The kitchen has always been the center of our home. My parent’s kitchen has always been THE place to congregate- there is a huge island and floor-to-ceiling windows that look out to their backyard. Whenever I go home, cooking dinner with extending family is what we do. The wine is poured, the appetizers are out and dinner in progress. It’s always such a lovely time. Those face-to-face conversations in the kitchen are priceless and always flow so naturally over cooking food.
Because of growing up with a focus on the kitchen as a place to gather, I love getting my children involved in cooking. There are four of them but only the two oldest (5 and 7) are at the right age for it. They are always beyond excited when I invite them to cook with me. The kids ask a lot of questions and there is always a story to be told. It’s simply good quality time spent together.
There are so many lessons and skills that kids, or anyone for that matter, can learn in kitchen- patience, confidence, respect, listening skills, science and much more.
Since we are a couple weeks into lent, this past weekend was the perfect time to make these resurrection cookies. My kids are already counting down the days until Easter but I wanted them to remember it’s about more than just the Easter bunny and candy. I love that making these cookies incorporates that very lesson.
I could tell, based on looking at the recipe, that this activity would be more about the story and less about what we were actually making. As I told the story of Jesus’ resurrection the kids became so focused. Sure they wanted to know who got to do the next step in the recipe, but they asked so many questions along the way. I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have been able to have that connection with them or hold their attention quite as well if we weren’t in the kitchen cooking.
I want to create memories in the kitchen. I think the best way to do that with young kids is to give them doable jobs like peeling fruits or vegetables, measuring ingredients, pouring and stirring, so that meltdowns are minimized. I make sure to praise them along the way, even though sometimes I have to hold back the urge to take over and do it “the right way”.
Not only can cooking be such a great tool for teaching, but I think when people cook together, whether those people are big or small, there is a chance to relax and guards come down. I want my kids to continue to be involved in cooking because I believe it enhances our relationship and the relationship they have with each other.
I am sharing the recipe for resurrection cookies but linking to the site HERE that explains the teachable moments and appropriate readings to go along with each step in the recipe.
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and set aside. Place pecans in a plastic bag and let the children beat them with a wooden spoon to break them into small pieces.
- Place the vinegar in a mixing bowl (preferably a stand mixer), add the egg whites and a pinch of salt. Add 1 cup of sugar and beat the mixture on high for about 12 to 15 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Fold in the pecans.
- Drop by spoonfuls onto the wax paper. Place cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn off the oven. Leave cookies in the oven overnight. They will cook from the residual heat.
Want to know how to build a successful restaurant? Check out BonAppetit.com’s “Out of the Kitchen”, a glimpse into the inner workings of two successful restaurants. Meet the back of the house inner circle and see how face-to-face relationships keep customers coming back for more.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Bon Appetit. The opinions and text are all mine.