Category: Cooking with kids

10 things to do with tweens during vacations

10 things to do with tweens during vacations

 

With the first excitement of vacations wearing off I find the children flitting between the pool and their tabs. It’s as if they have nothing else to do. The moment I try to restrict their screen time they come up with “What shall we do?” – the question that is the dread of all mums. If you’re a mum in the same boat as I, here’s a list to help you out.

1. Master a recipe 
Learn to make at least one dish completely on your own – a salad, a raita, french toast, no bake cookies, cake in a mug. If you find that you enjoy cooking you could work on making your own recipe book. That reminds me to get N to work on hers. She started one during the exams and never got back to it.

This Marie biscuit cake is one of the easiest ever.

2. Read books
Duh! Obviously. Most of you would be reading books, a few at least. How about trying out a short review after you’ve read it? That way you can keep a record of all the books you read and what you thought of them.

3. Make a summer holiday diary
You could write about
Things you did: Played scrabble with cousins, Made french toast, Made friends with your aunt’s pug (N is dead scared of dogs and this last one is high on her list).
Places you visited: A relative’s place, Historical monuments, the Science centre
Foods you ate: Shared mangoes with grandpa, Pain puri at the roadside stall, Kulfi  and falooda, a new flavour of ice-cream.

4. Make a family news collage
How about turning a journalist this summer? Collect ‘news’ about family members. A cousin who graduated from high school, an aunt who got a promotion, a relative who went on a holiday, your achievement in school, a dance you performed or a skill you picked up – all of that is news. If you have pictures that’s like the icing on the cake. If not, no problem. Make small write-ups on pieces of paper and stick them onto a chart paper like a collage. We made one for our apartment complex. We typed out the news items and cut them out but hand written is good too.

4. Learn a funny poem or maybe two
They’re fun to recite. Here’s one to get you started.

5. Plant a plant and learn how to take care of it
Does it need a special kind of soil? How much and how often should you water it? Google it or get an adult to help if you don’t have access to the Internet. Don’t worry if you don’t have a green thumb. I have a black one too. Go for the easy ones first. You could simply begin with a money plant in a glass or a bottle. They almost never die on you.

6. Learn the names and know how to recognise at least five new flowers/trees that you see around you
Watch out for the regulars. Can you tell a Neem tree from an Ashoka tree? Or a Banyan from a Peepal? You couldn’t possibly miss the Gulmohur or the tall Eucalyptus. Try smelling a eucalyptus leaf. Does it seem familiar?

7. Take responsibility for one household chore and make sure you do it every single day
You could try folding your sheet, making your bed, folding dried clothes, watering plants, wiping the table after lunch/dinner. Helps to have mum on your side since you’re home all day 🙂 and she’s the one in charge of doing up the cakes and the shakes.

8. Talk to your parents/grandparents and ask them how they spent their summer vacations
Can you try any of those things? How about writing out a small piece comparing their vacations and yours?

9. Make handmade gifts for friends for school reopening day.
You could try photo frames or pen holders. I loved these easy pencil toppers made from duct tape at Atop Serenity Hill. Take a look.

 

10. Make your own school labels
Even if you’re not very crafty you could have a go. Cut out plain white paper labels and border them with Washi tape. That shouldn’t be too tough. Oh and before you do this, don’t forget to ensure it is allowed in your school.

I’ll be trying out all of these with the twins over the next month and sharing what we did. So watch out for detailed ‘How Tos’. I’d love it if you shared yours too.

 

Picture credits: Pixabay and Shutterstock

 

A tween in my kitchen

A tween in my kitchen

H burnt his fingers recently while cooking, quite literally. As he was scraping the egg off the pan, he caught it with his hand to steady it, forgetting how hot it would be. We did the whole cold water-ice routine. Once the burning sensation subsided he was fine but for a blister on his thumb and index finger.
I’ve mentioned this before, H loves to potter around in the kitchen. However, as he’s growing up he’s beginning to brand a lot of things he once enjoyed ‘girly’, and has started staying away from them. I wrote about it at Parentous here when I talked about peer pressure and how it can change the kids.
He gave up playing with his kitchen set ages ago and doesn’t seem inclined to hang out with the pots and pans. When his friends are around he adopts this macho air and pretends to be all grown up which I find kind of cute, though he’d never forgive me if he heard me say so.

After his adventure in the kitchen I was curious to know what he’d tell his friends about his hurt fingers, whether he’d admit to being in the kitchen at all.

When they dropped by later in the day there he was brandishing his thumb, showing off his blister like some kind of a trophy. And he was saying, with absolute pretend nonchalance, “This is nothing I just burnt my fingers while I was helping my mother in the kitchen.”
The awed looks on his friend’s faces made me let out a sigh of relief. I can say with some confidence that along with cricket and computer games cooking remains macho in the tween world.
These kitchen adventures are all towards the fulfilment of one single dream of mine – that there’ll come a day when the kids will wake up on their own, make a healthy breakfast for themsleves, dress up and go to school while I’ll laze in bed. What?? One can dream.

Brownies!

Brownies!


Sometime back I’d promised I’d find time each weekend to take up one craft activity with Naisha and try one recipe with Hrit. However I could keep my word only to Naisha. We did some great fun stuff. When it was Hrit’s turn either we ran out of time or I couldn’t find a suitable recipe.. easy yet appealing. And so I fobbed off the poor guy with stuff like peeling boiled eggs and potatoes (basics are very important, I told him) …

 … or post cooking washing (A good chef must learn to clear up).

Yes mums can be pretty crafty.

Sweetheart that he is, he hung around helping me with my chores satisfied if I let him ‘smell the atta’ or gave the names of the spices in the spice box.

Finally this weekend things came together and we decided to try this recipe from cookingandme.com. Chef Hrit took centre stage assisted by Naisha.

First, the ingredients…
Marie biscuits — 20-25
Cocoa powder — 3 tbsp
Roasted nut of choice, we managed walnuts — 1/4 cup
Sugar — 2 tsp
Condensed milk (Milkmaid) — 1/2 of a 400gm tin

Here’s how it goes…

Crush the Marie biscuits.. don’t worry if it isn’t too fine a powder

Add the cocoa powder

Add the sugar and Milkmade and mix. This needs some strength and I had to lend a hand

At which point.. the mixture becomes too yummy to not be tasted..

Add the nuts

Butter a bowl/tray

Spread out the mixture on the tray

Pat it evenly and put it in the freezer.

Call in the assistant to clear up

We left it overnight and the result was great. The brownies in the original recipe
look yummier but ours weren’t bad

For a more accurate account do hop over to the original recipe .

Hrit’s parting line (accompanied with a huge sigh): I wish I were a mama then I could get to cook all kinds of things.

Burritos, Indian style

Burritos, Indian style

I seem to be doing more and more food posts but somehow each time I take exercise seriously.. I spend a lot of time thinking of food.
However, this one’s for the kids. It was part of Hrit Naisha’s ‘holiday homework’. Yes that’s the kind of stuff they get to do. Didn’t I tell you their school’s lots of fun?  We’ve made it a number of times since then and they love it.. specially the fact that they do much of it on their own.

So pesh hai Burritos, Indian style.

Take some sauteed cabbage, grated cucumber and carrots and mix them together in a bowl. Add salt, a wee bit of pepper and a generous amount of grated cheese.
Oh yes keep an apron handy. If your child is a thorough professional like my daughter, he/she might refuse to work in the kitchen without one.
Spread the mixture onto a ‘tortilla’ (roti)
Roll it up
..and it’s done.