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Archive for the ‘fun food’ Category

It was too quiet yesterday morning.

I knew it was the kind of quiet that I should probably check on, but LP and I had already had a long weekend of solo parenting and oh, the quiet.   So I sat on the couch with the Sunday paper. I drank tea. I enjoyed the quiet.

I could hear LP going back and forth from the kitchen to the dining room table. I could hear her moving the step-stool around, the rattle of dishes and the occasional unidentifiable sound.

Then the call, “Will you change the grind to large?”

Ah. That sound was the salt grinder.

The table was covered with water and spices. LP had four or five bowls going with various combinations of water, spices and leftover toast scraps from breakfast.  What was she doing?

“Making a cake for Harness! It’s her 92nd birthday!”

I had no idea she was 92…you have to admit, she looks great:

Well, can’t deny a 92-year-old stuffed dog a birthday cake.

I admit I was not in the mood for the mess AND I’ve really been working to actively encourage LP’s independence and taking initiative.

So I re-iterated some boundaries for LP (especially how she is supposed to ask before using spices.  I think I’ll be rearranging the spice rack to put ones she can use with abandon on the lower shelf and ones that I reserve for cooking up higher.) I changed the grind on the salt and pepper to the largest setting and got out a pan to cook the cake.

After cooking for 30 minutes at 350, Harness’ cake came out of the oven and it was time for the crucial step of swirling whipped cream in it (LP’s idea, naturally).

The half hour of cooking, gave us time to work on cleaning up together. I’ve realized that I do far too much of the cleaning up and so things are changing around here on that front too!

LP sampled the finished cake and pronounced it “delicious!”

And Harness seemed happy too.

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The past month has been one of improvised baking and concocting.  I’ll be writing a couple of posts about engaging and supporting a little person’s interest, so consider this one a teaser.

Below is the recipe for a “Show” ~ the first concoction that LP created about a month ago.  She made it while I was making dinner (homemade pizza) so most of the ingredients are what I was using (except for the goldfish!).

LP’s recipe (as dictated by the girl):

Start with a lot of goldfish.

Add just two whole mushrooms and a lot oil and a lot of wheat germ becasue the oil and the wheat germ taste good and they’ll make it taste good.

Add lots of garlic, cutted garlic.

The cheese makes the Show taste a little like popcorn.

Add pizza dough and pineapple.

Flour’s the last ingredient. It makes the show taste powdery.

Some shows get spinach in them.

Bake for very long. The long should be 20 minutes.

We eat the show when it comes out of the oven. It’s a cheer you up show!

(The recipe was dictated to me over dinner. As you can see, there are a few ingredients – pasta, celery, olives) that didn’t make it into the formal recipe.  And yes….she did eat some of it!)

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Story Dessert

LP seems to have inherited my sweet tooth.

She’s a very open-to-experiences eater (she loves sushi and thai but sadly not indian food), so as long as a decent amount of real food has gone into her, I’m up for her enjoying sweets in modest amounts.

I enjoy surprising her with special dessert treats every once in awhile.  Often I make small food sculptures with frozen fruit and various kinds of chocolate chips. Sometimes I arrange faces on the plate. Recently I had the inspiration to add a story to the mix.  Her (and my) current favorite is Panda on the Mountain.

The “recipe” varies although it always includes a red gummy panda perched atop a mini-marshmallow. Tonight’s version (pictured above) included 4 mint chip trees, 4 ginger chip rocks and a blue sprinkle river with one large chocolate chip under the marshmallow.

As I bring it to the table I tell her a short story about the panda’s adventure from her home to the top of the mountain.

This is food to play with!  LP and the panda slurped up the blue sprinkle river together and she played with the panda all over the plate while eating the other elements; she even wrapped the panda up in her napkin for a nap.  When it was time to finish up, she chose to put the panda in a little container rather than eat her so they could play again at tomorrow night’s dessert.

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