Monday, March 24, 2008

Cookin' with Kids: Jody's Decadent Lemon Bars

Something I discovered over the weekend. . . . it's fun to cook with kids if you're a photographer at heart and you take pictures of them doing all the work. Here's how it went down.

The Goal: smittenkitchen's Lemon Bars.

(Which she adapted from Ina Garten and then I adapted because all my family adds sugar to everything. Thus I've decided they are now called Jody's Decadent Lemon Bars, because I did change 2 of the quantites in the recipe!)

Disclaimer #1: For those of you who are actually good cooks and know the proper names of things and how tools should be used, you might want to stop reading now. This is just for fun. I'm not trying to teach anybody anything. Don't follow this recipe based upon this blog. I will not be held responsible.

Disclaimer #2: This recipe would normally take 15 minutes to whip up. With all of my helpers it took well over an hour. Only do this when you're in a good mood.

So here goes. Because I believe in doing a recipe to the T we started by grating lemons on the finest setting of the box grater to gather lots of zest.

Claire grating for zest.
Cutting lemons.
(We started without the cutting board, but then I remembered you're always supposed to use a cutting board so I took a second picture with board in place. Because it's all about the fun taking pictures while baking)

Juicing lemons.Now it's a real good thing Claire's learned how to measure one cup through our ever-diligent homeschooling. She knew right when to stop juicing.

When you live in close proximity to all 50 of your closest blood relatives, the nice thing is someone else is always close by.

Enter cousin, Micah.
He gets in on the pleasures of lemon zesting and juicing.

The next step is pouring the juice into the bowl. This is rocket-science, people. Watch and learn.
Of course, I did make her pour it really slowly and only half at a time because I didn't know how I wanted to set my shutter speed.

Claire, again, shows off her life of learning in using the one cup measure for the sugar. This is one part where I changed the recipe. We used 3 cups of white, over processed, really bad for you, destroyer of natural immune systems, historical proponent of child-slavery, primary staple in my home of origin--sugar.

Enter 3 more curious, energetic kids who "want to help".

Now, because sugar is so bad for you, next we add something that's really good for you.

Lemon zest.
Okay, actually I don't know that it is good for you. But it tastes SO BAD in its natural form, it's gotta be good for a person.

I did not say whiskey, I said whisking. There's a really big difference. Don't get this part mixed up. Whisking: really fun for kids. Whiskey: Not good for kids. Whisking: large utensil moving in circular motion. Whiskey: liquid moving up and down inside a glass. (I do not have ANY personal experience with whiskey, this is simply observation). So here we go whisking.

My firstborn twin.

My 1 minute later born twin.

The assistant helper, Micah.
Micah's older sister, Chloe, who looks 27 with her adorable new haircut, but really she's only 5. The girls were putting on make-up before cooking, hence her lips that perfectly match her shirt.

Now, for those of you wondering about the effectiveness of whisking when performed by 4 children under the age of eight, it truly is ineffective. It does nothing. No lumps are removed. You have to do it all over again yourself when you send them to get candy.

The second to last step -- though don't worry, not the second to last picture-- is to pour the yummy lemony mixture over the crust. No, you did not see me make the crust. I didn't have the idea to involve the kids until after the crust was made. Hence, no pictures of crust-making. Live with it. Or live without it, as the case may be.

Mommy pouring, baby fussing.
Didn't my sister-in-law, Becca, do a great job taking these pictures?

"Are we done yet?"
Poor baby just wants to be fed. Won't somebody please feed the baby? Oh, yeah, that would be me. Better get these in the oven fast!

Here's what they look like when they come out.

Not very pretty until you put the powdered sugar on top. But of course, the kids weren't around again and I forgot to take pictures of that part. Oops. Good thing I don't make money off this food blog thing.

But this is what they look like when they're done.

Yummmmmmy and Lemmmmmony

And everyone loves them!

So there you have it! My longest blog post yet. My debut into food blogging. My attempt to quench your thirst for Robinson Moments after our no-internet induced hiatus last week. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Edward and Gretchen said...

that looks really good. I should make some. Love Sophie.