Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Project Lunch: Misión Imposible

Kiddie cooking class.... SUCCESS! And by success, I mean it's over! Little Z started off cranky and only got worse as she saw more and more kids playing with her toys. She wanted me to hold her the whole time. She was so upset she had a hard time finding words, which made her fussier, since I didn't know what she wanted, and many times could not accommodate. ("No, honey. We can't go outside right now. We need to cook with the kids." "I don't WANNA TOOK! NO KAKAMOLEY! No Kiss-ideas!")

I had fun, even though I didn't really have a plan, and the kids had so much fun playing with Z's toys and the ball pit. (We got an inflatable pool and 3 bags of ball pit balls from Toys R Us, and tossed in all her beach balls and random other lightweight balls.) Since I was hoping it would be popular, and I knew 6-8 kids was probably the most I could cram into my kitchen (including my own kiddo,) I decided to do sessions in 2 different time slots. I decided on 10am and 12pm, so that hopefully we could get Z down for her 1pm nap only a LITTLE late! :) Everyone was so nice. In my first group, one of the MOMS had read my Facebook post about forgetting to get juice and she brought some for me! Thanks NT! I was very nervous, as this was the first time anyone but RB had seen the inside of my house, and I was ashamed at the crustiness when she had visited last to drop off a surprise dinner on the day of my minor surgery. I am better at yardwork than housework... and I'm not really one for dirt and bugs and wild animals!

So. My first group had 7 kidlets, including mine, ages 2 to... 5? Maybe 6. (Not counting the infants.) 2 of them decided they'd rather play than cook. One showed his mom and Grandma (who came too) that maybe cooking is something he might like to try more of. He was the only one who stayed for the whole enchilada, as it were! NT's 2 kids, the oldest of the guacamole participants, liked making the guac and quesadillas, but then lost interest during the actual cooking process. Little D was a trooper, and waited for his quesadilla, and enjoyed dipping it in ketchup 'salsa.' Mine was a clingy, whiny, bawling monster. Oh well. I will gladly take a cranky day or two for all the wonderful, can-take-her-to-restaurants days I've had thus far! 1 of the 2 who weren't interested in guacamole came back for the cheese grating. I can't remember if anyone but the 2 Little D's ate any of their quesadillas though.

Round 2 began arriving, and Z was no closer to being happy about sharing her doll stroller, 'Sleeping Dora' doll or anything else, so I tossed her downstairs with Uncle See-See in the TV room. Ahhh. This crowd was all ages 3-6, with only 1 very old 2-year-old, so there was much more participation. Luckily, they were mostly able to do it all themselves, so we could cram all 7 of them into the kitchen. The first group didn't know they weren't supposed to like avocados yet, so they all tried it, but this group was more set in their picky preschooler ways! We cajoled both dissenters by asking them to be like real chefs and make it for someone else, like mommy or daddy. By the end, only 1 person didn't like her guacamole, and she hadn't even been one of the ones to refuse to make it! These kids had a blast grating the cheese, and since they were older and better able to do it on their own, it took a hundred times longer. I was dissappointed with the quesadillas, as they weren't browning or crisping on the edges, and was warned I would have to watch them closely for just a few minutes. They were safe being totally forgotten. Turns out I was supposed to set BOTH dials on 'Broil.' Doh! I was on 250 degrees and Broil. Ah well. At least no one had 'blackened-style' queso!
While I'm sure it was annoying for the moms to have their kids crying and whining that they didn't want to leave, I was pleased that at least my TOYS were fun, if nothing else! And no one found a mystery pile left by a kitty!

I WAAAAYYY overestimated the amount of food to have for the moms, and snacks for the kiddos. I have loads of berries left over (I had 2lbs sliced strawberries, and roughly 6oz each of blue-rasp-blackberries. Plus the 30 more ounces I had as extras that never even went out on the table!) No one touched the hummus trio or dipping bread. They did eat all the sweet potato chips I had in the bowl, but no one refilled from the bag next to it. I didn't leave out my meat or cheese flowers and butterflies for the first group, but the 2nd group ate all the ones I put out, still leaving me with loads. I'm glad I splurged on the blue tortilla chips. They were a novelty and a big hit with the kids. I didn't end up putting out the salsa, and I may have been the only one picking at the veggie tray. Well. I know what WE'LL be eating the next few days!

I need to find a recipe for cooking up the rest of this kiddie-chef-fingered cheese block too! (Or "Cheese of 1000 hands.")

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