Holiday events, and preparations for these holidays are the perfect time to get the next generation involved in continuing your family traditions. The challenge for many parents is that this is exactly the time when they have little energy to include children in all that “needs to get done.”
I’m lucky to have some grandchildren quite nearby. Foods I prepared with my children for the holidays are the same foods I now fix with my grands. Because we live near each other, our “cooking sessions” are conducted in small doses. Enough time to have lots of fun, but not so much time that I don’t get worn out.
We spent yesterday getting ready for Thanksgiving, and my grandgirl’s and my contribution to the feast was pumpkin pie (her favorite! which helps). As she gets bigger, she is anxious to take on more and more of the “jobs” of the cooking projects we enjoy together. I have to remind myself that allowing hands-on participation is how we all learn best.
And so I breathe through what has the potential for mess–egg cracking has always been my “oh my, what a mess there will be!” weakness. Everything went smoothly, with nary a drop of egg spilled on the counter (or the floor, or the wall–breathe, breathe!).
Pie crust is another tricky job–rolling out dough is so much fun, and so we compromised. I rolled out several crusts, and she got to roll the remaining dough to her heart’s content. It took a while for her heart to be content–good for her heart, not as great for tender pie crust. But not to worry–we made jam tarts from her handiwork, which were delicious!
Cleanup is often the cook’s least favorite job, and yet, when a girl is six, getting to play in water and help is a perfect match of tasks and skills.
While the pies baked, we cleaned, and then she did some homework. Now to enjoy the fruits of our labor!
We invited the wild turkeys to stay, but they seemed to be in a great hurry. Perhaps next year…
Marjorie Turner Hollman is a personal historian who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, More Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd edition, and editor of Easy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed. Just out is her latest book, Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. She has been a freelance writer for numerous local, regional, and national publications for the past 20+ years, has helped numerous families to save their stories, and has recorded multiple veterans oral histories, now housed at the Library of Congress. She is a co-author of the recent community history, Bellingham Now and Then.