Bring Kids Into The Kitchen And Take the Stress Out of Thanksgiving Cooking
I hope everyone is ready for a happy and blessed Thanksgiving. I know the holidays can be stressful. It can be especially hard with young children. Between being bored and being overwhelmed, kids are an added stress, but here are 3 easy ways to make the little people in your life part of the fun and take some of the stress off your shoulders. All these activities are perfect for kids as young as 2, but older children will have fun too. Even adults get excited at the magic of making butter with marbles.
(1) Marble Whipped Cream
What would pumpkin pie be without whipped cream? What if I told you that making it was as easy as pie? All you need is heavy whipping cream, a few marbles, a large airtight container with a secure lid, and a kid with lots of energy!
I use twist top, plastic food storage containers. Plastic, because if they drop, they won’t break. The more room for air in the container, the faster the whipped cream will come together.
Here’s how it works:
Add heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla to container. Drop in clean glass marbles (at least 4 or 5). Secure lid. For added safety you can put it in a plastic bag or wrap with plastic wrap. Hand to small child and tell them to shake, rattle, and roll. Have Alexa put on some holiday music and keep shaking. When you can’t hear the marbles anymore, stop and check. You should have soft peaks and the perfect whipped cream for your holiday pie.
(2) Marble Butter
Forgot to pay attention to the marbles? Not sure how long ago they stopped making noise? Does it look lumpy and yellow? Not to worry! Just keep shaking and you’ll get rich, creamy butter for rolls. It will sound like nothing is happening but tell your kiddo to keep shaking! Eventually you’ll start to hear liquid sloshing around again. At this point you can’t really over shake. Keep shaking until your child is tired or ready to move on to another activity. When you open it, you should see yellow butter in white liquid, this is buttermilk. Pour into a strainer over a bowl and let drain for at least 10 minutes to drain completely. You can leave the butter as is or add salt. It’s also perfect for making compound butter for cooking.
The buttermilk is perfect for making salad dressing or drop biscuits. I love using it for pancakes the next morning.
People often think that because it’s called “butter” milk, it’s high in fat. In fact, buttermilk is virtually fat free, as you can see now that you’ve made butter. Once all of the butter fats have separated out, you are left with tangy buttermilk. The acidity (bc the fat is removed) reacts better with leveners like baking soda and baking powder to make extra fluffy baked goods.
(3) Fruit Salad
Kids love cutting up fruit. Plastic knives are the perfect chef’s tool for little hands. A bowl of fresh strawberries, bananas, and apple slices can keep kids entertained for a long time. Peeling Mandarin oranges are another great addition. Older children can help with cutting hard fruit like apples and pears. Cut a pomegranate in half and place upside down in a bowl. Give your child a wooden spoon and let them whack away to remove the seeds.
Instead of kicking kids out of the kitchen, bring them into the fun and put them to work. Not only will you keep them entertained, you’ll make them feel important and a part of the process. You might even get them to try something new at this year’s feast. So, thank them when they finish and be grateful you had a little extra help.
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