Tuesday, June 12, 2012

cook with your children, the experts say

Elphine is making brownies.
She's been making them since about 1pm this afternoon. I've been trying to patiently not loose my mind, but as we head into the fourth hour of brownie making (from a box, let the truth be known) I feel that the battle may be too much for me.

First she got the boxes of brownie mix out of the cupboard.
Then she read the directions. We got all the measuring cups out and talked about fractions....again. Her eyes glazed over and she stuck her chin out until that part was over. Then she got a half a cup of water from the sink, and a cup of oil  from the cupboard and six eggs out of the fridge.
"You're only making two boxes" I said, "you only need four eggs." So she put two eggs back.
(God help us all.)
Then she poured all the liquid into the dry mix and stirred it for a while.
And then she added the eggs.
Then she stirred it some more.
"Good job." I said smiling through clenched teeth, "Let me stir it a little bit more so that there are no lumps."
Then she spooned the batter into muffin tins.
At this point I went and did something else because of the possibility of either infanticide or suicide. When I came back, she was covered in chocolate.
I know, as a parent, that its easy to toss that off--covered in chocolate--like, you know, the child has a lot of chocolate on the face and some on the elbow. I just want you to stop and rethink that image of "covered in chocolate" and instead of a child with a little bit of chocolate on the face and elbow, think of first a berry covered in chocolate, and then think of my whimsical meadow loving child (can you feel the positivity oozing from my pores?) covered in chocolate.
She was covered in chocolate.
Then she put the pans in the oven. After a bit she undertook to take them out. One pan was done, and then a few minutes later another pan was done and she took it out. But in all the comotion, she also took the third pan out--the bigger muffin sized tin. Through the course of the afternoon I have put it back into the oven no less than four times, and each time she has taken it out again almost immediately.
And so the final product (I hope its final, she is now in the shower trying to get the chocolate off) consists of a lot of underdone brownies jammed into a small casserol dish and then lathered with chocolate frosting. I expect they will be declicious, but they look a little worse for wear.
So there we are. Elphine made brownies. Maybe later she can make something else. May God have mercy on my soul.


Jessica Snell said...

They do say that, don't they? And I'm not really sure there's any excuse for that . . .

Anonymous said...


lissla lissar said...

I just made chocolate sheet cake with my hyperactive four-year-old, and managed not to shriek at him. This counts as a win. I even prevented him from dumping all the ingredients into the wrong container.

Thank the good Lord the two-year-old wasn't helping.

Kat said...

I had reason to make a complicated and pain in the rear cake today. Last time I made this cake (for my husband's birthday) I, too, was literally covered in chocolate. As was the parts of the kitchen that weren't covered in flour/powdered sugar. This time (his blasted Masters graduation tomorrow, and he made the special request) the chocolate coverage was at a minimum. Except that when he got home from work, he asked me how I ended up with chocolate on my shoulder blade... in a spot I can't even reach with a hand that might have had chocolate on it... Sometimes, these things just happen.

My mother started me out on less ambitious things than even brownies. I can remember, at that age, making "h'ordeuvres" for the family's Sunday afternoon snack- which consisted of things like PB&J and cream cheese and chives spread on crackers. I also did a lot of tearing and chopping for salads.

Fractions were the only schoolwork that ever had me in tears, but I don't remember having problems with them in cooking. But as I only had 1 sibling, not 5, I didn't have to double recipes much until I had grasped at least the adding of them. (or figured out to just use the 2/3 cup twice. LOL) The one time I did double a recipe was the only time I really remember my mother losing her cool with me, over cooking. I was making a double recipe of peanut butter cookies, kitchenaid mixer well at its capacity, and I tried to have it on "high" and the motor was smoking... For some reason, this upset her! ;)

By the time we were 12 or so, both my husband and I were responsible for the cookie, etc making. As the oldest, we were told if we wanted it, to make it ourselves. So keep that as something to look forward to, as you are trying to keep your patience with her until she gains the experience where you can just let her go on her own!