Now that we're finally into the rhythm of doing something different on Fridays, we've started having a Baking Day one Friday a month. One of the arguments for mass schooling is that children need team sports to learn how to work together. I figure my children can learn how to work together in the kitchen just as well. For one day a month we put the lesson books down and get cooking lessons instead.
I've tried this before a couple of times in the past few months, and I think I've got the pattern worked out. The day before I wrote down the recipes and the ingredients we would be using and did what I could do beforehand. This morning we had breakfast, cleaned up and fed the dogs, washed hands really well and started to work.
First I cut up and steeped the dried apricots for our quick bread. Brighteyes and Sunshine made ham salad spread while I fixed up a pot roast in the crock pot. I had boiled the eggs last night. They peeled them (a major undertaking), smooshed them, and put them in the bowl. I opened the can of ham, Sunshine spooned the meat into the bowl while Brighteyes added the condiments. Then they mixed it up good and set it in the regrigerator. While they did all that, I had time to chop up half a crock pot full of vegetables and plunk the roast, seasonings, and tomatoes on top.
We cleaned up from the cooking and got ready to bake. We baked a double recipe of apricot-pecan bread. The girls were in charge of picking out the pans and greasing them while I got everything measured out and mixed up. We used muffin tins, which I find do better with quick breads than they do with either muffins or cupcakes. Then we cleaned up again and it was time for lunch. The girls got out the bread, cheese and spread and made up the sandwiches, with me helping spread. They were so proud of themselves! We got through before noon and nobody was tired, although by nighttime I felt wiped out. All in all a highly successful experiment.
The mail brought us Disney's latest round of Studio Ghibli releases: the re-dubbed My Neighbor Totoro, Whispers of the Heart, and Howl's Moving Castle. We watched Totoro tonight. We're going to hold off on Howl's Moving Castle until we read the book, which we started tonight, so the movie will be less scary. But I'm going to try to sneak up front and watch it tonight after the girls go to sleep. I'm so excited to finally get to see it!