Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Master Baker

Kurtis picked up a book at his school library a few weeks ago about baking. It's a child's baking book - full of great pictures and great recipes that a kid would want to make. It grabbed his attention and he asked if we could make cookies. I promised him we could and maybe we could even do them Wednesday after school. (Oh... this is the week we got back from St. Lucia - we got back on Monday night and Kurtis brought home the book on Tuesday afternoon). On Wednesday afternoon, he jumps into the car after school and declares "I asked Miss C. if I could bring in cookies for the class and she said it's OK - can we Mom?" .... sure - a double recipe - no problem! Since we weren't doing much anyways that evening, I decided we might as well do them. Well, part of the baking process is the shopping. Kurtis expected ME to do it all by myself, but I thought it was a good learning experience for him to participate in the shopping. So, by the time we got home and unpacked the groceries, it was almost 5:00 pm. In any event, we made two batches of chocolate and vanilla shortbread cookies - rolled into spirals to make owls, shaped into squares and put together to make a checkerboard square cookie and circle cookies (white with chocolate on the outside) with a long stick on the outside so they look like lollipops. It was actually a great experience for us both. Me...always being the one to try to find a teaching opportunity... realized baking is a great teaching tool: a double recipe makes ample opportunities to teach math ( multiplication, addition and fractions). It is also great to talk about the chemistry involved in the baking process. Kurtis was so proud to bring them to class - and I gotta say nearly the whole double batch went!

So, the next thing I promised was that we would make a dinosaur cake on the weekend. No packaged cake mix here... nope, we had to do it from scratch! Now, first of all, I had a discussion with Kurtis about the appearance of the cake. I told him that the people who made the book spend many, many, MANY hours making the cake look just perfect and JUST like a dinosuar.... and since we didn't have that much time, it was unlikely ours would look like that. Also, their recipe called for homemade marizpan to be made in order to shape the spikes for the back.... well, that just wasn't going to happen - primarily because no one likes marzipan in our household. So, we worked hard on our cake that afternoon. We baked, we cut the cake according to the pictures, we made a very delicious buttercream frosting and dyed it green. And out came our beautiful "dinosaur". Let's just say, Kurtis was pleased with the outcome and that's all the really matters, right?

We brought the cake to a get together with some friends the next day. With 8 adults and 8 kids, we demolished a fair chunk of the cake (which Kurtis was NOT pleased with - he was hoping for a lot more leftovers).

And Kurtis made us photocopy a lot of the pages of the book as he hopes to have many more baking projects in the near future.

So, after all that build-up, I can't just leave you without a picture, now can I??? (The toothpicks were left in after transport)



4 comments:

Tara Marie said...

Kurtis....that Dino looks delicious!!! Way to go.....I can just imagine you in a few years with your own cooking show on the Food Network!!!

Isn't baking the best? I love to bake.

Anonymous said...

Kurtis, that dinosaur ROCKS!

Annette, if you have a bread maker, Ari got started on that at 5 years old. Only thing she was not allowed to add was oil. It was a big deal to see the bread grow, and eat 'bread hat' after.

Jeff Burke

Anonymous said...

Kurtis, that dinosaur ROCKS!

Annette, if you have a bread maker, Ari got started on that at 5 years old. Only thing she was not allowed to add was oil. It was a big deal to see the bread grow, and eat 'bread hat' after.

Jeff Burke

Anonymous said...

okay... you are the BEST mama ever!! I envy your patience for tackling such a task with the most positive attitude! I cringe when the kids mention baking...you have definitely reminded me that I need to lighten up and have fun in the kitchen with them.. I think they remember stuff like that forever!
Thanks!! Jen