Thursday, February 19, 2009
Navy Bean Soup and Cornbread
We're trying something new here. Once or twice a week the girls and I cook dinner together. I pick recipes that are fun and easy but also new in hopes that cooking together will make everyone more interested in trying unfamiliar foods.
In the past we've tended to focus on baking as our special kitchen activity. But I've really been trying to cut sugar in our diets to a minimum, and I want them to enjoy cooking healthy things and learn the joys of simple foods. Cooking regular meals really is just as fun!
The only downside is using twice the number of tools since everything has to be measured, poured and assembled before heating. Also, when heating I was extra focused that the girls not be too close to the stove. I didn't want them to try taking an excited peek at their dinner and burn themselves.
We started with this very simple navy bean soup and whipped up some cornbread to go with it.
Every step of the way I let the girls put things in the pot and pan before heating, as well as touch and experiment with the ingredients. They poured chicken broth, threw in carrots and onions, pealed the butter out of the wax paper, measured the cornmeal (Sabrina) and poured it in a bowl (CC), ran their hands through the wet beans, pressed on the slimy bacon, noticed the difference between cornmeal and white flour, smelled and tasted everything.
And at mealtime the girls ate like it was the best thing ever, getting lots of praise for the lovely dinner they had made!
For some great tips on cooking with children, read Molly's Get Crafty feature on the topic.