Tuesday, August 16, 2011

again with the kids in the kitchen

Whenever I begin to cook, even get out a pot, in will come at least one child wanting to help. Even if I try to make no noise.

I used to think ohh, I could have gotten this done in five minutes. I have tried to learn some patience and to give over my kitchen a bit. They are keen, really keen, and who am I to squash down their little spirits. Before I would try not to complain but maybe make a sigh, I realised that was not helping me feel like I could let them help. I have relaxed, even to the point that I kept it together when four eggs rolled off the counter last week. I didn't even have anything to clean it up with, and I still smiled. Teeth gritted slightly, but smiling!

My 22 month old also loves to stir the pot. I give her bowls to place chopped veggies in whist I continue to chop. At the moment I have to keep it interesting and fun we even sing as she sorts, otherwise it all ends up on the floor, she's a bit of a surface-clearer-when-bored. On to the floor with all the things! I am learning to allow her to but still keep it safe. She loves to whisk eggs and beat batter.

The littlest have always loved stirring. Eliza age four, completely stirs risottos till she feels like her arm is going to drop off. She likes to push down the button on the rice cooker, and loves squeezing lemons and oranges.

Phoenix age eight has always loved cracking eggs, he can now make his own fried for breakfast. I realise that of late we are nagging him a little too, focusing on all the stuff he does wrong. In cooking however he gets positive feedback and loads of praise. Plus he's in charge of licking.
I see you

My ten year old never knew where anything was in the kitchen, well that has changed since she has begun taking an interest and since I have allowed her to make whatever her dear heart fancies. I let her chop with the Global knife, I taught her good technique and she loves it.
Bea chopsbig sis little sis
Flattened out roast chicken

I have learnt that in the kitchen with kids you have to allow them to

make mistakes
take their time
enjoy the process
get their hands mucky in dough
feel relaxed and know that cooking is fun, Mum's not going to freak out.


you've got to give over the stirring of everything
you've got to taste it, smell it
you've got to eat it with them no matter how bad it tastes
most importantly, tell them how proud you are of them.

Cooking is empowering, it means you will never have to wait for someone else to cook for you or wait for take out,or spent tonnes of money. Cooking gives you a sense of pride and an understanding of where and how things are made. It will even better your math skills and allow you to share something you've made with others.
liquid amberJust honey, honey
It's worth the extra clean up, no questions asked.


  1. Love your post! I am happy to help the kids in the kitchen too - they learn patience waiting for the cake to bake and I learn patience by us taking an hour to mix the cake in the first place!

  2. It's so nice to see a parent with this approach! My mum taught me to cook, and me and my brother would bake cake together. Now, at thirteen, I can happily cook dinner for our family and bake cakes in the house alone, whilst some of my classmates are still scared of using gas rings on the hob! All the patience now will pay off when they start cooking dinner for you.

  3. Libby, Thanks for that comment I feel like I will persever even more now, I am keen to find the time to browse your blog, It looks great.

  4. Not sure if you know this recipe - if anyone can make it into a masterpiece, its you Ines...btw zuccs reduced today at ALDI :) sxx

    Chocolate zucchini cake.

    Cream 13/4 cups sugar and half a cup of butter.
    Add 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla, cream well.
    Add 21/2 cups flour,
    4 tablespoons cocoa,
    ½ teaspoon baking powder
    ½ teaspoon salt,
    1 teaspoon soda
    ½ teaspoon cinnamon
    ½ teaspoon cloves alternatively with ½ cup buttermilk
    Stir in 2 cups grated zucchini and sprinkle chopped chocolate on top.
    Put in large spring form pan (24cm) or two small pans and bake at 180 for 40 mins or until set in centre (check w skewer)