Actually, even a seven-year-old can make it.
Last week, Maggie came up to the computer as I was doing a little surfing around, looking for some recipes to insert into our dinner rotation. I was looking at a favorite source, the Animal, Vegetable, Miracle recipe page. While I was checking out the sweet potato quesadillas, something else entirely caught Maggie’s eye: “Holiday Corn Pudding a Nine-Year-Old Can Make.” Never one to shirk from a challenge, Maggie thought that probably even a seven-year-old like herself was up to the task. So we printed out the recipe and made plans to include it in the week’s meals.
If I’m lucky–and the stars align–around about dinner-making time, the girls are fully involved in an elaborate imaginative game. This was the case when the time arrived to make the corn pudding, so I thought I might be on my own. But when I told Maggie that it was time to make dinner, she seamlessly shifted the game to fit the task at hand. Suddenly we were a family in colonial times, and she was the big sister in charge of making dinner AND taking care of her little sister. Somehow she bounced back and forth between finding things for Anna to do and putting together the pudding. By her side, I was making the aformentioned quesadillas and wondering at this flurry of activity that I could never have coordinated myself.
We tweaked the recipe a little, using fresh parsley and cilantro instead of the dried herbs, and using cheddar cheese instead of gouda.
Maggie wouldn’t let any of us help, doing everything from preheating the oven to greasing the pan.
The product of her efforts was so delicious that we made it again last night, a double batch this time. The scenario was a little different–Maggie was chef, and I was her sous chef.
It’s really fun to watch the pleasure that Maggie gets from following a project through from start to finish, completing each step along the way herself. It seems that this is another important thing to remember as we homeschool; Maggie needs opportunities to work independently and get the satisfaction that comes with her accomplishments.
Best of all, we get to enjoy the fruits of her labors. Steve had corn pudding for a bedtime snack last night.