My kids and I share a love of baking. OK. Confession time. We share a love of eating: baking is how we get our fix.
As willing assistants, the boys crack eggs, stir chocolate chips into batter and roll cookie dough like the seasoned professionals they are. Watching them, I forget that not all kids grow up with a whisk in their hand.
“Have you ever cracked an egg?” I ask Rachel, a sweet, sweet kindergarten girl who stands beside me in our kitchen. “No? Oh, this is going to be fun!”
Her eyes widen at my suggestion that she crack two eggs into a clear, shallow bowl.
“Break them?” she asks tentatively.
“Break ‘em wide open,” A. instructs. For as bull-in-a-china-shop as my youngest is, he’s unnaturally adept at cracking eggs without getting shells in the batter.
Rachel shakes her head side-to-side. “I don’t want to. It sounds messy.”
“We love messy! Right?” A. nods his head in agreement. Messy is our motto. We worry about cleanup after the cookies cool.
“How about if we take it slow? Break it down, if you will.” Rachel looks unconvinced as I laugh at my own funny.
I hand her and A. both an egg. “Take your egg,” I hold mine up to demonstrate, “and tap it lightly on the counter.”
“Then,” A. jumps in, “you stick your little fingers in the crack, pull it apart and drop the egg in the bowl.”
“Gently,” I add.
“Gently,” he repeats.
Rachel taps her egg.
“A little harder,” I encourage. Her egg remains perfectly intact. “Just a little.”
She taps again, this time splintering the shell and creating a web of delicate lines.
“Use your fingers and gently pull the shell apart.” I move the bowl beneath her hands to
allow the yolk and white to slip through her fingerss and drop into the glass.
“You did it!” I cheer.
She stares from the bowl to her fingers to the remains of the shell, unsure of what just transpired. “My hands are all gooey,” she smiles.
“Gooey’s good,” A. assures. For boys, it’s a catch-all answer.