Saturday, February 01, 2014

Cooking with Kids

I love to cook, and I love to cook with kids.  There is a small, in stature and number, audience watching me almost anytime I do anything in the kitchen, especially cook.  My oldest granddaughter was parked on the kitchen counter beside the stove just as soon as she could sit upright.  Everyone thought I was crazy, but she loved it.  She could stir a pot.  They understand so much more than we generally give them credit for, and she never did burn herself.

Harmony at 3 years in her rightful spot on the counter.

Now that she and her sister live with us, and we reentered the homeschooling circle, there is plenty of time spent in the kitchen together.  Recently she learned how to make her own egg over medium just like Papa likes it.  She is very proud!  Her younger sister is a constant presence and has no fear of anything cooking related.  I do have to watch her a little more closely, though.  She is much more bold and is the type of person that cannot just take your word for something, like a hot stove; she has to find out for herself.  So, I cannot say that she's never been burned, but she has survived just fine.

This is where you find Annabella when I'm cooking now.

I love the layout of the kitchen in our new home.  The open counter with the built-in oven allows for me to be on one side of the counter or stove with the kids on the other.  It's like our own little hands on cooking school.  It really works well for including them in all aspects of the process without interfering with my cooking space.

So much can be learned in the kitchen.  A lot happens in cooking.  Math is the most obvious, but there is science, art, history, and creativity as well as character building aspects like self-confidence and hospitality.  Then, there's the opportunity to learn good health, preparedness, and self-sufficiency.  Not to mention meal planning and learning what is and is not a good deal in the grocery store.

Over the next year we will be doing a lot of learning in the kitchen.  There's the whole wheat free adventure we're stepping out on, and we plan to add learning to exist without sugar in our cooking as well.  Then there's the gardening we will be doing which will hopefully produce enough produce for opportunities in drying, freezing, and canning.

Harmony in the kitchen today.

I'm great one on one in the kitchen.  My new goal is to learn how to work with three kids in the kitchen at once since that's my new audience participation number.  I lack experience in that department despite the fact that we are currently raising kids number 8, 9, and 10.  I managed to potty train two at once this time around, so one would think I could figure out how to cook with three at once.

Avery gets in the kitchen now and then as well.

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