I read about how easy it is to make your own butter on a web site called Ohdeedoh, so it made my "Things To Do" list.
Katy did a pretty good job with hers, but Bayla gave up the effort early, and I ended up shaking a container in each hand. I don't remember how long we danced and walked and shook around the kitchen--maybe five minutes, maybe ten. But slowly, I could sense a change in how the cream felt moving around in the container, and the sound was more of a thump.
I was so excited: "It's working! I think it's changing into butter!" I'm not entirely sure the girls even knew what we were working for. But when we opened up our containers and saw that the cream was now solid, and when they stirred it around and covered small pieces of bread with it, they got a pretty good kick out of the transformation.
Katy became an instant butter fan, but Bayla, not so much.
I used a recipe I clipped from a magazine, buying yeast and everything, but sadly our bread never changed from the form you see above--no rising, no success. It went into the trash bin, but Bayla had fun with it anyway.
The girls would just as soon make muffins from a box of Betty Crocker than worry about making bread from scratch. At their Grandma's house in Kentucky, they got lots of cooking practice:
The girls work together on a batch of muffins.
Katy tries her hand at Fried Green Tomatoes.
Bayla takes a turn with the Fried Green Tomatoes.
Katy helped make the biscuits and prep the strawberries
for Strawberry Shortcake.
Once they got home, the girls wanted to help me cook all the time. I have started to realize how much of my dinner preparation involves either chopping (sharp knives!) or working at the stove (hot burners!), which doesn't much lend itself to a toddler helping hand. But the girls now dish up their own cereal each morning, and pour on the milk, and I've found a couple of occasions to let them help with meals in more substantial ways:
Here, Katy is rolling out the crescent roll dough for my
mom's Beef Bun recipe.
It definitely takes extra effort on my part to find ways to involve the girls in the kitchen when they are only 2 and 3 years old, and heaven knows it takes a lot of extra clean-up. But when they express such an interest and enthusiasm for something, it is very hard to turn them away.
I am trying in many different ways to build their independence, and I'm always hoping to help them find their interests and talents. I am finding that giving them some time with me in the kitchen is great for both of these things!
Do you have memories of helping your mother or grandmother in the kitchen? Do you think those experiences have shaped how you feel about cooking today (good or bad)?