Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What-to-Do Wednesdays: Bake (a Cake?!)

Many people are put off by the idea of baking with young children; they think it's too difficult, too much mess, a recipe (ha!) for disaster. But I ask you to reconsider. Children LOVE to bake. Baking is fun, time-consuming (a good thing when you're trying to fill many a stay-at-home-parent hour), brain-stimulating (the scooping, the dumping, the stirring, the counting, the discussion about half-cups and fourth-cups and three-fourths of a teaspoon), and gratifying in both the immediate (lick the stirring spoon at the end?) and the delayed (wait for the muffins to bake and cool before you can eat one!) sense. Messy? Well, sure. But put on an apron and grab a sponge when you're done, and it's really not too big of a deal.

And as for baking being difficult, in my experience--and Julia and I have come to do quite a lot of baking and cooking together--it's really not. Truly, the hardest part about cooking or baking with a three-year-old is figuring out how to keep her one-year-old sister happy while you do it. And people, I'm no expert on that one.

On Sunday, Julia and I made a homemade chocolate layer cake--with buttercream icing--for Christopher's birthday, and it wasn't hard at all. Really. But you don't need a birthday to bake a cake. How about baking a homemade cake with your child to celebrate May Day? Friday? The first daffodil sighting? Just because? It's something to do, and best of's delicious.

I'll even give you my recipe, if you want.


Anonymous said...

Just save me a piece of cake ;) I still savor your yummy rhubarb bread!!

Shan said...

Hey, anonymous, YOU'RE the cake-baking virtuoso! Remember that cake you made when we visited you when Julia was a baby? YUM!

Mnmom said...

I've always baked with my kids!! And sometimes we did lazy Mom "baking" and I'd give them slices of Sara Lee pound cake and canned icing - kept them busy for HOURS!

donna said...

When I saw that pic of you and C, I suspected you MADE it. Awesome that Julia helped! (I'm guessing she'll also help to make her own birthday cake this year, too!)

My son loves to prepare foods. He's allowed to make his own breakfast on weekends (so we can sleep in) and loves to help make dinner, too!

Rob Hardy said...

It was great to see you out in the real world today. I'm sorry I made such a speedy exit, but it looked like my presence was turning Genevieve's legs into slinkies, and I was a little worried.

Shan said...

Hi Rob! Yes, it was great to see you too! And I thought I was the one making the speedy exit--counting preschool drop-off and pick-up, we had gone on 8 different "errands" today (!), I hadn't yet started dinner, and we were all on our last legs, not just Genevieve!

Spring is here! I imagine we'll be seeing each other out and about in the real world a lot in the coming months! Hallelujah!