Around the time she was two-and-a-half, I started involving Adriana more in cooking and baking projects. But lately she's lost interest in helping quite so much. For the most part that's fine. She plays pretty well by herself while I fix dinner or work on something on my own. It's nice, though, when she does want to help. We work well together in the kitchen. There are times lately when I wonder how on earth Adriana and I are going to survive the teen years when we already seem to clash so much. There's less clashing when we're cooking together.
Earlier this week when the baby went down for a nap, Adriana and I set out to make chocolate chip banana bread, and I discovered that now that she's four, she can do most of the work herself. She still needs me to reach things for her, to read the recipe, and to take things in and out of the oven, but even the hand mixer was fine for her to use (although I did remind her a few times to hold onto the bowl with her free hand.
She liked mashing the bananas,
knows how to grease the pan,
and measure out ingredients.
I knew she could use the standing mixer on her own, but didn't want to get it out. She assured me she would be fine with the hand mixer, and while I did hover quite a bit the first time she turned it on, I quickly figured out she really was fine with it.
She even recalled a valuable (and messy) lesson learned at Christmas time about what happens when you turn on a mixer at full speed just after adding the dry ingredients, and carefully mixed them in a bit with the spatula.
Mixing in the chocolate chips was hard as the batter was quite thick by then, but she did it all herself.
She did need me to hold the bowl while she moved the batter into the pan, and then she spent a lot of time making sure it was just right to make up for my assistance.
Then she set the timer for an hour
and went off to play while I did the dishes. (Wait. What?) She did a puzzle,
decorated some cupcakes,
and helped entertain the baby after her nap.
She was eager to pose with her bread when it came out of the oven.
And then she spent the next hour trying to convince me to cut it before it was cool. It smelled so good that I did have to give in.
We got out a picnic blanket, sang happy birthday and blew out the wooden candles on the wooden cupcakes, and then ate the banana bread. If you are the kind of kid who worries about getting messy, it's best to eat it with a fork.
But some kids don't mind a little chocolate on their hands and face.
So we don't clash nearly as much when we cook, but photography may still be an issue. Upon seeing these pictures, Adriana pointed out that I was supposed to be taking close-up pictures of the food, not pictures of her. I guess she's been paying attention to the recipes I use from Pioneer Woman and Smitten Kitchen. I've promised next time to frame the photos properly and use the real camera, not my phone.