Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Kids in the kitchen :: meringues

Both our kids love helping out in the kitchen.
They are ace mixers, pourers and measurers.
But they have come to the stage where they want to do more — in fact, do it all. By themselves. So I've handed over the pot holders and let them at it.
Wait! Put the phone down. Do not call DoCS. I am not going to completely turn my kitchen over to a five-year-old and just-turned-four-year-old. Although it quite often looks as if I have.
We have discovered that meringues are something kids can do pretty much solo (well with a mama hovering close by but not touching — much). It's great for encouraging independence and growing confidence in young children.
All you need are two egg whites and 100 grams of caster sugar.
And the only utensils they need are a large mixing bowl, electric mixer, lined oven tray, spoons and pot holders.
I usually have leftover egg whites and I freeze them in pairs for future use. Just thaw them and let them sit at room temp for about half an hour before use.
Preheat the oven to 100°C. Oh excuse me. Let your littles turn the dial to the 100 mark.
Next let your little hands whisk the egg whites with a hand held mixer until they form soft peaks.
Then they can measure the sugar out, add half to the egg whites and use the mixer again to get them thick enough to be able to turn the bowl upside down without anything falling out (our kids are always amazed by this but I do have to encourage them to keep mixing as they want to turn the bowl very early in the piece).
Next get them to fold the rest of the sugar in with a big metal spoon. I have shown them how to fold ingredients gently quite a few times and I was very impressed with their efforts (I have given this step a bit of help with our daughter a few times).
Then let them spoon blobs onto a lined tray using two teaspoons. Again I was most impressed with their technique. To get the little peaks you just need to swirl the tip of a spoon in the top of the blob — our son has become a master at this and likes to add the finish to each blob as our daughter plops it on the tray. Team work. Love it.
Then comes the "grown up" part they love. Putting the tray in the oven without mama. Just make sure they are gloved-up.
The meringues will take about two hours to set and then get a gloved-up little to retrieve them (the tray will really only be warm).
Then all that's left to do is eat them and well, like all kids ours are total experts at that part of the process.

PS :: It's school holidays in our little world (yay!) so I'll be a bit of a scarce blogger for the next couple of weeks. I will be back this Friday with another fantastic giveaway.

5 comments: said...

Just found your gorgeous blog via Twitter and have been trawling so many posts! Lovely stuff, I will be back!

SquiggleMum said...

Great to see you giving your kids some independence in the kitchen. I think mums all too often forget we are raising adults, not children! Enjoy your holidays with them. The blog (and your readers) will be here when you get back. ;)

m.e (Cathie) said...

what a great experience! your children would have loved that feeling of independence.
great hearing your experiences, enjoy your teeny break :)

Staki said...

The meringues are yummy it was fun. Anaya 6 years old.

mum space said...

Thanks girls.
Letting our kids be independent is so my WIP area, I'm not great at it so I'm always searching for ways to make it happen.
Anaya, so glad you had fun! Puffs of sugar are so yummy, arent' they?!

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