” with all the food pulled out of the fridge so she and her brother could build their own buffet style lunch, and yesterday she used a cake mix to make a Betty Crocker Devil’s Food cake ENTIRELY on her own. The only help I offered was putting the pans IN the oven, and taking them out again. (Oh, and I turned on the oven too).
Some of the things I’m learning about my kids in the kitchen:
– Martha at age 9 is FAR more capable than I would have expected her to be. There have been a few mishaps (a dropped egg is about the worst), but overall she has just charged forward without fear and been able to accomplish what she hoped.
– My daughter’s creativity exceeds mine! I would never think to take pieces of bread, tear them into small chunks, dip them in chocolate sauce, and then freeze them to make “chocolate bites”. But Martha created this “recipe” on her own, and they are actually tastier than you’d think!
– My children’s only fears seems to stem from MY anxiety. Martha is naturally unafraid to try new things, but she has begun check with me to see if I think something is a good idea first. This is mostly good, but I’d like to foster less anxiety and more “go for it”-ness. Working on that!
– I am a bit of a “control freak”, and especially in the kitchen, so my kids have not had a lot of time and practice. I’m working on this too – letting go, laughing at the mishaps, and helping with the clean-ups.
– Reading recipes is a great way to learn fractions and math skills. Score for making every moment more teachable!
– A nine year old can make a DELICIOUS chocolate cake, frost it with TWO different kind of frosting and even decorate it with icing in a plastic bag. (see photo below!)
I’m so looking forward to what else Martha tries to make, and I’ve put her in charge of our weekly menu planning. Nine is NOT too young for that either, and she’s taken a chore off my plate (pun intended), and I couldn’t be happier about it!