Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Baked Us Some Bread

"Life is messy. Wonderfully messy. Relish it."  

~Frederic Fekkai

Today was a first of a very hopeful long line of shared culinary experiences for my sweet girl and I. Many would think she’s too young to “help” in such endeavors. Define help. 

help [help]
verb [trans.]
1 make it easier for (someone) to do something by offering ones services or financial or material aid

When your counter tops become covered in flour and your floors in baking soda, when your bowls and utensils used fills your sink that was previously empty, and when in the end, you’re doubting there’s maybe the right amount of ingredients in the mixture....then no, by this definition, it was not help. Or by any definition really. But, I believe when you have a curious child who sees everything this world has to offer, down to the simplest of activities with wonder and all means, Carpe Diem...seize the day! 

This terrible mess was well worth the clean up (that has only partially happened as I write this) :) and I’d do it all again (maybe not today)! You see, I watched as my daughter saw her mama put on her apron that hung on the hook next to the pantry. As I tied it, she tugged on the one next to it, begging to mimic her mama. As I removed that apron, and got near to slipping it over her head, her smile beamed brightly. She stood as still as I’ve ever seen her (she is in constant motion...constantly), and stayed that way as I tied the strings closer than it allows for, and made this gigantic bow in the back. She was a sight, standing there, looking like such a grown little person, smile plastered on her cheeky face. Looking as though she’d trip on the fabric of her apron if she dared walk, I decided picking her up would be the best option. After scooting a chair to the counter and setting her on it, everything above her chest taller than the counter top, she again smiled and giggled. Every step of the way, putting the bowls in front of her, adding the ingredients one by one and allowing her to “dump” them in, watching closely as it all got mixed, her focus and expressions were priceless to this mama. The little spot of flour that magically appeared on her forehead in the end, making her look as though she’d slaved over this whole project, brought back my own memories of cooking and baking beside my own mother. 

A vague memory of a commercial that aired in the late 1980’s or early 90’s, promoting a product that was so easy to bake with or use that “it will look like you slaved all day” as the shot pans to the female actress with the back of her hand on her forehead, leaving behind flour suddenly pops in my head. I giggle inwardly as I suddenly remember a period of time that we slapped flour on our foreheads, our noses, our cheeks, whatever skin was available whenever we were invited to bake in my mothers kitchen. She must have rolled her eyes a thousand times over as undoubtedly it’s cuteness wore off while the mess constantly ensued. I don’t remember how old I was when my mother first let me “help” her bake or cook or do the dishes. I do know she always let us be involved to the level of our own abilities, using everyday life as our classroom to grow our imaginations, our skills and develop our capabilities one task at a time. It’s because of the legacy she began with her own children, that I teach my daughter in the same way and watch with my heart delighted as she gets it little by little. 

Enjoying the fruit of our labor...Banana bread!


  1. Awww thanks baby. I'm glad to hear that you have those fond memories, and that you are continuing the tradition and creating memories with your sweet girl. You are a wonderful mama! Uh...ahem....the commercial you referred to was for making rice krispie bars. It was so fast and easy that the woman dusted flour on her face to make her family think she was JUST THAT amazing, like they thought she was, and had slaved over the treats for her family

  2. Ahhhh! That's it! Thanks so much for the feedback Mama! Love you!