Cooking with My Girls
It’s summer and time for some fun. Never mind that we’re busy, busy, busy. I’m trying to make memories with my girls, who, for some reason, do everything wrong. Using my handy-dandy tug-of-war equation, I figure that one small step forward will change the balance of power forever.
From my lips to God’s ear….
All of this began when a friend gave our family two quarts of blueberries. The kids enjoyed them on cereal, we adults nibbled them plain. Then Benedetto’s thoughts turned to blueberry pie. While in a bookstore, I glanced through a kids’ easy baking recipe book with… baked blueberry cheesecake.
Why not do both? I could whip up a pie in no time, but the girls could help me with the cheesecake and its step-by-step instructions. Generally, the children were way too busy with school and extracurricular activities to lend a hand. They knew very little about measuring cups, and blending, and folding, and whipping ingredients, other than our oldest teen son who loved the Food Network.
“Girls, tonight do you want to help me bake a special dessert?”
So we gathered our ingredients and propped up the standing, flip-top cookbook. It called for cottage cheese and plain yogurt and graham crackers with melted butter for a crust. The more we read the recipe, I realized that there was no size of baking dish specified, yet it did mention that it would feed four. With six in the family, we decided to double the recipe.
“Okay, girls, you know your tablitsa?” I asked the girls in Russian about their multiplication tables. “We’re going to multiply everthing by two….”
They laughed and giggled as I told them their graham cracker-crushing skills left something to be desired. Mashenka struggled with… cutting waxed paper to line the baking dish. Sashenka’s thumbs could not seem to crack the egg correctly. But each got her turn in measuring, stirring, and deciphering instructions.
We ran out of cottage cheese and yogurt. What to substitute for these? The refrigerator had Greek yogurt or sour cream.
“Smetana,” I instructed, “but it’s going to be somewhat keeslee,” (sour).
“More sugar!” Sashenka brightened.
My daughters grated a lemon, and separated eggs, and created a graham cracker crumb crust. They learned to read ingredients in order and follow instructions.
It was a bonding time and blueberry cheesecake was later enjoyed by all. Yes, even I had a bite.
————-Tags: adoptive family blog, baking with teens, bonding activities for older adoptees, kids learning culinary skills, kids learning to cook, mother-daughter teams in the kitchen