Learning in the kitchen

I may have mentioned before that I am a bit of a control freak when it comes to my kids working with me in the kitchen. Most of the time I'd rather stick a fork in my eye than have the kind of "help" they so eagerly offer. But I would like my boys to be self-sufficient, maybe even proficient when it comes to food preparation.

That said, I was actually quite excited when my culinary friend at the Kitchn sent me a few recipes to try from a book she is reviewing, "Picture Yourself Cooking with Your Kids" by Beth Sheresh. Knowing that these recipes were kid-friendly in nature, made me want to try them out and relinquish some of my own kitchen neuroses.

The first one I attempted was a biscuit recipe. Simple enough but I am generally not a great baker and mine tend to taste like hard little hockey pucks. So, it was nothing short of miraculous that these turned out fantastic!

I was preparing an old standby, Midwest Chowder and biscuits seemed a perfect match. I had the dough mixed and sitting in the fridge when Ethan got home from school. He was more than happy to help me with the rolling and the cutting.

I'm really not sure what was so magic about this recipe. Maybe because I was extra careful not to handle the dough too much or let the butter warm up. They just hit the spot. Even Keith, who eats my dinners when they are cold, sad leftovers was incredulous that I made the biscuits myself. He thought they were "the kind from the can" which I honestly have to take as a compliment. I don't generally try to compete with Pillsbury.

It was a good dinner for a snowy evening.

A few nights later we tried out the Ginger Applesauce Cake which was every bit as good as it sounds. Two for two! Not bad in my book. This one provided lots of opportunities for stirring and measuring which both Ethan and Drew wanted to try.

I have long looked forward to the day that Ethan could read recipes for me because that is a genuine help with my short term memory all but demolished in recent years. Sometimes I feel like a demented hamster scurrying back to my recipe to check and re-check ingredients and amounts. Although he stumbled over a few words like "incorporated", his skills were a big help.

The boys circled around like vultures waiting for the cake to cool enough to eat. It was delicious with a little whipped cream. Sweet but not too sweet with half a cup of sugar and a quarter cup of maple syrup.

The dreadful low-light picture does not do it justice but you get the idea.


Shari said...

I was just telling my mom today that I can't wait to teach Maisy how to bake and cook. I can just picture her on a little stool, learning to crack an egg. :-)

Oh, these recipes look SO yummy. Chowder sounds delicious right now and Brent adores homemade biscuits. I'm glad it was fun AND yummy.

Anonymous said...

Liane, I had to laugh as Luke and I were watching the food network channel and they were making biscuits with cornmeal in them. Since Luke loves biscuits, we made them together and neither he nor I liked them. Grandpa made most of them, so next time we will stick to regular biscuits. Gram C

Anonymous said...

Error. Ralph did not make them - he ate them! Can you see him making any food?!!

the Joneses said...

I have the recipe for Midwest Chowder, compliments of my mother-in-law. I don't make it much, though. Not sure why. I need to pull it out and see.

Anyway, the recipes look great. We do biscuits regularly, but the cake should be a big hit with my little bakers. Congratulations on success!

-- SJ

Emma C said...

So awesome! This was a fun collaboration! Thanks again for helping me test out those recipes. :)

Claire said...

I liked the animal word pictures... you the demented hamster, the boys as vultures...You just need something for Keith to be...

And I'm glad that Gram C clarified that Grampa M. ATE the biscuits. I was having a hard time imagining him crafting biscuits. :)

Heidi said...

Seriously, WHERE do you get the patience? I can only dream of getting my energy back like that soon.

kitchenmage said...

What a great review, thank you so much. I am particularly happy that I helped you face your aversion to letting the kids run wild in the kitchen! I love the photos, and the image of the vulture-like kids waiting for the cake. Plus, those biscuits look amazing! Like you have been making them for years. Thanks again for a wonderful review!