Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fun in the Kitchen

I’ve always had an interest in baking and from a young age I would watch and “help” my mother in the kitchen. I had my own little tin baking set with wooden rolling pin and there would always be enough dough left over to make my own jam pie. While she scooped out cookies and rolled out dough, I would be up to my elbows in flour working on my masterpiece.

I still have that tin baking set but now my girls are the ones who use it. They eagerly help me out when I make pies and cookies, sneaking a bit of cookie dough and rolling out their own jam pies. I’m thrilled that they want to spend time in the kitchen with me because the time spent together is much more important than the product that results from our efforts. Baking is fun for us and we get to be silly, share secrets and sing off key to the music on the radio.

So when I’m asked for advice and recipes for baking with kids I always suggest keeping it simple. Children really don’t mind that much what the end result is – they just want to spend time with you. So whether you are making cookies, muffins or biscuits it doesn’t really matter. The act of being together is what is important.

Here is a quick and easy recipe to make with your children:

Berry Crisp

2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup white cake mix
1 cup butter

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Chop up butter and then add to dry ingredients. Using a pastry blender, knife or your hands, break up the butter and mix into the dry ingredients. They butter bits should be the size of peas.

In a greased casserole dish put 1/2 of the crisp mixture and pat down gently. Then mix together:

4 cups berries (I used blueberries and strawberries) fresh or frozen
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 plain yogourt or sour cream

Mix berry mixture well and then pour over crumb base. Top with remaining crisp mixture and pat down gently.

Bake in 325F oven for 30 minutes or until the fruit starts to bubble from the sides. Serve warm with ice cream!!

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