Cordon Bleu for Kids   Leave a comment

For Bridget’s third birthday, my good friend Michelle (and Bridget’s good friend Emily) suprised us with a neat gift. She booked our little circle of friends into a Mother and Preschooler cooking class at ‘Loblaws Upstairs’, a little community cooking school at our local grocery superstore. Michelle figured we had enough stuff to keep triplet girls clothed and playing (and thank goodness, in our case!), but what we were short on was cool experiences, especially when shared with friends. And I couldn’t agree more…
 
Our little group
Our little group: Kavita and Rohan, Natalie and Samantha, me and B, Michelle and Emily, and Suparna and Arushi
Michelle picked a Hallowe’en class, and as such, Bridget was allowed to pick one costume from her dressup “tickle trunk”. She spent a good half hour deciding what to choose, but in the end, it was the classic fairy princess that won out, complete with tutu and tiara. We kissed Daddy and the babies goodbye, loaded into our car as just the two “big girls”, and headed off to Loblaws. Being alone with mommy was pretty cool in B’s books, and we had a lovely academic chat comparing Disney Princesses with Barbie Princesses and deciding which ones were our favorites. In the end, she decided that all the princesses were pretty cool, and being a princess herself, it wouldn’t be fair to “play favorites”  – can you tell we’ve been talking about favouritism with her and her baby sisters a lot lately?

Anyhow, after we arrived, Bridget was pretty happy to head upstairs to the cooking school and join her friends colouring little mini-chef hats. Too cute. The instructors (one even dressed up as Oscar the Grouch!) gave us an overview of what we’d be making, and we were off!

Colouring

Colouring

Washing our hands in our chef's hat
Washing our hands in our chef’s hat

At first, I was a little unimpressed with the menu. I had expected to be doing some real “cooking” with B, but it sounded like the recipes were more about “creating” than any real cooking. And considering that Bridget had successfully cracked 6 eggs into our homemade waffle recipe that morning without dropping any shell pieces, and can tell you the difference between baking powder and soda (well, at least she knows which tub is which), she was a little surprised when no “ingredients” came out.

Listening to the instructor

Listening to the instructor

Cutting the pastry

Cutting the pastry

Wiggly pastry strips for the "mummy-Dogs"
Wiggly pastry strips for the “mummy-Dogs”

But she happily took her Pillsbury Crescent Roll triangle and crinke-edged cutter, and proceded to cut long crinkle lines of dough, something she could do all by herself. We then rolled the strips around mini-weiners and set them cooking in the oven. As much as I wanted to say, “Oh come on, this is way too easy!”, it forced me to remember that a great way to make kids feel successful is to choose projects that are completely within their ability level.

Next up was Skewered Eyeballs. This was also supereasy, and as disgusting as it sounds, was a MASSIVE hit with all the kids. They first used a finger to poke a hole through the centre of a marshmallow, and then fit a grape into the hole. With an adult’s help, they then threaded the marshmallow/grape combo onto a bamboo skewer making sure to face all the grape stemholes one direction to look like the pupil of the eyeball. Again, fun and completely within her ability. And considering the speed with which it was gobbled down, it was obviously tasty! I think I’ll pass, however…

Skewered Eyeballs
Skewered Eyeballs

Our last activity was decorating a pre-baked chocolate cake with Hallowe’en candies and a witch centrepiece decoration. The witch was quite cute: you took a cupcake and inverted it in the centre of your cake, then used icing to glue on a chocolate wafer for the hat brim, and a cupcake for the hat. There were a few different colours of icing, both spreadable and in piping bags, available for decoration, but Bridget kept to the classic Hallowe’en duo of pink and orange. Very Andy Warhol. Though it got a little munched on the drive home, here is her effort:

Bridget's Witch Hat Cake
Bridget’s “Which Witch is Which?” Cake

Overall, a great experience, and a neat gift: a wonderfully memorable day spend just with mom!


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