Cooking with kids is a world of opportunities. Yes, yes, yes, we’ve all read about how it helps build creativity and teaches them the value of experimentation. How it helps teach basic math and measurement skills and maybe even encourages them to taste something new.
But it’s also a thrilling lesson in human dynamics for grownups.
Consider this photo of Lila and Nina, my two grand daughters, making cake batter with me. Do I need to tell anyone what’s going on here?
Who’s older? Who’s neater? Do they like what they’re tasting? Have they listened to their parents’ lesson about not eating from the same fork (spoon, spatula) as someone else?
It’s like when you read a book to a kid and not just read the words but also talk about the expressions on the characters’ faces.
As they say, a picture tells a thousand words.
They liked the cake. Yellow cake. Here’s the recipe.
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour (measure after sifting)
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups unsalted butter
1-1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 9-inch cake pans. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer set at medium speed, beat the butter and sugar together for 3-4 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat until thoroughly blended in. Combine the milk and vanilla extract. Using about 1/3 of the ingredients at a time, alternately add the flour mixture and milk mixture to the butter mixture, blending each addition in before adding the next batch. Spoon equal amounts of batter into the prepared pans. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto a cake rack to cool completely. Frost with your favorite frosting. Makes one cake, 2 layers.