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.
(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
Then we chopped the butter – Lesson 2 – how to safely use kitchen utensils:
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!
Water was added – Lesson 4 – Understanding volume and measurement of liquids:
Lesson 4 – Measurement of liquids/volume
The mixture was stirred to make a ball – 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!
Cutting out the dough – Lesson 7 – Spacial awareness – cutting to maximise the amount:
Lesson 7 – Maximising return!
Bottom of the pies were baked – Lesson 8 – How heat alters state (baking):
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?:
Then the pies were topped with more pastry – Lesson 9 – Reducing waste by using up all we had:
Lesson 9 – Reducing waste!
And voila we had pies. I removed from oven – the Final lesson – being oven aware!:
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.
I’m very proud of my budding pastry chef. Very proud.