I've been craving apple pie for a long time, but that's something we shouldn't have often. Also, I really don't enjoy peeling enough apples to make seven cups of slices. But the craving overcame my laziness today.
I went to my chair in the living room with a couple of big bowls and a knife and proceeded to peel, core, and then slice apples. Baby immediately became interested and wanted on my lap. It was quite a feat to find a place for her, what with two bowls on my lap and a paring knife in hand, but I managed. She was a lot of help, picking up peelings and dropping them in with my sliced apples. When I cut the stems from the apples, I handed them to her and told her it was a stem. She looked at it closely, felt it, and even tasted it. Any time I'm doing this sort of thing with her, I keep up a constant dialogue.
With sufficient apples sliced, we moved on to the kitchen, where I put Cora in her high chair. I set the bowl of sliced apples on the tray of her high chair and measured in the sugar, then the cinnamon and nutmeg. I let her smell each of the spices, and gave her a taste of granulated sugar. Once the apples were prepared, I mixed up the flour, salt, and Crisco for a pie crust. I got Cora's home-made play-dough out of the refrigerator, handed her a butter knife, and let her cut while I worked the Crisco into the flour. Then I scooted the high chair over to the table, which I had wiped off and dried in preparation for the pie dough.
I set the bowl of Crisco-flour mix on the tray of her high chair and let her watch me add seven tablespoons of water, still talking all the time, telling her what I was doing. She watched closely as I rolled out the pie crust, and I called her attention to what I was doing when I put the bottom crust in the pie pan. Then I made sure she was watching when I poured in the apple slices. "This is how we make pie," I told her. I probably mentioned pie twenty times while I was working at it, and before long she was repeating "pie" when I said it.
I asked her several times if she wanted out of the high chair, but she always shook her head no. After I had scooted her over near the oven so she could watch me put the pie in the oven ("hot-hot", she said), I started a hamburger-rice casserole, and she watched and listened all the way through that, too. I measured a cup of rice on her high-chair tray. She poked a finger into the cup of rice, and I sprinkled a few grains on the tray. She picked a few of them up and dropped them on top of the full cup.
She sat in that high chair for at least an hour and fifteen minutes. Every time I asked her if she wanted down, she shook her head no.
I believe the kid has a future as a chef.
On another note, she can pee at will now, so if I take her to the potty, she will put something in it. Her mom and grandma have been working on that, and today I decided to join in the training.