Independent Cooking

Yesterday was my daughter’s first birthday. My son asked what he could get her and I replied he could make her something. He thought for a long time, and finally announced he wanted to make the cake…wait for it…FROM SCRATCH! By himself.

Be still my heart. I am obsessed with cleanliness. If I’m honest, and I am, I have to admit I didn’t want my 9 year old boy anywhere near my kitchen unsupervised. However after years of homeschooling I have learned messiness sometimes inspires the best learning.

So I showed my son where all the cooking books where and offered to help look for a relatively easy cake for him to make. Over the years, I took time out to teach him basic cooking techniques because he was interested and I knew he would really enjoy accomplishing a dish and then sharing it with our family.

I had also learned that studies  show children benefit from this activity because they are spending quality time with parents and gaining self- confidence. And lets face it, knowing how to cook is a skill a child can use for the rest of  his life.

My son’s interest in the kitchen had waned in the last year, so I was a little worried he would have a hard time getting back into it. However, once he chose a cake recipe, he was off. He measured carefully and we discussed what could be used as an egg substitute since we don’t know if she has any sensitivity. This led to a discussion about what chemical reaction takes place because of an egg and so on. It felt like a bunch of homeschool lessons wrapped up in one very fun activity.

His sister loved her pale pink cake. As we served, he sagely commented next time he will be a little more generous with the food coloring.

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  1. Rachel,Thank you so much for your wfuredonl thoughts. They are a comfort to friends and family.I have taken the liberty of copying your post to her guestbook.Everyone: I am in the process of building a memorial site in Kirsten’s memory. Please visit and, if you choose, sign the

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