Teachers in a day school in Scottsdale often tried to find projects for their preschool students to do with their hands, to keep them busy.
According to Valerie Acklin, who was one of those teachers before moving to Payson, they came up with the idea of teaching the children to cook from scratch: measuring out the ingredients, putting them into a mixing bowl and then cooking them.
The teachers came up with a cookbook containing recipes that the youngsters could easily follow and make snacks and simple lunches which they then ate.
Valerie has given me that recipe book, and below you will find some of those recipes in case other teachers, or mothers are looking for something to keep young children busy. Invite your child to come into the kitchen with you and mix up a batch of cookies which you can help them with, especially the baking part.
I asked Valerie who cleaned up the mess that must surely have been made as the kids measured flour or cracked eggs. Her answer was, "Guess who?" A small price to pay for an answer to a child's plea for something to do, just when you are the busiest in the kitchen.
The preface of the cookbook gives drawings of the tools that will be used: pots and pans, cutting tools and mixing bowls and equipment. Then a page is devoted to phrases and words the children will encounter in recipes, such as combine, bake, broil, cream, cut in, dice, etc.
2 packages (3 ounce) flavored gelatin
2 Tablespoons water
Small amount of butter
1. If double batch is made with different flavored gelatin, remaining gelatin can be used to decorate other colored lollipops.
2. Lollipops can be decorated with Lifesavers, hard candies, etc., to become clowns, doll faces, or other creatures.
2 Tablespoons water
2 packages (3 ounce) gelatin, (any flavor)
Small amount margarine
Wooden coffee stirrers
Butter two cookie sheets, place six sticks evenly spaced, on each sheet. In small, heavy saucepan, combine gelatin and water. Heat over VERY LOW heat, stirring until mixture melts. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and, working quickly, drop mixture by Tablespoonfuls on top of each stick on sheet. Cool until set.
1 large, very clean stone
4 cups water
3 large carrots
1 can tomatoes
1 can corn
1 can peas
2 or 3 stalks of celery
4 teaspoons beef bouillon
Dash of salt
Heat water in a large pot. Add the stone. Peel and cut up the carrots, potatoes, onions and celery. Boil these ingredients until soft. Add tomatoes, corn, peas and bouillon. Add salt and boil 10 minutes. Remove the stone. Serve with crackers. ("Stone Soup" is a popular folk tale)
No Bake Cookies
2 cups sugar
1 cube butter
3 Tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups oatmeal
1 teaspoon vanilla
Blend sugar and cocoa. Add butter and milk. Boil for two minutes. Add peanut butter, oatmeal and vanilla. Stir. Drop from a teaspoon onto waxed paper. Let cool.
2 slices dark bread
1 Tablespoon honey
1 Tablespoon peanut butter
1 red cherry
2 large pretzels
1. Ideal refreshments for a Christmas Tea for parents because students can assemble sandwiches.
2. Cut dark bread into triangle shapes. Mix honey and peanut butter together. Spread on one slice of bread and top with other triangle. Create reindeer by adding raisins for eyes, drained red cherry for nose, pretzels for antlers, and a pimento slice for mouth.
2 cups grated mild cheese
2 cups plain flour, sifted
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups chopped nuts (or less)
2 sticks margarine (or butter)
Implements: fork, toaster oven, cheese grater, metric cups and spoons, bowls, fork and spoon, cookie sheet, waxed paper.
1. Grate the cheese.
2. Measure the flour and salt and sift them together.
3. Cream the cheese and margarine with the mixer
4. Add the flour and salt to the creamed mixture.
5. Knead it well on wax paper.
6. Add the nuts and knead some more.
7. Make small balls.
8. Put them on the cookie sheet and press them flat with the fork.
9. Bake at 350 degrees F. Until very light brown.
10. Cool and eat!
1. Peel hard-boiled egg.
2. Cut egg in half.
3. Remove yolk and mix with mayonnaise, salt and pepper.
4. Cut 2 paper triangles and tape them to toothpicks.
5. Put yolk mixture and sails into egg halves.
6. Sail it into your mouth!
(Makes 2 boats)