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Monday, July 16, 2012

Baking with a Child is like Baking Therapy on Steroids.

The title of this post might be a little confusing. All I mean is that if baking is therapudic for me, then baking with a child is that times a billion.

About 2 weeks ago my good friend Shelli called me and we lamented how we haven't seen each other in far too long. Last time I saw Shelli, Chiara (her three year old) was a tiny baby. Since then she's had another baby (Noelle) who I'd never met. We decided it was really important that I go see her. I needed it. I needed a break in my routine.

Like I've said, baking keeps my mind occupied and my hands busy. It calms me down. Also cleaning (seriously how am I not married??) So while I've been here, Shell has been nice enough to let me bake. I'm depleteing her pantry and she's letting me even though her husband is in medical school and she has two kids and keeping a pantry stocked isn't cheap. That's love, my friends.

Chiara is the BEST helper. She's 3 going on 30. Definately smarter than many kindergarteners. And I can say that somewhat authoritatively because I've worked with many many children that age. We made pretzels my first night there. She watched me knead the dough for maybe 15 seconds before asking to take over. And she kneaded like an old pro.

Then she figured out how to make a "snake" with the dough in a more effective way then I was showing her. . .

Then she twisted the dough into a pretzel shape all by herself, and after doing that she decided she didn't like that shape and invented one she liked more. (someday she'll hate me for posting this picture.)

I just stood there grinning like I had something to do with her billiance. And even though I had nothing to do with it, teaching her made me feel so wonderful. I loved watching her enjoy the process, asking to help, wanting to check on the things in the oven, enjoying the fruits of our labor. Watching her enjoy her pretzel made me feel brave enough to try a bite myself. And yes, they were yum.

My second night here we made chocolate chip banana bread. Again she was a champion helper.

Very focused. Very meticulous. Very awesome. AND she likes to clean our mess too. A child after my own heart. Mercy me, how I adore her.

I wish I had a video of us baking together. She's so verbal. She's very cerebral about everyhing and she talks about what she's doing. I love it. She could have a cooking show.
Cooking with Chiara and Camilla. I'd totally watch.

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