Helping Hands

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“Helping Hands,” Ensign, Jan. 1981, 66

Helping Hands

When little children want to help with the cooking, is the result fallen cakes, gooey disasters, and gaily floured walls? If so, you are not alone. Yet there is a way to start little ones out in cooking—all it takes is patience, love, and knowing when to help.

When your youngsters ask if they can help, let them start by measuring some of the ingredients. A very small child can fill a cup with sugar or flour, measure baking powder or salt, and find the proper utensils to use. Explain a recipe in the simplest terms, and instruct as you help. Choose a time when you won’t be hurried. Select a recipe that is simple and will still be edible even if the young cook makes a few mistakes. Be lavish with your praise of the finished product, and serve it for family home evening.

Through the years I’ve collected recipes I’ve used in teaching my own three daughters how to cook and now use to teach my grandchildren when I have the opportunity. The recipes that follow may help you start your own collection of recipes for use when youngsters want to know if they can make something.—Aney B. Chatterton, Soda Springs, Idaho

Chocolate Turtles

2 squares unsweetened chocolate

1/3 cup butter or margarine

2 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

Melt the butter and chocolate in a pan over low heat or in a double boiler. Cool. Beat eggs with sugar. Add flour, baking powder, and vanilla. Stir well. Blend in the chocolate mixture.

Spray a waffle iron with no-stick spray and heat to medium heat. Drop a teaspoonful of dough in the middle of each section of the waffle iron. Cover, and bake from forty seconds to one minute, or until the cookies lift out easily. Watch closely. These can be frosted with a chocolate butter frosting, applied by the child with a popsicle stick. Better hide these cookies until dessert time!

Caution: This is one time mother needs to watch and help. A burned hand can be painful as well as discouraging to the child.

Shake ’em Up Orange Bars

2 eggs

1/2 cup cooking oil

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup orange juice

1 cup flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Grease an 8″ by 8″ cake pan, and preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Break the eggs into a clean quart jar. Cover tightly and shake ten to twenty times. Add the oil, sugar, and juice and shake twenty to thirty times. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together, and spoon this mixture into the jar. Cover, and shake forty times. Pour the batter into the pan, spread evenly, and bake about twenty minutes. Frost with butter frosting, and decorate if desired.

Caution: Use an unbreakable jar if you can. Children sometimes get carried away with the shaking.

Crazy Crust Pizza

1 lb. lean hamburger

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

dash of pepper

2 eggs

2/3 cup milk

mushrooms, if desired

cheeses, as desired

1 small can tomato sauce (or catsup)

1 cup pizza or spaghetti sauce

Brown the hamburger and onions, drain off the fat, and set aside. Combine the flour, salt, pepper, eggs, and milk and mix until smooth. Pour this batter into a greased 12-inch pizza pan and spread to cover the bottom. Top with meat, onions, mushrooms, and cheese.

Here you can vary the recipe a little and add whatever appeals to your family. Sausage may be substituted for hamburger, and other meats, such as pepperoni, can be added.

When your topping is complete, mix the pizza sauce with tomato sauce and drizzle it over the topping. Cover with grated cheeses of your choice and bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes, or until crust is brown.

Photography by Marilyn L. Erd