Regular readers of this blog will know that I recently reviewed Sarah Elton’s latest book “Starting from Scratch” and I loved it. Ostensibly a book for teaching kids about food, it covers a variety of different aspects of food education. It’s the essential book for a curious kid but one which offers adults a whole lot of information they’ll no doubt find interesting as well!
As a huge fan of Sarah’s work, I was so excited when Sarah agreed to come and work with Les Petits Chefs this week – Sarah was keen to chat with the boys about the concept of “taste” and how we taste with more than just our tongues, and I was keen to round out the class with a bit of baking – Sarah’s “out of the box” chocolate chip/ oatmeal cookies from the book.
We started out with the baking portion of the lesson. We measured, mixed and stirred…
Such a super easy recipe – I can’t imagine anyone who would find this recipe challenging. And whilst I don’t suggest that “cooking with kids” is simply baking, one of the things I am trying to instill in the boys is that “from scratch” really is much easier than they imagine, with the bonus being that with a “from scratch” product, you actually know all of the ingredients that go into it and you can control how much sugar, salt etc… is being used. These cookies have very few ingredients and were so easy to make that I hope the boys WILL try them at home. I mean, if they are going to make/ eat cookies, I’d rather it be these kind!
The boys had really done a number on the butter (who needs a microwave to soften the butter and who needs an electric hand beater to cream the butter and sugar together?) and so by the time we got to scooping out the cookies on the tray, the dough was a little sticky… But we managed to make 24 even-sized cookies (with even a little left over, it sadly didn’t fit on the tray).
As the cookies baked, Sarah gave the boys a GREAT lesson all about how we taste our food (who knew that some people have more tastebuds than others?) and provided some different types of apples for the boys to sample, asking them to think about the colour, the smell, the first impression when they bit into the slices, the taste in their mouths and the taste after they’d eaten them. The boys recorded their responses…
We managed to get beyond “It tastes good” which is a fair reaction when you’re starving, smelling the chocolate chip cookies just out of the oven and you’ve been at school for hours 😉 The boys did a pretty decent job of thinking about all of Sarah’s questions (and listening to her, it’s armed me with some great ideas for conversation starters about food with the boys, moving forward!). Who knows, maybe we have some future sommeliers in the club (“Wait, you mean people get PAID to drink wine?”).
Meanwhile, about those cookies:
Thank you Sarah for coming to share your expertise with the boys. We’re so grateful. I know a few of the mums have already purchased your book and I hope everyone who reads this post will as well. Even if you don’t have kids or your child doesn’t seem interested (yet), it’s a great place from which to start conversations about food with kids (yours or someone else’s!).
Please note: The product links from Amazon, Amazon.ca and The Book Depository are affiliate links. If you click on these links and purchase the product I have linked to or any other product, I will receive a small percentage of the sale price.
Congratulations to Chrik who won the “Starting from Scratch” giveaway. I’ve emailed you!
Let’s get kids excited about food on May 16th 2014 – Food Revolution Day! Check out all the details for how you can participate here.