Thursday, January 15, 2009

Junior Cooking

Santa brought a junior cooking set for the Baby this past Christmas. It was a pretty cool set, if I do say so myself. All the utensils are actually accurate measurements and it even came with a little cookbook and apron.

Too cute.

It was for ages 3 and up. No, I'm not a bad parent for allowing my 2 and a half year old to access a toy made for a 3 year old. The set also came with an icing bag and assorted tips, so they were a potential choking hazard. Around these parts, the only hazard was that the Baby opened the bag and scattered them across the floor for the 90 lb dog to have for a snack. After prying the dog's jaw open to retrieve the last piece she was hiding under her tongue, I put them away out of the Baby's reach.

But back to the cooking set. I'm pretty sure Santa knew that the Baby wasn't quite ready to use the cooking stuff for 'realsie' but that the Princess would. And boy, Santa was right. The Princess was all over that little cooking set like a 15 year old drools over Edward the vampire.

And so a decision had to be made. What was she going to bake first? The Apple Cinnamon Muffins? The Molasses Surprise? The Peanut Butter Cookies? The Strawberry Delight?

No. She chose the one cake recipe: Maple Syrup Pudding Cake. It wasn't a difficult choice. There's only the 5 recipes in total in the book anyways.

I read the recipe to make sure we had all the ingredients, then looked at the instructions. Which included bringing sugar, water and syrup to a boil on the stove, then pooring (their spelling mistake, not mine) it over the cake mix.

And this was my thought about that. "At what point does someone putting together a children's cookbook with only 5 recipes think it's a good idea for one of those recipes for YOUNG CHILDREN AGES 3 AND UP to include BRINGING SUGAR AND WATER TO A BOIL, THEN POURING IT, and then PICKING UP the cake pan that's filled to the top with just boiled syrup and place it in the oven????"

I tried to convince the Princess that perhaps the Strawberry Delight would be a better option. I liked the directions for that recipe better. Because all young children understand concepts such as, "Incorporate eggs" and "add ingredients to ingredients in step 2 intermittently". My favourite part of that recipe is when it tells the child to take the dough and "roll into good sized balls." I don't even know what size that means. Good sized for throwing? Sticking up your nose? Building a snowman? I have no idea.

But of course the Princess would have nothing to do with the Strawberry Delight. Or the Molasses Surprise. Don't know why, but that name didn't really call out to the kid. No....2 cups of brown sugar mixed with maple syrup sounded right up her alley and SHE was going to bake that. Which translated into she was going to measure the flour and sugar and I was going to bake the rest, eat the only piece of it, and then schedule a dentist appointment for the two new cavities I felt growing.

The pudding cake sat on the counter for two days, untouched, and then I threw it out into the garbage. And decided to hide the cookbook so there would be no more baking fiascoes until I find a kid's cookbook that is truly meant for a child to use.

For realsies.

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