Friday I spent the morning making batches of zucchini bread, along with some help from the young ladies who live next door. They were eager to help and I think it is important to get kids involved in cooking. It is a skill everyone should learn, also, I find kids who help make their food are more interested in eating it. Cooking gives you skills beyond just knowing how to feed yourself. You learn timing, patience, how to plan ahead, reading directions, and if you are lucky, you end up with a healthy appreciation for all of the hard work that goes into preparing the food you eat.
Having two children, with different personalities, of different ages, and with different levels of motor skills in the kitchen at the same time is always a challenge. The older one has already mastered how to crack an egg, but the younger one hadn’t yet had the opportunity to try her hand at it. I only need three eggs for each batch of bread, but I had two and a half-dozen in the fridge, so I figured why not let her try. She did great, only one small sliver of egg-shell in the eggs, which I was able to fish out of the bowl, before we added it into the other ingredients. She was really proud of herself and I know it gave her a new sense of confidence.
Her older sister was intimated by filling the measuring cup with flour, she ended up with quite a bit of flour (not to mention sugar and salt) on her and the floor. She was upset at first, but I told her it was no big deal, once the bread went in the oven, we could clean the floor (and the counter, and her dress!) I told her cooking was fun, but sometimes it was messy. It is always good to take your time and clean as you go. I think she was able to relax and trust that she would fill the measuring cup properly once we took away the stress of spilling off her mind.
Both girls did a great job and we ended up with four loaves of zucchini bread. Once the bread was in the oven, the older child decided to go home and play. The younger one stayed to “help” me make jam. It mostly consisted of her eating strawberries and “taste testing” the jam as it finished.
I made four batches, one plain strawberry, one strawberry lemon and two strawberry chocolate. Her favorite was the chocolate, hands down, but I take that with a grain of salt because that young lady is addicted to chocolate! Not a bad way to start off a Friday morning in the summer. I was able to take the afternoon, run a few errands, and pamper myself a bit. I am really, really happy that we have Friday’s off again this summer!