K turned 4 this Valentine’s Day. She thinks stripes are pretty on her new shirt, but more important, they tickle Daddy’s eyes by making him see optical illusions.
And when they don’t, she dances really fast to help them out.
My mother in law gave me some children’s cook books to encourage me to cook with the children, and my sister in law gave me some other ones. They work in that the kids are excited to cook. K even brought her book to bed to read the pictures.
They don’t work in that they call for strange ingredients, or really processed ones that I’m not familiar with. Some of them were published in Briton first, so perhaps they are calling for British ingredients. It takes some spinning to convince the kids that substitutions are fair. They also call for piping skills with icing. M and B took a cake decorating class at co-op last Fall, but I didn’t. Icing. Ugh.
So, it’s no small triumph that I made THREE fancy, decorated items from the children’s books, more or less with the children.
These are peanut butter bears, starting with puffed rice. The boys called them peanut butter styrofoam.
I tried to delegate the piping to the boys, but wound up doing it myself when they forgot about twisting the top of the bag and got globs of icing on their hands. Then the bag broke, and we just glued the candy on willy nilly. At the party that night, K announced in front of my cousins, that she wanted the “Poop bear.” Her brothers immediately announced (in chorus) that they hadn’t taught her that word! I guess she likes extra butter cream.
The kids dipped the cup cakes into the frosting, and stuck the white chocolate chips in upside down to make polka dots. (Another decorating suggestion from one of their books). I guess frosting counts as cooking with Mom? In order to get the cakes out the door in time, I had to bake them while K was shopping for long sleeved shirts long enough to cover her belly. I also used my favorite cake and icing recipe – I wasn’t going to buy tinned icing that tastes like sweet shortening just because the book called for it. Somehow I got away with it, and the kids didn’t notice I varied from the book.
(Daddy loves seeing his kids warm and cute – when he takes them shopping, I don’t ask about bills. Fortunately, this time of year, the long sleeved shirts are on sale anyway, and he looked in the children’s consignment store first. I’m so happy I have a husband willing to shop.)
I reminded K that she was helping me make the salad boats she’d picked out. After I washed her hands, I pointed to the cooled chicken breast I’d roasted and told her our job was to pull it into little pieces. “My salad has chicken in it? Yuck. You can make it Mommy.”
For once in my life I didn’t say what I was thinking, and I’m happy about that, because once I’d pulled the chicken apart, and chopped the veggies, she was happy to stir them, and put the salad onto the lettuce leaf “boats” and cut the sails out of pretty paper and thread them onto squeewers.
Perhaps I’m not so cormudgenly about decorated food as I thought. I made heart shaped orange rolls for desert on the 14th.
I’d seen some cinnamon buns formed that way on Pinterest.
M said they only tasted just like bread and jam, and thus should not count as desert.
So I ate his roll.