Back to basics: the cook box

 Posted by on February 2, 2010  6 Responses »
Feb 022010
 

Funfetti cookies with icing, pineapple supreme cake, raspberry and blueberry muffins. My children have been cooking up treats with a Christmas gift from Nana.

The cook box she gave them is brimming with boxed mixes but most importantly, sprinkles.

The girls decided they would bake a few items from the cook box each week. So a bit of decision making skills are at play. They must agree on the item to bake. Decide when to bake it – for tea time or for after-dinner dessert? Maybe it’s muffins for breakfast?

Here’s a quick skill check list:

  1. math – measuring, as well as calculating quantity for our family of seven
  2. figuring the equivalent egg substitute so that Lil’ Buddy can participate
  3. learning to use the mixer and oven
  4. safety skills – don’t get burned!
  5. cleanliness – wash hands first!
  6. a good cook always cleans up the mess
  7. donning an apron is fun
  8. Mama will say yes when it’s easy

Now before you get on to me for allowing children to bake a bunch of sweets, the point is FUN. The cook box is part of the plan to be spontaneous. We have the ingredients on hand, all in one place, ready to stir up.

Mix up some memories! Each time I draw up a meal plan, I look for spots I can include the children in the baking and cooking. I call this list Cooking Fun and place it prominently at the top of my meal plan. See, I need these prompts. The children enjoy the spontaneity. I must seize the opportunity to teach, enjoy my children and allow them to be part of the action.

But, of course, decorating and eating is the best part! It’s no wonder the youngest girl declares that when she grows up she “will be the queen of cupcakes and all things sweet!”

You can even make baking part of school with a free unit and lapbook study from Homeschool Share.


Bonus: While you are baking, print these free pages from About Homeschooling on this Groundhog Day.

Kerri has the handle on What’s For Dinner? in her series. If you missed it earlier, she covers everything from planning, coupons and purchasing to preparation and presentation.

-Tricia homeschools five children from preschool to high school, mixing up a classical and Charlotte Mason style. She is author of art curriculum for all ages and a series of cookbooks at Hodgepodge.

Question: How about you?

What’s your favorite, messy activity to say yes to?

What’s for dinner? Part 3 -preparing

 Posted by on November 12, 2009  5 Responses »
Nov 122009
 

Taste and see the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him. Psalm 34:8

You’ve planned your meals and you’ve purchased the food, now unfortunately that food is not going to get out the pantry and cook itself, so you’d better get to it!

Sometimes it feels like I spend the bulk of my time in the kitchen – either cooking or cleaning up (the rest is spent in the laundry room! )  So, if there is a way to streamline my cooking duties, I am all for it. I actually love to cook -it’s everything that goes with it that I could live without!  With a busy family, I don’t want to spend all of my time in the kitchen, so I’ve been working on ways to cut down on time spent there.  Here are a few things I’m trying – PLEASE share your tips as well.  As you will see, I’m only scratching the surface of all the possibilities. Continue reading »