Sunday, March 8, 2009
I asked in the jam post what we should put our jam on. Biscuits! Biscuits are great for young kids. Despite the mythology surrounding the perfect biscuit, it's pretty hard to mess them up. You can mix them by hand or by spoon, and you can tell personal family stories if you're from a biscuit-making family. You might also ask parents to contribute stories if you're from an area of the country that's likely to have biscuit makers in every family.
Sadly, I am not a biscuit maker. I only made my own biscuits for the first time a few weeks ago. My co-teacher, on the other hand, makes them regularly. For class I think she used the recipe from Joy of Cooking just to be sure that the scaled-up recipe would work. As with our other cooking, we had a big bowl and lots of mixing opportunities. My co-teacher brought in her biscuit-cutting glass from home, which was a novelty to many children. I would have used a cookie cutter, which shows you what I know.
With the little kids we didn't bring them into the kitchen with us. The kitchen in our facility is an adult place and is often being used for functions while school is in session. The older children regularly go to the kitchen, but they're tall enough to see things. Sometimes I will take one or two children to the kitchen with me to watch me put things into the oven or take them out, but so far we haven't brought the whole class of two-year-olds into the kitchen with us.
The biggest challenge with this type of cooking is keeping track of hand washing. Many children helped, then went to play for a bit, and then came back. Each time they came back we helped them to wash their hands. This is why having two teachers and a parent helper each day is such a good thing!
Allergy Notes: Usually, bisuits require both milk and butter, which can can problematic for milk-allergic children. Soy margarine (I use Earth Balance brand) works for the butter. For the milk you can substitute soy milk or rice milk. I imagine nut milk would work as well, but they aren't allowed at our program. Clearly, biscuits are not gluten free. I'm hoping to do some gluten-free baking with my other class, so hopefully I'll have a solution for that in the future.