Posts tagged ‘cooking’

Perfect recipe: Cheap family fun, plus education and bonding

Rolling out dough

Cooking and baking with kids is fun, cheap, and easy. Photo by eyeliam/Flickr.

Today’s post comes from Stella, our parent-in-residence.

I worked on a set of publications for OSU Extension called “Ten Tips for Tough Times.” I got some ideas from the one called “Ten Tips for Low-cost Indoor Family Fun” for some things to do together with my daughter. One idea was to “bake or cook together.”

This has been really fun. I started by showing my daughter how to do simple things, like rinsing lettuce, shucking corn, and shelling peas. Now, after a couple of years, she makes the whole salad by herself while I cook the main dish, and she mixes up the batter for Saturday morning pancakes and cooks them while I make us tea and set the table.

We like being in the kitchen together, she doing one food prep task while I do another. We both enjoy the easy feeling of companionship, working side by side, chatting about this or that. There’s something about working together toward a common goal (our meal) that’s very satisfying.

We’ve baked a cake together several times, too. Over time, she’s learned to use measuring cups and spoons (this has been great for helping her learn fractions, by the way). She loves to measure ingredients and mix the cake batter while I grease the cake pan and start the oven preheating. And of course, licking the frosting bowl is a great reward for a job well done!

She’s a young teenager now. These days, she’ll often get up on a weekend morning and say, “I feel like baking today.” I know she means “together.” And that means a lot to me.

~Stella

Note: By the way, there are seven different publications with different tips, and they are available in Spanish also.

12/12/2011 at 5:17 pm Leave a comment

Quince, no longer a mystery

Freshly picked quince fruit. Photo by Rachel Beck.

A few days ago, a neighbor of mine sent out an email. Her quince tree had more fruit than she could use, and she was offering fruit up to anyone who would pick it. I  didn’t even know how to pronounce “quince,” but I was intrigued by the offer, so I grabbed a bag and headed to her house. Twenty minutes later, I had as many pounds of quince as I could carry. And no idea what to do with it. (more…)

11/16/2011 at 11:25 am 2 comments

Making the seal: Tale of a novice canner

I was one of those lucky kids who had a grandmother who canned. Peaches. Salsa. Beets. Raspberry jam. There were always jars of stuff in our attic, or my grandmother’s fruit cellar.

But I’d never canned anything myself. So this summer, it came down to this: I wanted pickled green beans (aka dill beans), and the only way to get them was to make them myself, more or less, which meant that I called my mom and begged her to drive three hours one-way and help me.

Armed with OSU’s Pickling Vegetables guide and the number for OSU’s food preservation/safety hotline, I started by inspecting the beans – the 60 pounds of beans my parents picked up – and by peeling an enormous amount of garlic. (more…)

10/03/2011 at 12:07 pm Leave a comment


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