Thursday, December 4, 2014

mug cakes

A friend posted about making mug cakes. 10 yo saw this post this morning, and made me watch the video which showed how to make those cakes. I was a bit skeptical, but he was very excited by it. I emailed the link to him, asking him to print out the recipes. None of them spoke to me (I am not a fan of food coloring or peanut butter), so I looked up a mug chocolate cake to make for myself.

My chocolate cake
By lunchtime, I made my cake. I did eat real food first. It was easy, and I liked how quickly it went from ingredients to edible product. My eldest sampled a spoonful and made funfetti cake next. I warned him that it is not the same as in the video: he will need to mix it in a bowl and then split it between two mugs. Then I got my behind out of the kitchen, hoping not to meddle.

I was called in a few minutes later with a quote: "Sometimes it looked like spilled milk, and it was the spilled milk." There was a small milk spill being mopped up. Only one parve bowl switched to being milchig. 10 yo did handle the instructions by himself. I showed him how to convert the recipe part calling for self-rising flour to the right baking powder proportion. I did not measure anything out.

We did not have funfetti, but we did have some sprinkles. 10 yo dumped in the last bits, commenting how this is the only product that he knows of that contains trans fat. I inwardly sighed: fine, poison yourself, eat totally unhealthy food. He did need help dividing the batter between two mugs.

When the final product came out, he applied whipped cream and dug in. He went from being all thumbs up to disappointed pretty quickly. "This is terrible! It doesn't even taste good. I don't want to finish it." His brother, who got the other mug, had no problem with his cake. I didn't taste it, being all filled up with yummy chocolate.

Over the weekend. we had a whole discussion about the role of teachers in education. I was thinking about today's experience, and the numerous life lessons it contained. There was very little grown-up input, and no instruction beyond following the recipe. It was a purely child-driven experience: he saw something that caught his eye, he was interested, he had time and resources to carry it out, and he had to assess himself whether he was happy with the results and deal with disappointment.

Another homeschool friend was commenting on inability to do creative things with her older child due to the presence of a much younger sibling. I feel that my kids are finally entering that realm where they can direct their own creative experiences, and I can sit back and wait to be summoned. 1 yo was napping while the mug cake production was going on, but I did not feel responsible for either supervision, or the final result. I was quite relaxed and just enjoying the goings on.

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