Monday, March 14, 2011

Boys Can Bake!!! Let them eat Cake!!!

This could also be called Cooks Club, as my counterpart Altai referred to Sunday afternoons' adventure. Originally this was going to be (in my mind) an opportunity for all the dorm boys (around 40) to get in that big kitchen and bake with me supervising. I thought they could bake cookies in teams and the girls would vote for the best cookies and team!

Of course this is not at all how it went..... Instead what happened is Altai picked some boys, 8 or so, to be part of the baking. We went for cake instead, as the boys, when given the choice of cookies, bread or cake, wisely, chose cake. So as promised, I brought the ingredients, 10 kilos each of sugar and flour, 2 dozen eggs and baking powder, soda, vanilla and chocolate bars to melt.

Instead of the dorm kitchen, which I thought we had agreed upon using, we were taken to the school next door (which is my school) to use the kitchen that felt like it didn't have heat (though it did) and sans running water. No big surprise there.

The boys ended up baking two humungous cakes; one vanilla and one chocolate. (we quadrupled each recipe.) Since the recipes were in English, I explained and showed them how much sugar, etc. to put in. They enjoyed the process and I got a huge kick out of "making them" lick the huge stock pot which was our mixing bowl. As far as I know, people here generally do not bake their own goodies so this was their first experience. I attempted to explain to them that licking the bowl and putting your fingers to taste was always my own kids favorite part of helping bake!

I have many fond memories of my own kids in the kitchen and even when they drove me crazy with their "help", it was a great shared experience. My sons both know their way around the kitchen, (as did their sister) and can cook and bake; an important skill for all young adults! Perhaps these boys will now feel confident to do more in the kitchen, and all expressed an interest in learning more. I would like to continue these baking activities at least once monthly and will do what I can, as the school year is quickly flying by.

The pride on their faces when they served the cake at dinner that evening was great! They were all smiles and the kids were amazed at how yummy both cakes tasted! There was enough cake in those two huge pans that each dorm student got a small piece of each. These boys fill my heart and enrich my life. I am very fortunate to be able to share a small slice of their lives.

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