I love the idea of knowing exactly where our food comes from and what goes into it. I also love using the kitchen as a teachable experience, especially since M loves cooking with me lately. This week, we decided to make applesauce. We are fortunate enough to live in an area with an abundance of farms for us to frequent, so that exactly what we did. We headed to the apple orchard down the block and picked a huge bag of delicious Pink Lady apples (We tend to use whatever apples are being picked that week when we bake, no preferences here!). I think M ate one apple for every one she put in the bag.
The next day, I peeled and cored our apples while M cut the big slices into small pieces for our applesauce. We have been letting her use a knife here and there to get comfortable with it and I think it makes her feel like a real big kid! I was impressed that not only was she able to cut the apples no problem, but she made it through all of them without wanting help! As she cut, she reminded me these were the apples that we had picked from the farm so I could see her connecting it all in her head.
After we put all the cut up apples in a big pot and added some water and cinnamon, we let it cook as the wonderful smell of cinnamon apples filled the house. M isn’t a big fan of the noise from the blender, so she didn’t want to help puree the sauce. She did however want to eat a huge bowl of it!
One of the benefits of teaching our kids at home is the ability to use the world around us as a resource. While I still focus on the more traditional schoolwork, I try to use everyday life to teach her as much as possible. Doing things like cooking in the kitchen just seems like fun to her, but I have no doubt she is getting a lot out of the experience. Also, when she is involved in making something she is much more enthusiastic about eating it, which is an added benefit of having her help.