Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Soups On!

Today was another one of our cooking days.  I try to do a little "cooking class" with the boys at least once a week.  It really helps their sensory issues, builds self esteem, sense of teamwork and following instructions.  Best of all, it gives me a little extra fun time with my growing boys who will some day leave mama's nest.  At least I will feel better knowing they will always know their way around a kitchen, so they will never starve!  

We made Chocolate Marble Banana Bread.  It was Javi's job to read the first four ingredients. As you can see, with the little pics, the last four ingredients were for Ethan's part, since he is just learning to read.  They did an amazing job taking turns pouring in the different ingredients, mixing, and really following the recipe.  Each of them got to crack an egg (of course we cracked in to a separate bowl, just in case the shell fell in).  Javi managed to crack the egg perfectly this time with our little tap tap crack song.  NO SHELLS IN THE BOWL!!

Ethan had a really good time mashing the bananas.  Here he is mashing away.  The ever illusive Javi managed to sneak out of the picture just as daddy was snapping it!

Here's the finished product.  Javi wouldn't try them because he said they smelled funny, which is unlike Javi.  He's not real big on sweets, which is fine with me.  He prefers hard candy if he does have a sweet tooth.

Of course, my little sweetie, Ethan, could barely wait until they came out of the oven!  He would have eaten the whole pan if I let him!  It was so cute to see them patiently staring at the oven like it was a TV set, watching the muffins go from goo to bread.

Then we worked on the next cooking project, Chicken Gumbo.  By this time, Javi was totally bored with cooking and was on to the next activity, but my "lil chef" Ethan was there to lend a helping hand.  I was teaching him all about the different ways to chop and what each was called.  He learned julianne, dicing and mincing.  I even let him do a few hand over hand chops.  He learned how to clean celery, how onions have layers, and how the outsides of onions feel kind of like paper.  He also learned the hard way that onions give off a gas that turns the moisture in your eye in to sulphuric acid and that's why your eyes burn when you chop onions.  Just a trick, if you run water or boil water near where you are chopping, it will lessen the effects of the onion because the gas will be attracted to the moisture.  I think I learned that trick from reading the book "Like Water for Chocolate", one of my favorite books, besides the Harry Potter series.  

Ethan learned all about making a roux, and how important it is to stir it, which was his favorite part (I had the heat off when he stirred).  He just seemed to, if you will pardon the pun, eat up every piece of info I gave him.  I think we have the next Food Network Star in training here :)  I guess I was a regular "Lady and Sons" today!!  Which by the way is one of my fav's on Food Network and where I got the idea to make gumbo today.

My inspiration for making the chicken gumbo was due in part to my neighbor, Andi being in the hospital.  Her kids spent the night last night while her hubby took her to the ER.  They ended up admitting her due to a ruptured appendix.  Ouch!  

I knew she would need some good ole comfort food while she was on the mend, so we made this dish because it freezes very well.  I hope she gets well and comes home really soon!!  Until then, we'll make sure her kids and hubby are fed and cared for.  We sure enjoyed having it for dinner too!  I made enough to feed a small army.  

Who knows, maybe the boys and I will make a cookbook with all our little recipes :)



baby trevor's mommy said...

Just when I think you couldn't be more perfect! *wink* Bri-bee loves helping mommy in the kitchen. Altho...I typically resort to a box of brownie mix. I went a little crazy last time...and added chunks! lol You're raising some sweet boys for sure! And I love the soup! Especially the packaging. I'm totally stealing that idea! xoxoxo


JSmith5780 said...

I am totally hungry now... and I just had breakfast an hour ago :)

~Mama Skates~ said...

omg - i'm starving now! that stuff looks soooo yummy! and what a great idea with the ingredients list! i might have to try that with corinn (my little helper in the kitchen) since she can't read yet....she is the same way - seems to really absorb the info i give her & actually retain it! she will write up her own little "recipes" and it's funny - most of the time, they sound an awful lot like mama's cake recipes - that lil thief! ~lol~

Shanna Grimes said...

Danielle, Oh stop! Far from, paaalleeeese!! I look up to all ya'll for inspiration. Nothing wrong with a box brownie! Funny story about that too, Mark raved about his mom's brownies and I kept trying batch after batch, making them from scratch. I finally found a recipe that were, dare I say, better than his mom's! Come to find out, his mom had always used the Ghirardelli mix!! I laughed so hard at that!!

Jen, I know, me too! I can't wait to have some leftovers for lunch with a piece of garlic parm texas toast.

Sharon, Thanks. It was fun. I was surprised how many "site words" that he could recognize in the recipe like "cup" and "sugar". He even started to know the fraction measurements like 1/4 and 1/2. I think it's time to make my little chef his own apron. Javi has one, so now it's Ethan's turn.