The fondest memories I have of my childhood were ones spent in the kitchen. Time spent baking with my mom and siblings were some of the best times we spent together as a family. I specify baking and not cooking because cooking was about getting meal on the table. Baking was something else entirely. We baked things because we wanted to, because it was fun, and, of course, because they tasted good.
Our society now tends to view baked goods as health hazards rather than as a treat to be enjoyed and savored. Now don’t get me wrong, I believe that everything should be in moderation. But I question a view that believes foods with unnatural ingredients in them that cannot be found in nature are better for you than a simple baked treat. Why can we not have both great baked treats that are enjoyed in moderation and a healthy lifestyle? The two are not incompatible.
But I digress. This article is about family baking. I’ve instituted a new tradition in our house that has gone a long way towards sharing quality time with my daughter. Every other week we bake something together out of the cookbooks that I got from my grandmother. So while I am sharing quality time with my daughter, I am also honoring these treasures from my grandmother. It gives me a chance to teach my daughter about important concepts like math (measuring), reading and following instructions, to help remind her of the importance of family (great-grandma’s recipes), and teaching her an important life skill. And because it is not at the frenzied pace of meal-making where I am rushing just to get it into the oven, I can really enjoy that time with her.
Consider starting this tradition in your own family. I would not trade those baking moments with my daughter for anything. They have helped to strengthen my bond with her and given me real quality time with her. Something all too rare in our ever-increasingly fast-paced world.
Now we do not keep everything that we make, I often take much of it into my work with me to share with others or I have my husband take it into his work. Because after all, the best baking treats are those that are shared.
Jill Seader enjoys baking treats with her family and sharing those baking recipes on her website, http://www.YourBakingStory.com Enjoy the recipes on the site and add one of your own. Happy Baking!