Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cooking with Kids! Part of the Indoor Summer Fun Experiment Series

The idea for this installment of the indoor Summer Fun Experiment Series comes direct from the comment box. Way back when, Anonymous (who may be my friend Joyce, but may also be someone else...Anonymous if you let me know who you are, I will credit you properly!) posted the following comment in response to this post

"cooking projects are great too - little ones love to pour and mix and stir"

Anonymous, you are so right.

Now this is not the first time we've cooked with the kiddo. In fact, she even has her own chair in the kitchen that she can stand on to observe and help with the many cooking adventures we go on around the house (because we don't go out to dinner anymore. Toddler + baby + restaurant = headaches. I have no idea how we're going to hande this on the road.)

The other day Dave decided to make pesto. Our CSA has been having a bountiful basil harvest this year, and each week we get an incredible of amount of the lovely herb. Dave is pesto crazy, and has subsequently turned every basil bounty into freezable green goodness. This week, he invited Lisel to help.

The great thing about cooking with kids is that it's such a good and natural way to get there senses working.

They can smell new smells.

Tear leaves off stems.

Taste new tastes.

And I like the idea that Lisel will grow up comfortable in the kitchen. Right now she's obviously too young to do much more than help measure, pour, stir, tear and taste. But as she gets older, we'll be able to give her more kitchen autonomy. And if my evil plan works, by her early teens, she'll be the one cooking the meals. (insert supervillian laugh here).

The only downside to cooking with kids is that it usually doesn't take that long. I mean, unless you're making some super complicated mole from scratch or something, you probably won't spend more than an hour cooking. And on a day when you have to keep indoors, that can seem like just a little sliver of time.

But the upside is that when you're done you have pesto! Yums! And hey, during this endless summer, I'll take what I can get.

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