This is a bit of a different blog post for me, as instead of focusing on WHAT I’m cooking the focus is WHO I was cooking with. My wife’s two nieces are visiting this weekend, which gave me the opportunity to cook with our great niece Hannah, a 10 year old fourth grader. (Of course this makes me her GREAT Uncle, which I have mentioned to her once or twice or a thousand times.)
While my wife, daughter and son are all happy to help out in the kitchen if asked, they are also quite happy to let me go ahead and do my own thing. When I knew we were having company for the weekend I was especially excited because her niece’s kids have started to do a little cooking at home with their mom. As such thought I might be able to recruit one of them to make something with me. When I asked for volunteer’s Hannah jumped at the opportunity, while her older brothers jumped at the chance to do anything else! (As an aside the boys had recently read ‘Lord of the Flies’ and ‘Grapes of Wrath’ at school but had not read my blog, which makes me wonder just what we are teaching kids in schools nowadays.)
With everyone else busy doing their own things, Hannah and I got to work in the kitchen. She first helped me make a marinate for the chicken wings I was going to grill later that evening, and then we got working on the mini apple pies we were having for dessert. This was a great recipe to make with an eager volunteer, who helped with the peeling, measuring, mixing, rolling, cutting and assembling that went into these. I was especially impressed with Hannah’s deftness at rolling out and cutting the individual pie crusts and then fitting them perfectly into the muffin tins. While I have a bit more experience than she does in this department, I have to admit her skills at rolling out the dough surpasses mine!
The end result of this hard work were 24 tasty individual pies, which disappeared in a flash that night. In addition to the satisfaction of working with a great helper, the highlight of my experience was a bracelet that she made for me later that day. While I admit i haven’t spent much time cooking with kids, I can certainly recommend this recipe as one that worked well with a young apprentice.