Today we made miniature pumpkin pies. This month the theme we are using for books, songs, and activities has been apples and pumpkins. Fall is the natural time for this particular theme and it lends itself nicely to oodles of cooking activities. We've make apple pancakes, apple muffins, apple sauce and apple pies. We have also made pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, pumpkin custard, pumpkin apple soup and pumpkin pies. These little projects are always fun and messy and full of chances to get their hands right into things. They also provoked some funnies.
When we made the apple muffins, which was our first apple cooking activity I gave the girls peeled apple slices and small cutting boards (which are shaped like little apples, how cute is that) and a plastic knife and let them cut the apples up into teeny tiny bits. After working away at this for a while Katie asked me what the apples were for and I reminded her that we were making apple muffins. She just stared at me for a bit and then resumed cutting her apples. I realized she was a bit confused but just let it go. When I returned to the table with some other ingredients I noticed she had started taking her piles of apple bits and started filling the mini muffin tins with them. No wonder she thought it a bit odd, she must have been trying to figure out how the apples morphed themselves into muffins.
When I cook with the kids I make sure to wash their hands first and watch them carefully to see if they need to rewash hands at any point during the cooking activity. So they know to keep their hands out of their noses and ears while we cook or if their hands are dirty not to touch the food stuff. When the pumpkin muffins came out of the oven and put on the counter to cool, the girls came over and climbed on stools to admire them. I reminded them not to touch them. They stood there practically drooling over their handiwork. I turned to put away the oven mitts and when I turned back, I found Katie licking the top of one of the muffins. I had to tell her there is NO LICKING FOOD till I say so. Some of the rules we have to come up with, I'm telling you. So every subsequent cooking project Katie reminds us all that we can't lick the food.
I'm sure if you're Martha Stewert, when you make pumpkin pie you'd go out to the field you grew your pumpkin in, cut it up and cook and puree it all yourself. I just buy the cans of pumpkin puree, Martha I ain't. As we got ready to make our pumpkin pies today I was putting all the ingredients on the table and talking to the girls about what we were making. Katie looked over all the ingredients and asked me "Where's the pumpkin Mumma?" I picked up the can of pumpkin puree and said "right here." She gave me a disbelieving look and said "how'd they fit the pumpkins in there. must be small pumpkins." I laughed and told her yes indeed they were small pumpkins, because we were making very small pumpkin pies.
Funny little girl. : )