As a parent, one of my favorite things to do with my kids is bake in the kitchen.
It's fun, it's interactive, it's a way to get dinner on the table!
Yes...that's right. Part of the reason I like to bake with my kids is purely selfish. Someday, I hope to find dinner on the table--all courses--without a lifting of my own finger. You can call this selfish, or you can call this a teaching moment. And even though I rely on the ringing of the fire alarm to alert me that dinner is indeed done, I hope my kids one day will one day thank me that they can put together a healthy meal without having to call the fire department.
One of the ways I try to give the kids confidence in the kitchen is teach them one dish over and over. We call this their "signature dish." If we are invited to a church potluck, or if there is a neighbor we are going to visit, or if dad needs something to share for his work meeting, I have the children practice their signature dish. My oldest daughter always made beef stew. My middle daughter always made corn pudding. I suspect my youngest daughter will want cupcakes when it is her turn to pick her dish. Now that they are older, they have quite a few signature dishes under their belts.
My third grader just recently found a new signature dish. Buttermilk Cornbread. She found it by first googling "cornbread". I then remembered that I had buttermilk that needed to be used. So she added "buttermilk" to the search engine. Then, (I just love her!!) she read the different reviews and decided on the recipe based on the amount of people who gave it praise.
She chose right. Our family now has a brand new love for cornbread.
You can find the recipe here. I've also printed the recipe below for you. You can also read on for ways I create scenarios in the kitchen for extra math practice. Note: we did amend the recipe instructions to make it easier for a child to finish on their own and because we did not have a skillet large enough to finish the recipe as written. My daughter also wanted to add honey butter, so she spread that on after it was removed from the oven.
So, without further adieu...
Grandmother's Buttermilk Cornbread
1/2 C. butter
2/3 C. white sugar
1 C. buttermilk
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 C. cornmeal
1 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
softened butter and honey, mixed for the topping
Set the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Grease an 8X8 pan. Melt butter in a large skillet. Pour into a large mixer and quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and pour into mixer. Blend well. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Spread softened honey butter onto the top of warm bread.
Serve when cooled slightly.
** Creating Math Scenarios in the Kitchen:
1. Ask your child to double or triple the recipe. Have her multiply each ingredient X 2 (or 3) and rewrite before beginning.
2. Ask your child to halve the recipe. Divide each recipe by 2 and rewrite before beginning.
3. Tell your child to complete the recipe as if you do not own a 1 cup measure. (or a half cup meaure)
4. Have your child change all the ingredient amounts to metric. Proceed.
How do you incorporate math into your kitchen?