I always have great plans to get the kids in the kitchen with me to make treats. They love to help me cook, and they LOVE treats. But I notice myself falling into a very bad pattern of saying it is just easier (and a lot cleaner!) to do it myself. The kids are still happy with the treats, so what’s the big deal? But it IS a big deal. It is an activity we can do together, they can learn about measuring and mixing, helping and cleaning, and they can learn the satisfaction that comes from making something themselves and being able to share it with others. I want them to learn all of these things. And I want us to have fun doing it together. Plus, one of these days I want the children to be cooking MY dinner instead of always the other way around, and they will never learn if I don’t let them try!
I say these things, but I am terrible with the follow through. So when The Artful Parent, one of the blogs I follow, came out with a very ambitious list of 31 activities for the 31 days of March, I seized upon 2 I thought sounded like a nice combination of cooking and activity – each producing a yummy treat for our afternoon snack. Unlike the Artful Parent, I know I could never manage 31 activities in a month. Trying to stick with my “simplify” motto for the year. Two I think I should be able to handle.
The first cooking project to be tackled is homemade soft pretzels, using a recipe by one of my Food Network favorites, Alton Brown. Gabriel and Elijah, the little boys who live across the street, came over to play this afternoon. Fletcher has been BEGGING to have them come over and play Star Wars – apparently they have way cool space ship fighter things . . . definitely not the real name and my son would be ashamed of me for not knowing more. Oh well. The boys were able to come over and play this afternoon so I decided, what the heck – let’s ALL try this pretzel thing together.
And it was great! Not too many cooks in the kitchen at all! The kids had fun rolling the (very sticky) dough out into snakes and then curling it into pretzel-ish shapes. I did the actual boiling and baking part while more Star Wars play was had. The everyone enjoyed a warm and pretty tasty pretzel. Not exactly like the ones from street carts, but not at all bad! Definitely worth trying again.