Baking for Santa

“Santaaaaaa! I know him!!” – Elf

It’s almost that tiiiiimmmmmeeeee…

Let’s check back in with Chef J and see how she’s prepping for the big man. Auntie Mayhem might have a solid idea for the evening too…

M&M:  Tell me about your sous chefs…
Chef J: My sous chefs these days are like elves. They’re tiny and they love sugar. Walter (3) is a great helper in the kitchen and Alice (1) has only helped with Chex mix so far, but we’ll get her trained soon. I think most of what Walter enjoys is sampling all of the ingredients (especially if chocolate chips are involved), but he’s great at other steps too. It’s so fun to share my passion with them!

kid2

M&M:  Santa is coming! What are you leaving him?
Chef J:  We are leaving Santa some iced and Walter-sprinkled sugar cookies – probably Santa shaped so he knows they’re for him. And a glass of milk.
M&M: So if I come to your house, will there be sugar cookies that look like me? So I know they’re for me?
Chef J:  Of course! We always have those on hand.

M&M:  Aside from Santa shaped cookies, the cheeseboard from my recent post, and a bottle of bold red, how else will you show the kiddos that Santa has stoped by?
Chef J:  Good question! I hadn’t really thought about it. We might leave out some carrots for the reindeer. Or maybe Greg can climb up on the roof and stomp around while they’re sleeping?!
M&M:  Here’s the best Pinterest Santa idea I’ve seen this season. 

santa-1

M&M:  What keeps Walter’s interest in the kitchen?
Chef J:  Walter helps me mis en place. He is really into measuring out the sugar. He uses a small scoop to fill up a big measuring cup and is so precise about it. I let him dump all of the dry ingredients into the bowl. He also likes stirring and whisking. And of course, he loves sampling the ingredients – sugar, fruit, berries, nuts, chocolate chips, you name it – and he has starting smelling spices and herbs as well.

kid1

M&M:  How do you know what tasks he can handle and when?
Chef J:  Kids are more capable in the kitchen than you might think! Walter could probably do more than I let him now, but I’m pretty OCD in the kitchen. Baking is more of an exact science than cooking is so we’re really careful and measure well. I think it’ll be awhile before I let him use a knife (maybe when he’s 5?), but I’m sure some people do that early on. I also don’t let him crack eggs yet because of the mess, but I’m thinking that will be fun for him to start trying next year. I need to relax a bit and remember that messes or mishaps can be learning experiences for everyone!

kid4kid3

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