Yesterday, we baked. In the post-Christmas scramble, M called me from the store to let me know that holiday items were 80% off...did we need anything? Considering that we have more than twice the amount of decorations that we need for this house, No Thank You. But after thinking about it, I said, "Sure, if you can find anything crafty." So M came home with a Christmas Tree Cake Mix, complete with little pans and decorating paints.
I didn't know if "almost two" is too young to help in the kitchen, but I decided to give it a shot...after all, we didn't want to place the cake mix in the pantry for a whole year. So I set up the ingredients on the kitchen table, and gave E a spoon. I explained everything as I did it...here is an egg, this is a cup, now stir. She did get the hang of it, but the bowl was a little unsteady...and guess what. She didn't want help.
We got the cakes in the oven, and E went for her nap. I made the frosting (confectioner's sugar and water) as per the directions, and in the afternoon we painted the colors on. It was a cool idea, though meant for an older child I'm sure. They had these little palettes of edible dye to which you add drops of water...then you used these little paint brushes to paint on top of the white frosting, presumably to look like a Christmas tree. What we found, however, was that it was much more fun to stab the cake with the brushes, and then lick the cake and frosting off the bristles.
After dinner, we ate little pieces of Christmas tree cake, which was dry BUT the correct flavor (chocolate). Shoving the entire piece of cake in her mouth, using one hand to keep the crumbs from spraying all over the table, E used her other hand to do the sign for more. I have to give her credit...she is all about effective communication. She will get her point across to you, even if she has to guide you there step by step. And when it comes to chocolate, the message is always the same..."More."