Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen…

… make a about 3 dozen cookies!

Yesterday was such a fun day with my son Jackson.  He had begged me on Sunday, begged me, to bake some cookies with him after school.  Jackson has never made such a request to me. He has actually never made ANY request of me. Seriously.  Never.  How could I say no?

So after gymnastics, with the most crankiest, non-listening, tired from being up all night & not being able to sleep,  3 year old sister in tow, we headed to the grocery store to pick up some supplies.

For all my childless-readers out there, taking children to the grocery store is like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. You just never know whatcha gonna get.   Due to the hour of gymnastics prior, I knew I had minimal time before little Miss Mt. Vesuvius Easty would either erupt or crash out, so I dashed the kids into a cart and B-lined for the necessary white chocolate chips & pecans that Jackson requested. I was finished in about 10 minutes. Unfortunately, Easty was just beginning to erupt.  Normally, I would not venture this task with a child that was on the precipice of a meltdown but I had made a promise. It’s a living on the edge type of life here in the Burbs. Heh.

Nothing is harder than trying to be firm about your discipline methods in public.  It gets really tiring hearing the same old, same old from by-standers. I hate hearing myself say the same old, same old retorts too. Tired. Hungry. Busy day. Up all night. Giving your Mommy a hard time.   Blah. Blah. Blah blah blah.  Seriously. I just say nothing and smile now. Who REALLY cares?  They just hate that the one thing that my daughter has inherited from me, is that her decibel levels are impossible to ignore.   Heh.

You know that they are relieved when you’ve finally relented and have picked up your lil’ Melter, like a sack of potatoes, flung her over your shoulder and headed straight for the exit.

As I was looking down, wrestling buckling up Miss Vesuvius in her car seat, I heard a sound like a mini-chainsaw.  Just like that, Easty was snoring logs. O-U-T. Easty was so completely out, that she stayed completely asleep while I transferred her from her car seat to the bed.

That left Jackson & myself to bake all the cookies.

I took a million picture of my little monkee chef.  Unfortunately this is the only one that survived my tech-y mistake, that somehow left me with a restored iPhone and the deletion of all my recent pictured.

So, after I cried, I decided that we would just have to make some more cookies the next day.  I would hopefully get some more great shots with Jackson and then hopefully some with a non-napping Easton this time.

Baking as Play.

Some of the fondest  memories that I share with my Mom, is when we have baked together. My Mom even vividly remembers baking with her Grandmother when she was a little girl.  Baking with your children not only creates great goodies, it also creates great memories together.

Baking with children is not as scary as it may seem.  It is very easy to adapt different steps to include all your children in the process.  Babies can sit in highchairs and watch their siblings participate in all the fun.  I remember that Easty really enjoyed having some flour or even some dough to fling around the kitchen.  Also, aprons look so cute on your little chefs.

Toddlers and Pre-schoolers can help mix, pour, and scoop in the ingredients.

School-age children can read recipes and learn to measure.  While everybody can learn about the science of baking.

First I let the lil’ monkees choose the recipe. You find out a lot about your children by just asking.  This is how we discovered Jackson likes white chocolate & nuts and not your typical milk chocolate chips. Also, we found out that Easty likes the very mini  mini-chocolate chips. In a pinch, you can find some really kid-friendly recipes online at All Recipes.com.

Next you need to clean those hands.  I also like to use hand sanitizer, just because certain lil’ monkee boys enjoy putting their hands down their pants on a continual basis. Just saying.

Preparation is the key to reducing stress and enjoying the time baking with your children.  I prefer to have all my ingredients and supplies on the counter.  I also have the kids use their stools so they can easily reach the counter.  You can also prepare the ingredients on a smaller child’s table or at your dinner table.

Next I will read the recipe ingredients out-loud and the kids have fun being the first to find it and check it off our list.  I also like to put my ingredients away after we have used it, that way you don’t have to worry if you have put in the ingredient or if you have forgotten to.

When it comes to measuring or adding ingredients, I usually have the lil’ monkees measure an ingredient into a smaller bowl and not the big bowl with all the ingredients in it. This ensures that you will have a successful product at the end and if there are mistakes, you can easily correct it without having anyone get too upset.  Mistakes happen and it is nice not to have to waste any ingredients.

This is Jackson cracking his first egg. He was so happy and he did a great job. No shells.  He did a perfect job on the second egg as well. “Good Job Jacksy!” is what Easty said and I agreed.  It was great to see both of my lil’ monkees taking turns and sharing all the tasks.

Easty was our No.1 sifter.  She would wiggle from her head to her toes, just to get all that dry ingredients through the sifter.

Here Jackson is counting how many cookies we have and that 12 cookies make a dozen.  I think we made 3 dozen but you will be hard-pressed to find more than 5 left in our cookie jar.  I usually handle the oven portion of our baking.  Always remember to have the kids stand back when you open the oven, as the hot air can send quite a searing blast if they are too close.

Nothing is more satisfying than a mouthful of cookie after all that baking. MMM!

What are your fondest memories about baking as a child? Do you have any great kid-friendly recipes?  What is your favourite thing about baking or cooking with your children?

Comments

  1. Baking cookies with children is one of the greatest things in the world!

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