Monday, August 24, 2009

a little help

Danny pulled out the chair, climbed up and said, "I dan elp yooooooooou."

Ug. That was my first thought. He's messy when he "helps" me.

I made him wash his hands (who knows what they've been touching) and then I started the measuring. He said, "We need guh-guh." So into the bowl it went. Then the down guh-guh and eggs. Danny counted as I added them to the bowl. "None. Do. Pour." That's one, two, four. I have no idea where three went. It's usually five that gets left out.

Next I measured the oats. I handed him the measuring cup each time so he could dump it into the bowl. That's where the messy part happens. As I was returning the oats to the cupboard and getting the flour, Danny apparently put his face into the pile of oats (in already in the bowl) and got a mouthful. Then he said, "Woah! Duh oats are berry berry oatsy! Mummy!"

He helped me add some bough-uh, gaking dough-duh, dalt, duh-nill-uh, dee-nut duh-duh and a few gicks of duh-duh. I gave him the little spatula and told him to start stirring (also part of the messy). When I turned my back to get the pan, he stuck his fingers into the batter. Upon licking them he declared, "Mmmmm! Mummy!"

I finished the mixing, spread the batter in the pan and stuck it in the oven. As I did, I thought about the possible benefits of letting my almost three-year-old "help" me in the kitchen. Bonding time, learning patience (that's for me), gaining a love for baked goods (that's for him...I already love them), maybe some math skills.

Then I had a glimpse into my future. If I let him "help" me now, someday he'll come into the kitchen when I'm baking and say, "Oh, Mother Dear, give me that spatula and measuring spoon. I'll do it. You go sit and rest your weary feet."

It could happen.

If you're interested in the recipe, here it is. We made them for Kelli as a thank you treat for the horse ride last week. Don't tell her Danny stuck his face in the oats, please.

Peanut Butter Fingers

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup peanut butter (plus more to spread on top when they're baked)
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon soda
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups quick oats

1 container milk chocolate frosting

Cream all ingredients together (except the frosting). Place in a 12x17 greased and floured baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. While still warm, spread with peanut butter. Cool. Top with milk chocolate frosting. Cut into bars.

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