Confession: I don't enjoy baking.
Worse confession: Baking with my children drives me nuts.
I know, that sounds crazy. How can any mom not enjoy baking with her kids? After all, those moms on the Nestle commercials NEVER care when their kids spill a carton of eggs on the floor or accidently smear chocolate on the curtains. I however, get frazzled. The minute a bowl is out and a spoon is in my hand, there are 5 little people lined up and eager to help. (that's 10 extra "helping" hands. Have you ever had to work with 10 extra hands, all in the same bowl? It's.......um.......busy) I think I could probably be making anchovie and mustard bagels, and they would be excited to help. I don't mind cooking with the kids, but I also find cooking to be a bit more forgiving than baking. (unless of course Nahshon is my sous chef.... we once made spaghetti sauce together, and I turned my back on him for 30 seconds to drain to pasta. When I returned, the sauce was frothy and bubbling. I still have no idea what he did that night, but I keep my eyes on him at ALL TIMES when he is in the kitchen now) Anyhow, I strongly believe all children should leave home knowing how to care for themselves, so I bite the bullet, take my prozac (kidding! Although sometimes I wish...), grab my spoon and teach. Our last two baking projects though turned out delightful and delicious. So much so, that we can't wait to make them again.
As most teachers, parents, and students can tell you, there is a mid year funk that happens sometime after Christmas. The excitement of the holidays is past, the weather is gross, and everyone is just sort of burnt out- regardless if you home, public, or private school. I think we've finally sprung out of our funk around here, and I wanted to do something new and special to keep the momentum going: cooking school! I decided to spend a day in the kitchen with the kids, cooking, baking, learning knife safety, kitchen hygiene, properties of yeast, nutrition, how to follow a recipe, and anything else that came up. We had a meal plan, but had to be scrapped at the last minute due to circumstances beyond my control. (*cough**Jeremy**cough*) So, I searched the kitchen and decided on an Italian feast instead. The menu: Italian herb and feta focaccia bread, fresh made marinara over pene pasta, and orange shortbread cookies.