Cooking is an act of love, a gift, a way of sharing with others the little secrets – ‘piccoli segreti’ – that are simmering on the burners. – Sophia Loren
N and A are deeply involved in both the cooking and helping curriculums. When I was chatting with our Atelierista about my difficulty scaffolding so many beginning curricular threads, she suggested finding ways to combine them. For instance, the transportation group made tickets out of wood, and while they were working, others who are interested in photography took photos of the experience. This inspired our next step in the cooking curriculum: cooking for each other. This combines the ‘helping’ curriculum and the cooking curriculum.
Last week I had emailed families asking for family recipes. AU’s family sent in ‘pan con palta’. (Bread with avocado). This seemed like a great first recipe for us to try. I introduced the recipe to A and N before we set off for Whole Foods.
Cooking with kids is not just about ingredients, recipes, and cooking. It’s about harnessing imagination, empowerment, and creativity. – Guy Fieri
On the way to Whole Foods, A and N chattered out loud the plan, while beaming with excitement.
A: We are going to Whole Foods. Whole foods, whole foods, whole foods.
N: For, AU.
A: We need Lemon. And we need Avocado. And we need…
A: Yeah, Avocado.
Me: And bread!
A + N: Bread!
A: We surprise AU. I went to Whole Foods with my Mommy to get a surprise cake for my Daddy and now I go to Whole Foods to get a surprise for AU.
N: Aurora will be happy.
A: Oh she will be happy.
We stopped to climb a sculpture and collect some berries before continuing to our destination.
They chose the avocados, lemons, and basil then I offered a few bread choices. N chose Sourdough bread. They worked together to carry the basket, having to change their approach a few times.
A: I want to hold my handle.
N: Here it is.
A: Oh, thank you N.
A walks away.
N: I can carry by myself.
When we had all of our ingredients, they helped put the ingredients on the conveyor belt, saying each ingredient out loud as they did so. The cashier said, “Oh you are both being so helpful! Thank you so much!” A turned to N and said through a giggle, “Oh we are being so helpful the man said.”
A single act of kindness throws roots in all directions and the roots spring up and make new trees. – Amelia Earhart
On the walk home and when we got to the classroom I heard A and N say many times, “For AU.” or “We surprise AU.” What I think makes this experience so special is it is showing we can do kind things for one another for no reason at all. It isn’t a holiday, it isn’t a birthday. We are making AU her family recipe just because it is a nice thing to do.
I wonder if the children will ask to create other recipes for each other, after having had this experience. I wonder if this will broaden to other ways to do nice things for each other, just because we can.
Whatever joy there is in the world arises from wishing for others’ happiness. – Shantideva