Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Kid Cooks Nerdy Nummies

Hallelujah, because Syd loves to cook!

Syd's an adventurous cook who loves to try ambitious new recipes, and even though she suffers from perfectionism in her schoolwork and many other pursuits, she happily has a much higher tolerance for failure in the kitchen. She likes to invent her own recipes and see how they turn out, she likes to cook from a recipe book, and she very, very, VERY much likes to decorate her sweet creations with frosting and candy.

I was a little worried when Syd chose, for her Project of the Week last week, to make a couple of the recipes from Nerdy Nummies, a copy of which we have checked out from our public library. The recipes look very adorable, but every single one includes a lot of those decorative fiddly details that I just have no patience with.

Fortunately, Syd has all the patience for decorative fiddly details!

Here she is making the manna and health potions, substituting Kool-aid (I know, I know...) for the raspberry and blueberry syrup that the recipe calls for:

She poured the Kool-aid into little bottles, just as the recipe shows, and even made little labels for them, but the recipe also calls for half-and-half or cream or something to be poured on top, and that step just flat-out doesn't work when you're using Kool-aid instead of syrup and soda--the dairy sort of congealed into a disturbing, blobby mess at the bottom.

Oh, well. We just drank the Kool-aid!

The robot brownie pops, on the other hand, turned out SUPER cute. We had a lot of trouble with the candy melts, as they never did melt enough to dip the brownie pops in as the recipe shows (and Syd actually scorched a batch trying to get them melty enough), but once I just took a knife and frosted each one for her with the candy melts, gritting my teeth because she also didn't put the sticks in far enough and they wanted to fall apart from the weight of the frosting, then Syd was able to do what, for her, was the whole point of the activity:

Making robots!!!

Did they not turn out adorable?!? And they actually weren't hard to make, just fiddly, and I definitely need to do some more research on candy melts that are actually dippable.

Syd's Project of the Week this week is to bake another cake and decorate it, likely with even more candy. This is clearly her area of interest right now, so I'm also researching this week more ways to engage and support her. If you've got tips for hackschooling cake decorating or recommendations for quality kid-friendly baking and decorating supplies, please let me know!

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