Saturday, May 17, 2014

baking a cake

Boo to you blogger!!  My photos were so much sharper and crisp until I uploaded them onto here.  I need to use that "web sharpening" feature in Lightroom.

Anyway, my kids really want to learn to bake and decorate cakes.  They always get to help with birthday cakes, but we don't do much beyond that because of the sugar.  But, thinking of how much they could learn and develop those skills if I let them do it weekly, I decided to let them as part of their schooling.  Cooking incorporates so many subjects too - math, reading, comprehension, etc...

(The only thing is that we will be tossing the cake after eating a slice or two.  They know this and totally fine with that.)

The ultimate goal is for them to learn to do it all completely on their own, no help from me, as a team.  Except I can sit the mixer out for them to be able to reach it since it's so heavy.  I expect for this time and the next time or two, I'll help some with more of it, but in the not-too-distant-future, I expect they'll do it all themselves.

I rewrote the recipes a bit, handed them the paper, and let them do as much as they could.  If they had questions, I asked them what they thought the answer was, then helped them figure it out.

They all put on their aprons, Tyler (the best reader - well beyond his age) was the head baker.  He read and directed everyone (in a very non-bossy type of way too!).



Emma was most equivalent to a sou baker..is that a thing? (see crazy face in background).


Violet was the "mixer engineer".  She made sure the mixer was locked in place, all hands were clear when it was time to turn it on, and monitored safety while it was running.  (Emma looks like she was about to cry!  Can't remember what was going on then.)


Rhys was the sneak-a-taste-of-the-batter-and-frosting-when-no-one-is-looking.

Ella was make-sure-to-watch-in-wonderment-and-then-cry-and-demand-attention-when-it's-least-helpful-to-the-situation.  She did pretty good this time, but she's really good at knowing when the least convenient time to start crying is (those with little ones know exactly what I mean!):


They liked to hold the top down because it was a bit wobbly at times.

The idea of little fingers reaching inside when it's on is always at the forefront of my mind.  So, everyone knew to stand guard for that.  :)  And, luckily, no little fingers tried to make their way in while it was on:

Then it was time to color the frosting.  They teach took a bowl and colored it.


Initially Ella was THRILLED that I gave her a bowl of frosting with a spoon.  She clearly thought she was going to eat it all.  It was so funny and made me feel bad for her all-in-one.  How disappointing it must have been to discover all she was going to get to do was stir it...



All their pretty colors...


Next goal was to figure out how to put it somewhere so they could all reach it and decorate it.  So, I took one of our living room end tables, and then pulled chairs around it for their frosting.

They had great visions for their cake.  It was going to be a cake of rainbow goodness and beauty.  Something for all to see and be in awe of their skill and talent.


Then they started frosting it. Except Ella who clearly was too good to put frosting on a cake.  haha.  Or wanted to eat her frosting instead of put it on a cake like everyone else.


You can see a little dab of green.  Violet tried to help Ella put some on the cake, but Ella was not interested.  She made it very clear that NO ONE WAS GOING TO USE HER FROSTING!

They even got the sides.

In the words of Violet, "This doesn't look like what I thought it would."  The kids all agreed, but they loved it and thought they did amazing.  And, considering how little help I offered, they really did great.  (They did manage to get Ella to put some green on...)

It reminds me of this game...a pastel version:

Anyway, it was fun!  My goal is to teach them how to make dinner too.  Simple casserole type meals that they can read the recipe and do themselves.  They help a lot with dinner...so soon they can do it.  WOULDN'T THAT BE FUN?!!

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