Yesterday I did a whirlwind cooking spree, mostly in an effort to make some more food for Eloise to enjoy. We were stuck in a rut of bananas, apples, sweet potatoes and pears. So I went shopping and then started cooking. When I was done I had five ice cube trays full of food: pears with prunes, pears with apples and blueberries, broccoli, carrots with spinach and lastly, oatmeal with cherries and raisins. I am glad to have gotten all of that work out of the way and have enough food for her for a little while now.
I also decided to involve Iris in baking some muffins. She was really, really excited about the idea of helping me cook. I tend to be a control freak in the kitchen so I'm trying to let go of that idea so I can support Iris' love of learning to cook. When I was touring the preschool that I want Iris to go to the children were making carrot raisin muffins and I was struck at how laid-back the teacher was and how great the children did with the project. I wanted to re-create this experinece at home so I measured things in to a small bowl and Iris dumped it in to the large bowl and mixed it all together. Luckily for my anxiety, she didn't spill anything or make any huge messes. I let her fill all of the muffin cups herself and it was a success! The muffins were SOOOO good. We already at all of them and since there is carrots, raisins and yourt in them, I consider them somewhat healthy. Iris won't normally touch carrots, but in a muffin? Bring 'em on! She was already asking when we would make muffins again. Hopefully soon! I will keep working on removing my ideal of a mess-free cooking session and be more excited about the learning process than the final result-- though having a pan of fresh-baked muffins at the end of all of the work certainly doesn't hurt at all. I'm glad she is getting to the age that she can actually help do things instead of just "help" do things, if you get my drift. It always made me bristle when people suggested I let my toddler help with chores, because we all know there is no part of having toddlers meddle in chores that is actually helpful to completing a task. Of course, if your goal is more for fun, learning, exploration and play, then you've had success! I need to re-train myself to look at those things differently.