Monday, March 8, 2010

...kIdS iN tHe KiTcHeN...

I like to get my kids in the kitchen at an early age.
At first they hold the mixer and dump the ingredients  I have measured.
Sometimes they actually get them in the bowl.

When they begin cooking on their own,
I usually start with breakfast meals.

This isn't really what I meant when I told her
she would be learning to make scrambled eggs.

We clean up a lot of spills.
We have a lot of laughs.
I have learned to EXPECT disasters.
It saves me from being disappointed
or surprised when they happen.

We like to taste the batter.
I think they double-dip when I am not looking.
For all I know, they just lick the spatula
and put it back in the container on the counter.

The second breakfast Beka learned to make was baked oatmeal.

She loves using the mixer, it seems like real cooking.

This is usually the part where you begin holding your breath,
knowing you might have to clean the cupboard faces,
and maybe wash an extra load of laundry.
Phew!  No spills!

This recipe is  from Florence, a well-loved woman who, along with her husband Lewellyn, used their family farm for a camp, Box T Bible and Saddle Camp, for many years.

Beka's Baked Oatmeal

1 cup of brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1  1/2 cups of milk
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup melted butter

Mix together and add
4 cups of oatmeal (quick or regular, whatever you have)

Put in greased 9x13 pan and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
You can add nuts or dried fruit.
I love adding toasted, slivered almonds and cranberries.
Many people serve it warm with applesauce over the top.
My kids like to eat it in a bowl with milk and a little more sugar, if I don't catch them putting it on top.

I would love to vary this recipe now that I am becoming more conscious about fats and sugars.   I thought of replacing the 1/2 cup butter with applesauce.  Any suggestions?


As I start a new week with my kids underfoot in the kitchen, I am looking forward to all of us gaining new skills, enjoying each another's company and EXPECTING messes, spills, lost measuring cups and missing ingredients for everything I am cooking.

When I understand that CHAOS and CHILDREN are worlds that can coexist harmoniously if I understand their mutual dependence on one another and keep CALM, then there is peace in the KITCHEN.

Click over to Nan's blog, momstheword, to see what other moms are doing this Monday to make their homes SING! and start the week off right.


  1. I like this post! I totally agree to getting kids in the kitchen cooking. In fact, my post today is somewhat about kids in the kitchen. I also sent others to your home school blog post about laundry.

  2. Mindy you are a good Mama. I find that I am not that patient with the *mess.* sigh. guess I need to work on that.


  3. Fun! I need to learn to relax when kids are cooking in the kitchen! You are very patient! I am not so much.

  4. Made it Saturday- added blueberries and pecans to one corner ;) I would think the apple would work. Try it and let us all know, would ya?!

    My girls love making Irene's Apple sauce muffins, it was Lindsey's 'starter' recipe I think. It's in the old chapel book- very good with homemade sauce and batter keeps well in the fridge.

  5. Ooooh, that looks yummy! I have always wanted to make baked oatmeal but never have. I am going to have to try this recipe.

    You are so right about expecting messes. That's how they'll learn, and it will benefit you in the long run to know that they can cook. My 16 year old has been making his own lunch (and sometimes his dinner, lol!) for years. Thanks for linking up today.

  6. I will admit, with a few others here, that I'm not patient like I WANT to be in the kitchen with a 4 & 3 year old. I feel horrible about it. Thanks for the encouragement. Maybe this recipe will be one that I can try this week with the girls...and I'll think of you two as I let the girls dump all over the place. ;) Loves.

  7. Oh, what about a few TBSP of wheat germ? Sunflower seeds? Sesame seeds? Kind of like in granola?

  8. I love getting my kids in the kitchen. Since Superman has been overseas, Valiant has taken over barbecue duties and is so proud of himself. He also loves making "big breakfasts". Buttercup loves to bake. Getting them in the kitchen got them each to understand fractions as more than theory, too. Getting to make real food? Ummm...not quite yet, but we're getting there. As for your baked oatmeal recipe. I don't think butter is bad for you, but I've been toying with adding flax to my baked oatmeal recipe.

  9. Thats one of my favorite recipes. I have added apples and fruit before, and it always reminds me of happy mornings at Box T.

  10. I have not been the mama that could tolerate the messes- good for you!

    Recently, I did start letting each of my kids (ages 7 & 5) plan a dinner each week and help prepare it. They are so excited to get in the kitchen and "help". They especially like being in charge of the planning!

  11. I just made this for the first time for lunch. (Yes, I let the girls help and we all survived)
    Anyway, I was out of butter and didn't want to add it anyway so I used 1/2 unsweetened applesauce instead. Everything else I followed and didn't add anything. It smelled delicious, and then, it tasted delicious with unsweetened applesauce on top of the still warm oats. I have to admit...I ate 1/5 of the 9x13 preparation for my 10 mile afternoon run. :) Thanks for posting the recipe.


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