I have always LOVED being in the kitchen. As a child I would experiment, and my parents let me. I would mix and bake whatever was in the house and what I remember the most, is that my parents tasted what I made. At least that is my perception…. I don’t know if they actually swallowed… but it made me happy and proud.
I love having my kids in the kitchen and I always work with them around me. They sit on the big counter, tell me about their day, ask about what I’m making, do their homework or just play around. I have to admit that although I always let them help, mix, play around with the dough, taste before it’s baked (if there are no eggs in it), I am a bit strict in the kitchen.
I teach to be gentle with baking, feel what you do, work clean and care about what you do. I like it when it is done right not just mess around, even if that is fun as well.
I adore my children and seeing them in the kitchen making and creating is wonderful. Their small hands rolling and kneading, adding and mixing is fun. Now my oldest is big enough to bake on her own and she makes what she likes. She asks and learns and mostly she is having fun.
Once my kids could sit, they were on the table sticking their tiny fingers in everything and feeling the different textures, smelling the aromas and tasting the rich variety of flavors. Always asking hows and whys and also why not. They have learned that in the kitchen hot IS really hot, but especially how wonderful dough feels and how versatile it is. You can create everything and anything with dough.
I have seen blogs with Child Checked recipes but I believe children at any age can try it all (well, not using sharp utensils, deep frying or such….) and it is all about patience and enjoying the tiny hands. It is unbelievable how creative children are.
We like making Challah and rolls together. Bread dough is the best kind. But also cookies, pretzels and chocolate balls. We have had great fun making chocolate dipped frozen bananas and home-made marshmallows. We calculate quantities, measure and weigh and always make sure it all tastes good, especially if chocolate is involved….
So, some fun recipes for any and all ages:
Chocolate Dipped Frozen Bananas
This is great when you have some ripe leftover bananas.
Cut the bananas in halves, put them on sticks and freeze them. Even 20 minutes is enough at first. It is to cool them down for the melted chocolate . This part is fun for kids any age.
Melt chocolate. The better the chocolate the better it tastes…. You can melt the chocolate in the microwave (make sure you melt in pulses of 20-25 seconds and stir in between so it doesn’t burn) or in a bowl over hot water. When I melt a lot of chocolate I prefer it this way.
Once the chocolate is melted you start dipping and covering. This is great fun for kids!
Then back to the freezer and ready for any day.
If you have leftover melted chocolate there are a couple of options-
Add rice crispies to the chocolate and place in small paper muffin cups. Once the chocolate hardens it is a wonderful treat.
Also, add coconut or nuts and put in chocolate forms to make delicious chocolates. These are great as giveaways and a wonderful opportunity for kids to be creative- melt different colors of chocolate and they will fill it up like paintings.Further down in other posts I have a recipe for Israeli chocolate balls – another fun thing to make with kids.
Friday I will add a post about baking Challah and bread with kids as we are planning on baking some….
Enjoy, always have fun with your kids in the kitchen, and most of all, let them touch, smell and taste….
Tell me all about it!