Cooking with Grandkids
Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes
By Mollie Katzen & Ann Henderson

Batter is dripping off a small whisk and down the legs of the kitchen table, but you've never seen your three-year-old grandchild so proud. "Ready to eat our muffins that we made?" asks your beaming grandchild. And regardless of the sticky fingers and the state of your kitchen, you can't resist. You sit down and eat together, proclaiming that they are the most special muffins you've ever tasted. And they are, too, because they were made by the excited little chef sitting next to you.
What is most interesting about cooking to a young child? High up on the list are the tactile experiences, such as kneading and rolling out pizza dough, tearing fresh spinach leaves, or breaking eggs. All the other senses are stimulated, too. It's fun to watch as soup simmers, or a milkshake spins around in a blender, or butter melts in a hot pan. Then there are all the sounds and smells of cooking and fingers to lick. And usually (but not always), children look forward to sampling the finished product. But what fascinates young children above all is performing those ordinary cooking tasks that we adults take for granted. It's a challenge for little ones to pour milk into a measuring cup, squeeze a lemon, mix a batter, or flip a pancake. Managing these jobs gives them a great sense of accomplishment.

Cooking Hints and Safety Tips: