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Kid Eats

My daughter has taking up my baking bug. On the whole, most of the goods she turns out are pretty good. Especially her snickerdoodles. But, there’s a problem with consistency. The chocolate chip cookies she makes one day might turn out perfect, the next time we get hockey pucks (sorry kiddo)

The problem is that she comes to baking the same way I did when I started baking at her age. Open cookbook. Pick a recipe. Check on and grab ingredients. Start reading recipe and follow the instructions.

There are several problems with this method of baking. Not the least of which is producing an inconsistent product each time you bake. But how do you teach your child the foundations of good baking?

I’m a geek by trade. After I bake I tend to critique the outcome. If it’s not “just right” I start looking at where I failed. What did I do wrong, and where? I try to notate my cookbooks for zingers and gotchas. I like to pencil in thots such as tricks I’ve learned that might make something work better as well or even ideas to try out the next time.

I tried throwing Alton Brown’s “I’m Just Here for More Food” at her (no, not literally). That book is the quintessential textbook for the beginning baker. And I do mean “textbook”. It’s not the most friendly recipe book, but, if you want to understand the hows and whys of baking, this is my go-to book. It’s chock full of science and  technique and all around food geekery.  The problem is, most of the information is aimed at the adult baker.

I’m all for cooking and baking with your kids. But a teenager does not need quite the same amount of supervision (if any at all). Baking allows for self-expression and provides some autonomy for them. But, how do you teach the foundational skills for producing consistent baked goods when they “just want to bake” and don’t want to get into all that “geek” stuff?

As mentioned above, I LOVE Alton Brown’s book, “I’m Just Here for More Food” as well as his TV show on the Food Network, “Good Eats”. I’m also a big fan of Shirley Corriher’s “Cookwise” and “Bakewise” books, as well as Harold McGee’s “On Food and Cooking” and Baking Illustrated. Tons of science and knowledge for the baker.

So, my thought is to create a brand-new blog dedicated to boiling down all that knowledge to the teen level. Start out by explaining the fundamentals of the KITCHEN, PANTRY, UTENSIL DRAWER and BOOKSHELF (yup, see, planning tags already). While I haven’t discussed it with her, yet, I’d love to bring my daughter on board as well. Like, me, she loves to write. Getting her perspective would be great.

I haven’t quite decided on a format. Perhaps me writing and her asking questions where she might not understand an analogy or explanation? A work in progress? I just don’t know. And, I’m not even sure if it’s worth it. Would anyone be interested in something like this?

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Categories: Good Eats Tags: ,
  1. Brett Gorley
    June 22, 2009 at 3:14 am

    Anyone interested in a food blog? Oh, heck yeah! Especially from you!

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