Monday, September 23, 2013

Baking With and For the Kids

Prologue (you may skip this part)

Not another inclement weather, we had wished, but it seems that this scenario of heavy rains and flooding has become a regular phenomenon since typhoon Ondoy in 2009. With this situation, I think it is incumbent upon schools to seriously revisit their school calendars. School suspensions have been getting more and more frequent, and even if the schools would hold make-up classes or make adjustments in extra-curricular activities, we know that these do not fully make up for lost school days. I understand there is a minimum number of school days that DepEd requires of all schools, but nevertheless you’d observe that the months from November to March would come and go by in a flurry, and at the end of the school year, a parent kind of feels shortchanged in a way given steep tuition fees. Well, just my thoughts…

This inclement weather has an upside though for stay-at-home-moms and their children who fortunately need not go out and whose houses are on high ground, flood-free. I and my kids belong to this fortunate lot. Garrett and Gab would have missed school today had it been a regular school day because both are still recovering from a viral infection which caused them running fevers over the weekend that spiked to 40 degrees Celsius. So, it turned out we are even luckier that classes got suspended today. I am relieved that they now seem to be on the way to recovery. I got scared it might be dengue because the onset of the fever was sudden. Both neither had cough nor colds.

Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are suffering the brunt of this weather, and to the millions of workers who braved going out today, and others who are inconvenienced one way or the other.


I would openly admit that I am lousy with introductions, starting a blog post. I tend to end up talking about other things first, and then jump to the reason why I got the urge to write – my real topic.

So the text above (kind of a prologue) is of little relevance to the title as you have (I’m sure) noticed. It really humbles me that you’re still reading (me) at this point. You’re a friend, aren’t you? Or, you’re one of my siblings. Whoever you are, thank you for dropping by this blog again and staying on a bit more. Hehe, ok, let me get down to business.

Today was a good time to bake with my children on account of the school suspension. Baking used to be just a dream for me. I had the oven sitting pretty in the kitchen for seven years without being used until its knob labels have all been erased. I simply had no motivation then to squeeze in baking time into my precious weekends or holidays.

I have not tried baking cakes yet. Actually, what I have been cooking in the oven recently – since the day I found myself with so much time to pass at home – are not cakes nor pastries but meat and pasta. I have on two occasions tried making muffins and macaroons, so this makes it just my third time to “bake.” And it’s my first time to bake cookies.

The muffins and macaroons were not so much of a hit with my kids. But this time, they liked what all three of us made. Recipes for oatmeal cookies are pretty much the same, but I adopted the “Awesome Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie” recipe from SimplyRecipes blog. It uses more ingredients and recommends an additional step of browning the butter. I thought it must be more special. Instead of bitter chocolate cookies, I used semi-sweet chocolates.

It was easy-peasy, easy as a piece of cake! Gab helped stir the flour and other dry ingredients. Garrett helped crack and beat the eggs, and measure the ingredients. We then took turns mixing the final dough.

And these are the awesome cookies we baked. We baked them for around 15 minutes and let them stay in the oven until cooled, so we ended up with crispy cookies. If you prefer a soft, gooey cookie, it is a must that you take them out of the (pre-heated) oven after 10 minutes.

I think baking is really easy because all the resources are on the web to guide you step by step. And baking is a fun way of introducing cooking to kids, all the measuring and mixing are curiously, amazingly fun for them. There is also a better chance that kids would eat what they helped bake. Happy baking!

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