Cold and rainy outside? A perfect way to entertain your grandchildren is a fabulous wet weather activity of cooking. It can be anything they like to eat but I have discovered that my old favourite Chicken Soup has become one of theirs, too.
There’s a popular self-help book entitled Chicken Soup for the Soul and the idea of teaching your grandchildren how to nourish their bodies with something delicious and nutritious is a great wet day activity. And, of course, they can enjoy their labours for lunch! There’s so much learning to acquire when your grandchildren are in the kitchen.
Physics in the Kitchen
It’s so interesting to see how food changes its texture and colour when cooked. Involve your grandchildren in every stage of the process. If your grandchildren are like mine, aged between 5 and 10, they will already have some kitchen experience. I hope.
So always start with safety. Don’t tell them; ask them. They will be able to set out sensible rules to avoid burning themselves or cutting those precious little fingers. It’s interesting that children love to do the “dangerous” things like using sharp knives and pouring boiling water. Possibly their busy parents don’t have the time to supervise these activities so it’s a good thing for grandma/pa to show them safe ways.
Ask them to think about Chicken Soup. I ensure that I have all the necessary ingredients so they can go to the fridge and select the vegetables and the chicken. Little people love to put chicken legs in the soup so get yourself a supply of “lovely legs” or ordinary drumsticks. Then, it makes it a lot more fun if grandma has crushed the garlic and diced the onions. So that means that your cherubs can use a sharp knife to cut the carrots, potatoes and celery into whatever sized pieces they like.
Make sure you have a large cutting board for each child and allow them to decide what they would like to chop up. Selecting their knife is always fun for them. A little talk about keeping fingers out of the way can be a good idea. Self-responsibility is a good lesson to learn when safety is involved. If there is a knife slip, have some ice blocks and band-aids ready. Using “all in the pot” method from the beginning always results in a delicious soup and it reduces waiting time.
Sometimes your grandchildren may want to add other ingredients such as fresh parsley or thyme or some kind of pasta. It all adds to the taste and nutrition.
The best part of any cooking is in the eating. We all eat with our eyes so make setting an attractive table part of the activity. Everyone enjoys a clean cloth and napkins, water glasses and perhaps a vase of flowers. My younger granddaughter loves to be the one to set the table and she has made place names especially for that reason.
So, eat that delicious Chicken Soup with your grandchildren and know that your morning has been one of the best for all of you.