Thursday, May 05, 2005

Move over, Julia Childs

If you have a 3 year old, or are planning to someday have a 3 year old in the house, let me give you some advice. Do NOT try baking with the child. I know, I know. It sounds so fun and cute and all, but the reality is very, very ugly. Girl Terror "helped" me make carrot/raisin bread today.
I set all the necessary ingredients on the counter, and plopped her butt up next to them. She chatted away aimlessly while I measured flour, sugar, baking powder. I turned away to get the salt, and she picked up the egg. Silly me, I must have startled her when I barked "Put the egg down! Now!" She is such a good listener. She dropped that egg right into the bowl. Okay, so our bread might be a bit crunchy today.
As this is not our first baking adventure together, I thought I knew the danger areas, and was prepared. I very clearly said "I will stir today. NOT you. Just me." She is quick, that girl. She had her hand on the spatula and the spatula in the bowl in the blink of an eye. What happens when flour, sugar, and salt is vigorously stirred? Flour, sugar and salt everywhere.
To be fair, she was very well behaved while I measured the rum (yes, this is a very good cake!) into the bowl of raisins to soak. She watched me shred carrots, munching away happily on any carrot I left in her reach. I was fooled into thinking it would be okay to step away and spray the pan with Pam. I don't like to do it in the kitchen, because the little darling might breathe in the nasty oil. HA! When I finished spraying, 3.2 seconds later, she had a spoon in the raisin mixture, scooping up rum (RUM!!) and slurping it down. Suddenly breathing in oil fumes seemed pretty healthy.
The final step was to fold in the walnuts. "Let me try, Mummy!" "No, you don't like nuts. You're not a nut kind of girl." (Must add that to Things I've Said post). In her little mouth a nut went. Chew chew. "Blech." Out of her mouth, right into the bowl.
Finally, we were ready to bake. I held the bowl, and the spatula, and her job was to "hold" the pan still. All she had to do was sit there, the pan isn't likely to jump around. At least, not without her help. As soon as the batter was past the point of no return out of the bowl, she decided the pan was in need of adjusting.
I am such a good cook, and calm mother, I just grabbed handfuls of batter and plopped it into the pan. Off the counter, oozing down my wrists, into the pan.
As I lifted my "helper" down and sent her on her way, she kissed me and said "That was fun, Mummy! I LOVE cooking! Let's make more bread!"
If I only had some rum. I'll just have to settle for sniffing my 3 year old's breath.

18 comments:

ShoeHound said...

Awww...lol

Michelle said...

great story! I can totally picture every minute of it. too cute!

SquareSlant said...

Too cute! Don't worry about germs if the rum does not kill them - the baking will!

Raehan said...

Been there. I love those parenting books that tell you everything will be easier if you let them help.

Very funny. I'll pass on the bread today, thanks.

honestyrain said...

my three almost four year old has been helping me bake since he was one and a half. he is an excellent assistant. knows exactly what to do. the only thing that bothers him now is having to be co-assistant with his lovely sister (almost 2). they are forced to take turns ouring, stirring etcetera. poor things.

Laurie said...

I must remember to never eat bread at your house that has been home made.

Very cute though. I remember when my middle dd was little she AlWays wanted to help bake.

While it can be difficult and time consuming, the little buggers seem to quite enjoy it.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Yeah, but I bet it was more fun than changing diapers.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a typical day at my house. Only I have 4 little hurricaines. Well the oldest isn't so little anymore, he's 11 years old, 5'5" and weighs 130 pounds. But I still contend that hurricaines are named after neither men nor women, they are named after children!

At any rate, You might like to stop by my friend's Blogger blog, you and she chose the EXACT same background and colors! Her blog page is called Story Girl.

My blog is not through Blogger, I use Angelfire (because I already had a paid account, so why not?) and it suits me just as well. Thanks for sharing tidbits of your daily life!

-Sparkling
http://www.angelfire.com/or3/tinyzoo/blog/

Sleeping Mommy said...

Yeah...the boy has helped me to make chocolate chip cookies before. Not fun. And I'm super paranoid and anticipate nearly everything they might do.

J&J'sMom said...

Have you read "Cooking for Crazy People". Oh wait, you're going to write that... ;0) Sounds fun!

Beth said...

They don't get any better!! Ok - mine goes beyond the cute toddler stage - been there, done that. I was working and not getting home till 6:00pm - would leave instructions with my teen-age daughter on how to start supper. We were having baked ham - put it (still wrapped) into the pan I wanted her to use in the fridge with directions to take it out and put it in the oven at 325 at 4:00pm. Lovely. Couldn't figure out why it was so hard to carve, then why it was so chewy ...she had baked it with the shrink-wrap still on!!!!
Just like her Dad - everything has to be spelled out - do not assume common sense!!

Karyn said...

My 3 year old LOVES to help bake. My Mom solved it all by letting her have her own bowl. Every ingredient I put in my bowl, I put a tiny bit into hers, which she can stir, lick, spill to her heart's content. That way, we have fun, she thinks she has helped, and the food turns out great without any 'extra' ingredients.

Sorry this keep sposting anonymously. My name is Karyn, and apparently I'm computer illiterate.

Karyn said...

I mean, 'keeps posting'. And anyway, a moot point as I have finally figured it out. Hurrah!

Michele said...

Next time you two bake bread you really need to set up the video camera!

Melody said...

I was looking forward to cooking with my daughter in the years to come! I guess cooking with rum has its advantages hey? *grin*

Dawn said...

Happy Mothers Day!

Shelley said...

Happy Mother's Day! I hope your little chef remembered to make you breakfast in bed!

JellyMom said...

ROTFLOL! You are a braver mom than I am! I let the little ones have a piece of bread dough after it has already risen. Then I let them slobber all over it and create whatever shape they want, bake it and they eat it.

That gives me a little time to make proper bread without too much assistance.