Posted in family life

time together: sensory baking

a cloudy rainy Sunday calls for baking and naps! So Rondel and I made some cardamom-spiced pear bread and wintry oatmeal cookies together while Limerick took a nap with Daddy. It is hard to make time to spend one-on-one with Rondel and this hour or so was really special for both of us.

I brought all the ingredients, utensils, and bowls down to the kitchen floor and together we poured, stirred, cracked eggs, and explored with all our senses! Rondel noticed the difference between how brown sugar and white sugar felt on his hands, and between how they poured out into the mixing bowl. (I measured the sugar out into bowls and let him dump them into the big bowl – my “little” bowls were probably too heavy, though, as he ended up dropping them into the butter.) He felt the difference between the fine powdery baking soda and the coarse grainy salt – and liked the feel of the baking soda so much that he put his whole hand in the box to feel more! He felt the cool smooth pool of vanilla and the cloudy soft pillow of flour. He felt the firm unbroken shell of the eggs, heard the crack as he hit them against the bowl, felt the sharp fragmented edges and the slippery egg white as he tried to pry them open from his little starter hole.

He tasted the oats, dry and chewy, texturally pleasant but rather bland; he tasted the walnuts, cold and crunchy from the freezer; he tasted the cranberries, tart and bright on the tongue; and he tasted the white chocolate chips and didn’t want to stop tasting them! He observed the funny folds and crevices of the walnuts, and used his imagination to see silly cars and trucks and animals in their fantastic shapes. He saw how the white flour disappeared and was absorbed into the dough as we stirred.

And what he didn’t do faded into the background, and we ignored it. Some other day he’ll want to feel the butter, help grease the bread pans, taste the creamy-grainy mix of butter and sugar, and lick the bowl with me. He can grow in his experiences in his own way, and at his own speed, and we can still have one of the best afternoons we’ve had together in a long time.

(I didn’t take any pictures because I didn’t want to step out of the moment with Rondel, so you’ll just have to imagine the cuteness and the mess! Sorry about that!)

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