What Making Pastry Teaches Kids

I truly believe that teaching your children to cook is one of the most important everyday life skills you can pass on to them.

Being able to feed yourself and others, is not only a blessing it is a necessity.

(Maybe not such a necessity these days, as there is an abundance of pre-prepared food in the developed world to choose from.)

The sharing of food, or breaking of bread, with one another is probably one of the most fundamental family rituals (and an occasion to be shared with friends).

Food plays such a major part in our lives.

But it appears that family meal times are losing their importance in the modern family.

I just read this interesting article stating that “we as a society don’t consider family time a priority”, and suggests that “family dinner isn’t and shouldn’t be something to get through”.

Personally I consider family time a priority. And as that time can be limited, now my two children are in full-time school, I try to make the time I spend with them not only enjoyable, but educational. There are many things I can, and want, to teach them.

Making pastry being one of those things.

Why in particular pastry?

Well, apparently (I’m assured this actually happened) I was the only child in home-economics class (back in the 80’s) who knew how to make pastry. My Mom still proudly mentions this fact to this day – some 20-odd years later.

It was time my budding pastry-chef 6-year-old son learnt how to make short crust pastry. If you are envisaging mean Mommy tightly tying an apron around her reluctant son who’d rather be playing with his power rangers, please let me reassure you this wasn’t the case. He’d been asking to make his own pies for days!

And make pies he did.

Pies!

Pies!

(Please note all photos were taken with an iPhone, and also quickly as I was obviously supervising my Son. So, not great, but you get the idea!)

We measured out the butter and flour – Lesson 1 – measurements and weights/using scales:

Lesson 1 - Using scales/weights and measurements

Lesson 1 – Using scales/weights and measurements

Then we chopped the butter – Lesson 2 – how to safely use kitchen utensils:

Lesson 2 - How to safely use a knife

Lesson 2 – How to safely use a knife

We crumbed the flour and butter – Lesson 3 – patience! and using a gentle touch!:

Lesson 3 - Patience!

Lesson 3 – Patience!

Water was added – Lesson 4 – Understanding volume and measurement of liquids:

Lesson 3 - Measurement of liquids/volume

Lesson 4 – Measurement of liquids/volume

The mixture was stirred to make a ball – Lesson 5 – How consistencies change:

Lesson 5 - How consistencies change!

Lesson 5 – How consistencies change!

Rolling out the dough – Lesson 6 – Applying pressure to objects and what changes that makes:

Lesson 6 - Applying pressure!

Lesson 6 – Applying pressure!

Cutting out the dough – Lesson 7 – Spacial awareness – cutting to maximise the amount:

Lesson 7 - Maximising return!

Lesson 7 – Maximising return!

Bottom of the pies were baked – Lesson 8 – How heat alters state (baking):

Lesson 8 - How heat alters state!

Lesson 8 – How heat alters state!

The pies were filled by me, with slow cooked steak. No lesson here I guess ;) Except maybe Mum comes in useful occasionally?:

Pie5

Then the pies were topped with more pastry – Lesson 9 – Reducing waste by using up all we had:

Lesson 8 - Reducing waste!

Lesson 9 – Reducing waste!

And voila we had pies. I removed from oven – the Final lesson – being oven aware!:

Dan's pies!

Dan’s pies! The final lesson – being careful by ovens!

10 lessons learnt by making pastry. But maybe ultimately the biggest lesson learnt is that even a 6-year-old who has never made pastry before can rustle up some stunning home-made pies for a tasty family dinner, enjoyed by all.

So tasty!

So tasty!

I’m very proud of my budding pastry chef. Very proud.

Did You Know It’s National Cupcake Week?

Seriously I love social media.

If it weren’t for Twitter I wouldn’t have known it was:

National Cupcake Week 2014.

And that would have been my loss.

cupcakebefunkyfromthis.jpg

For I do love cake. Cupcakes are such fantastic works of art. Edible ones at that.

So, if you haven’t seen it before here’s an old post of mine.

How To Bake The Perfect Cupcake

I guarantee you will astound yourself, and your friends with how fantastic these cupcakes turn out.

IMG_3844

But what I really want to know, seriously and sincerely, are your cupcake recipes, tips or posts. Images are great also. The more the merrier. If they aren’t yours, then please share someone elses.

After all It’s National Cupcake Week 2014, don’tcha know!

IMG_3624

“Let them eat cake” Marie Antoinette

Food Waste Friday / An Invitation

Each week since March 2008, in order to motivate her to waste less food, Kristen The Frugal Girl, has posted a picture of any food that has gone bad over the last seven days. She found this embarrassing practice so helpful, to her, that she invited other bloggers to post their own photos, and Food Waste Friday was born.

FoodWasteFriday I started participating in October 2010 and have found, 4-years on, the amount of food I waste is minimal. Every Friday, as part of my No Waste Tastes Great routine, I account for all my potential food waste as well as confessing to any items that I failed to save.

Kristen kindly asked me to host Food Waste Friday, alternate weeks and her initial invite for everyone to join in is cordially extended here!
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Every Friday I share a photo of my fridge.

SIMPLY BEING MUM'S FRIDAY FRIDGE 12 September 2014

SIMPLY BEING MUM’S FRIDAY FRIDGE

Then I confess my food waste (should I have any).

I'M GOING TO LOSE SOME GRAPES THIS FRIDAY

I’M GOING TO LOSE SOME GRAPES THIS FRIDAY

I devise a plan to use up any items that potentially could go to waste.

MY NO WASTE TASTES GREAT PLAN TODAY. SOUP!

MY NO WASTE TASTES GREAT PLAN TODAY. SOUP!

This is called No Waste Tastes Great. It gets shared here at the blog.

And I’m always thinking up ways to prevent food waste, and preserve fresh produce longer. Which again I share.

ONION "READY TO GO" IN A GLASS JAR

ONION “READY TO GO” IN A GLASS JAR

Why do I do this?

Because by being accountable I do better at reducing my food waste.

Human-nature is intriguing. Frequently I ask myself whether if I didn’t ‘out’ myself each Friday would I waste more food? I’d like to think not. But realistically I do wonder if I would.

Do we behave better when we are being watched? (Gary Vaynerchuk thinks so – see link below)

The internet is frequently criticised for all the harm it can do. But what about all the good it does also? Bringing together like-minded people, virtually. who potentially would never have met in real life.

(Gary Vaynerchuk explains the benefits of our emerging virtual world so much better than I in this interview. Check in from 50 minutes to hear him talk about humans and social media – be aware some of the language is colourful!)

Today I extend an invitation. An invitation to everyone who reads my Friday post. Please join in. Whatever stage you are at in reducing your waste. If it’s something that interests you and you want to do better than you are, then this is the place to be. It works. I have reduced my food waste so much over the last 4 years thank you to The Frugal Girl and the original inspiration.

I’d like at the point give a shout out to Vicki. She joined the food-waste-reduction-party and is going great guns. It truly is fantastic to see how her journey is progressing.

You can read Vicki’s post here.

Please do come say hello, it’s getting a little lonely here on a Friday! This isn’t about my food waste, it’s about us all. It’s a Friday meetup to celebrate, congratulate, commiserate and motivate.

Those of you who participate in Food Waste Friday can now grab a fancy-schmancy button to perk up your posts. If you copy and paste the following code into your Food Waste Friday post, this little graphic will appear.”

Simply Being Mum
Simply Being Mum

If you blog on WordPress, just make sure you’re in html mode when you copy and paste the code, or it won’t work

No Waste Tastes Great / Zero Waste Week 2014

Zero Waste Week 2014 kicked off on Monday.

I may have mentioned I am an ambassador ;)

Simply Being Mum’s Friday (Zero Waste Week) Fridge

BeFunky_ZWWFridge.jpg

If you read my Food Waste Friday posts, regularly, you will know my aim this week was to reduce plastic food packaging.

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Doing A Naked Shop / Zero Waste Week

Zero Waste Week 2014 kicked off yesterday.

I’m an ambassador don’tcha know ;) Thanks Rachelle for asking me!

My quest to reduce food waste is ongoing. I participate each week in Food Waste Friday. But I have good weeks and not so impressive weeks. Overall I do the best I can to meal plan, use what I have and stick to my No Waste Tastes Great plan.

For a while, however, there’s something that has been playing on my mind.

I purchase a lot of products wrapped in non-recyclable plastic.

When I found out that this years #ZeroWasteWeek theme was about ‘one more thing’ that we can do to reduce our waste output, I knew it was an opportunity to look once again at how I shop.

So I got naked.

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Food Waste Friday / That’s What I’m Talking About

Each week since March 2008, in order to motivate her to waste less food, Kristen The Frugal Girl, has posted a picture of any food that has gone bad over the last seven days. She found this embarrassing practice so helpful, to her, that she invited other bloggers to post their own photos, and Food Waste Friday was born.

FoodWasteFriday I started participating in October 2010 and have found, 3-years on, the amount of food I waste is minimal. Every Friday, as part of my No Waste Tastes Great routine, I account for all my potential food waste as well as confessing to any items that I failed to save.

Kristen kindly asked me to host Food Waste Friday, alternate weeks and her initial invite for everyone to join in is cordially extended here!
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Simply Being Mum’s Friday Fridge

FWFFridge

Now that’s what I am talking about.

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