I think I’ve got a future chef on my hands, folks.
Since my last post about cooking with Cecilia, she’s gone from eager helper to cooking/baking (in real life) and playing with fake food most of the day. We have so many dishes and fake food that she loves to use in her kitchen and we really can’t do anything in our actual kitchen without her asking to help. Her learning tower is the absolute best and it helps her get right up to the counter to lend a hand and get in on the action.
Before she started helping me, cooking, baking and recipe testing was something I’d do during her nap time. Now I save those things for when she’s awake and it becomes our afternoon activity.
We can’t tell her we’re going to do something in the kitchen without her saying “I go!” and the look of excitement she gets when she hears the oven beep is priceless. Yes, she still makes a giant mess (especially when stirring flour is involved), but I love watching her love of cooking grow.
She still does all of the same tasks I mentioned in my last “Cooking with Cecilia” post, but she does them with more control and confidence now and I’ve been able to build on those things she’s been doing for a while.
Here’s a rundown of what my little sous chef helps with at two years old…
Adds and counts ingredients as we add them to the bowl – She’s always been helpful at adding ingredients, but I always had a heavy hand in making sure the ingredients made it into the bowl and not onto the counter or floor. This has changed in that she takes most of the control and we count as we add each cup, teaspoon, etc to sharpen those skills.
Stirring – Again, she’s always helped stir, but I try to relinquish control as much as I can. It’s messy, but she loves doing this.
“Busy” tasks – I’ve always had her to “busy” tasks like add muffin liners to the tin to distract her while I tried to do most of the baking. Now I have her do them and then we move on and make the rest of the recipe together.
Small, but helpful tasks – I said before we can’t really do anything in the kitchen without her asking to help (and getting upset when we don’t let her) and I really meant it. In the morning, she’ll help Travis put toast or a bagel in the toaster, put the coffee filter in the maker, help spread cream cheese on a bagel and so on. These are small tasks that we could definitely do faster than she does, but we love the help and love how eager she is. And, in all reality, she’s two now, so if we didn’t let her do these things when she asked we’d have a meltdown on our hands!
Cracks eggs – This is probably one of her favorite things. The first time she did it, I had turned my head for a second and turned around and she was cracking the egg on the counter perfectly. She knows exactly when to stop hitting it and is so proud of herself. Soon, I’ll try and get her to open the egg after it’s cracked.
Quality control – This can also be called sticking her fingers into raw batter and tasting it. And she doesn’t just do this at the end — she does it after every step. I’m sure it doesn’t always taste so great, but she always says “Mmmmmm, good!” If you’ve received bake goods from us recently, DO NOT worry. I only let her stick her fingers in there when the goodies stay at home 🙂
Three cheers for little kitchen helpers!
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