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Creative recipes, five-year-old style

I really wish I had thought to take a picture of what I found in the fridge this morning.

Eamonn is on a “cooking” kick. And a fiercely independent one at that. He makes up his own recipes, and he assembles them himself. I rarely know that he is serving up a “tasty” treat until he’s already done it.

A few days ago, he brought a bowl to me that contained a handful of animal crackers, a stick of string cheese, and some water. It was hard to contain my revulsion for the combination of wet cheese and soggy cookies, but I had to laugh when he said, “maybe we should cook it.” Blech.

This morning I found a Tupperware pitcher laying on its side in the fridge. What I found inside was really not as bad as I’d feared: bite-size chunks of cheese. Ok, not horrible, but I’d wondered how he got the cheese into such small pieces like that. “Oh, I cut them. With my scissors.”

I hate to squash his creativity, or his chef aspirations, but I’m a little afraid of what I’m going to find next! I think he needs to try making some real recipes before he can be good at making up his own, and I suggested that we find him a cookbook.  Aidan remembered that he’d gotten one out of the library, so the boys spent the 15 minutes before school looking over the cookbook together, getting ideas.

Cookbook

When they got to the popcorn recipe, Aidan started to turn the page saying, “we know how to make that.”

“But wait,” I stopped him, “we know how to make microwave popcorn.  This is the real stuff that you cook yourself, and it can taste a lot better.”

Aidan’s reply?  “Maybe, but sometimes your cooking is a little iffy, Mom.”

Iffy?!  A comment like that could sting, but as a boy who won’t eat anything that doesn’t come prepackaged, I have to take his opinion with a grain of salt 😉

Sometimes I wish they didn’t have to go to school. We could have turned this cookbook thing into a great lesson for the day:

  • choosing a recipe
  • making a shopping list
  • buying ingredients
  • assembling a recipe
  • completing a recipe
  • enjoying the fruits of your labor

All while enforcing literacy and counting skills and sharing some together time.  I hope I am on the ball enough this summer when they’re home to capitalize on opportunities like this.

I just read this morning over at Blue Yonder, how Stefani combines food shopping with teaching her boys to read, and I think it’s very clever.  I wouldn’t be particularly good at homeschooling my kids, and as such I think there’s a lot that they’d miss by not being in a traditional school.  However, I do believe that there is plenty of room for at-home learning outside of school.  And if it’s done in a fun way, taking cues from the interests of the kids, all the better.  The trick is to be aware of these opportunities, and not to let them slip away.  I’m working on that.  And after I pick up Eamonn from school today, I’ll see if he is in a cooking mood 🙂

2 thoughts on “Creative recipes, five-year-old style

  1. Enjoy!
    My daughter used to make oreo cookies with white toothpaste, eggs and dirt. Of course my husband would replace her mixture with a pan of oreos. So for years, she thought she really make cookies. I warned my husband, any taste testing would be done by him. LOL.

    You will have a lot of fun cooking with the kids. It is great for reading, math, measurement, etc. They also tend to eat what they cook, so you can sometimes get veggies in them.

    1. Haha, never a dull moment, is there? Those “oreos” crack me up.

      We found a book at the library called “Pretend Soup” and made the title recipe, which is actually just a cold, fruity soup. It was pretty good, and he enjoyed shopping for ingredients and putting it all together.

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