Monday, August 24, 2009

Tackle It Tuesday: Got Cake?

I mentioned yesterday that Noah wanted to make a cake.

All. By. Himself.
He was determined to not have any help, and since we had absolutely nothing going on for the day on Saturday, I decided to go ahead and let him.

Now I have to admit, I generally buy the mixes myself when I make a cake, so this was definitely a first for both of us I think.

Disclaimer: Please remember yesterday's post when you see Noah's incredibly nasty hair. It was clean, but sweaty from bowling :)

What I was reminded of during this venture is of how often we as adults go about tasks without realizing how many steps are involved that we perform automatically, without thinking about them. Once we got started, it was amazing how many small steps needed to actually be TAUGHT.

For example:

1. How To Read A Recipe
As adults, we are used to scanning through recipes and preparing whatever our item is. For a seven year old, they not only have to READ the recipe, but also have to translate sentence by sentence.

It's amazing how confusing a sentence such as ""Bake until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean" can be to a seven year old.

He also had trouble remembering where in the recipe he left off and needed help getting back on track again. Just as difficult was looking back up at the ingredients for measurement amounts after reading down in the paragraph what to add next.

2. Softened butter
To us it seems like a non-step to soften butter. But to a first time recipe reader, this becomes a major task. To take out a stick of butter, learn HOW to use the lines on the side to measure, and then place it into a container to microwave, guessing how long to leave it in.

3. Stirring
Not much to be said, other than this: A seven year old boy does not want to patient enough to stir SLOWLY, yet that is what is required of this task.

4. Mixers
Another non-step to us: inserting mixing spoons into the mixer. The spoons had to be turned just right in order to fit in.

Another part that took some understanding: The mixers need to be all the way down at the bottom of the bowl or ingredients from the bowl will indeed fly everywhere.

5. Eggs
This was one thing in which I stepped in to help with. After trying a couple of times to teach him how to crack an egg, he got frustarted and I decided that for the sake of not having shells in the cake, I would take this task over. He didn't mind and I think he was relieved.

And the cake is finally ready to go into the oven.

Time to clean up. How?

By licking the mixers of course!

Aaron FINALLY gets a chance to participate.

But wait!

We have A TON of batter left and the cake went into the oven. Let's make cupcakes.

More learning ahead.

6. How to fill cupcake cups

To an adult, it seems like such an easy task: spoon the batter in using your other finger to push It off the spoon. Noah really struggled with this task, wanting to lick his finger after each spoonful. After about the fifth time sent to the bathroom to wash his hands after licking, I did help out with this one as well. (He was actually pretty tired out by this point anyway)

Aaron, who had been patiently watching this entire time, finally got his chance to help when I let him have his chance to fill cupcake holders as well.

I went ahead and made up the frosting, since by this point the boys were off playing robots again, but when it came time to frost the cake, Noah was right there again. This is a very difficult task, even for myself at times. It was very hard for him to spread the frosting evenly and he once again asked for a little help.

And here is the proud boy with his masterpiece.

Like I said, never mind the hair

Do you need to ask if it was good?

P.S. This was the most fun I've had writing a blog post in awhile. I hope you enjoyed reading it too.


bethn said...

Way to go Noah! I don't know if I could let go like that and let one of my kids bake alone. I'm way too much of a control freak.

Courtney said...

What a great memory for both of you. Glad you got to do this before school starts for him.

Beth@Not a Bow in Sight said...

How fun! My son likes to like the beaters too :)

Kila said...

Good for him! My guys love baking and cooking on their own.

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

Great job, Noah!

I wish I could let Abby do something like this on her own, but I'm afraid of what the kitchen might look like afterward. She's just not ready. Or maybe I'm not. Sigh.