Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Baking on Holy Cross Day


Baking is a wonderful activity to share with your children. So what if you all get a little messy? You were going to have to clean up anyway, right? Besides, if your children are anything like mine, they are going to make a mess somewhere, somehow, no matter what you do. Why not contain the mess to the kitchen and channel those mischievous creative juices into something productive?

Baking time is prime teaching time.

How to level the flour
How to be cautious
The importance of following directions
Kitchen safety
Learning to use kitchen equipment
Chemical reactions

the list is practically endless. Get creative about finding learning opportunities in your daily activities.

Best of all, baking time provides the perfect opportunity to really talk with your children. While making Holy Cross cookies and a loaf of boulé marked with a cross, I had time to chat with Sophia about the finding of the True Cross.

We learned that St. Helen was an English princess, so we used currants in our cookies—a traditional British treat.

We practiced making the Sign of the Cross.

We thanked Jesus for His great sacrifice for us, and asked God to help us learn to carry the crosses in our own lives.

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“Will Daddy get a cookie?”

”Yes, when he gets home. After dinner tonight.”

“Does Daddy love Jesus?”

“Daddy loves Jesus very much.”

“I love Jesus. And Mary.”

“And cookies?”



  1. Bethany --- your blog makes me soooo hungry!!

    I've been meaning to ask you, did you learn all of your baking, canning, and other kitchen skills when you were little, or are you self-taught?

    I may have told you already (not that I think you should remember), but I'm expecting our second child in January and will be staying home full-time after that. I've got NO kitchen skills and am trying to muddle through right now. I'm not sure where to begin. :)

    God bless!

  2. Marianne- Congratulations on your pregnancy--and on coming home full-time! Double blessings!!

    I was raised by a mother who is an incredible cook and baker--who is the daughter of an incredible cook and baker. So, I grew up knowing the ins and outs of the kitchen. I read a cookbook the way musicians read sheet music; rather than hearing music in my head, though, I can taste what the finished product should be like, imagine the texture and flavors.

    I would LOVE to write a cookbook someday that really helps home cooks and bakers to develop those sorts of skills, since it seems the homes where they are passed on are fast dying out, and many women find themselves in the same position you are in.

    Until that day, all I can advise is: practice! Cooking is part science, part art. Educate yourself about the science (how do you braise meat; what happens when you use baking soda as opposed to baking powder to muffins and why?) and experiment creatively with spices and other ingredients. You'll make plenty of mistakes--we all did--and do! But, you'll be growing and learning and (hopefully) having a great time!

    God bless,


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