Thursday, September 23, 2010

Supper Time with Precious Helpers

                 -  Teaching Home Economics to Daughters -

This post is part of an ongoing seriesto give you an inside look at what I am doing to teach my 15 year old daughter (Amy) the art of homemaking skills. I will also share stories and memories of how I taught my older daughters (currently ages 21 and 22).

Category - Hospitality and Manners.

Amy and I worked together in the kitchen last night. We made homemade biscuits, chicken, stuffing, corn and baked potatoes.  I was planning to do it all myself, but then got too tired.

First, I set the mood. I lit candles on the table and arranged the flower vase in the center of the table. (See photo above.) Then I put out the paper plates, napkins and silverware. I was listening to soothing classical music and wearing my apron. People would walk by, look at the table and say, "When will it be ready?" They were eagerly anticipating, what looked like, an exciting event!

Next, I went downstairs to see if Amy would help me. She was in her room listening to music. It was important that I made this fun for her, rather than just saying sternly, "Come and help me!" So I told her to bring along her music tape, that she could listen to while she helped me. (I NEVER let her do this! So she was shocked! - smiles)

I laid out the ingredients for biscuits. Amy set up her music and was smiling. I asked her to start the stuffing and get some cups for the table. But she did the most amazing thing. She offered to make the biscuits. I warned her about how much more work it would be. (I am always the one who makes the biscuits.)   But she was still willing!! I explained what to do with the shortening and the rest of the ingredients. I told her to add a little flour and start kneading. She rolled out the dough. I gave her a cup for cutting the biscuits. (We don't own a cookie cutter.) Then I walked away to tend to other things. When I looked back, I was amazed that she was doing the rest without my help. She has watched me make biscuits hundreds of times. She knew exactly what to do!

{Cutting the Dough with a Cup}

{Ready to Bake!}

Amy cooked the chicken using the microwave, poured iced tea into glasses, and took the potatoes out of the oven. She set out serving bowls and displayed everything neatly on the table. She even removed the candles and flowers to make room for the food.

{Our Frugal Supper, Lovingly Prepared}

This reminded me of when Rachel (22) and Nicole (21) were little girls and my biggest helpers. Rachel was 10 years old. Nicole was 9, and little Amy was only 3. The big girls prepared a similar meal for our family of seven. They worked hard to cook and serve and they wore the cutest aprons while they worked. At that time Matthew was only 5 and John was 1.   The picture I took of them, all those years ago, is very precious. I will treasure it always.

{From Left to right: Amy, Rachel, Matthew and Nicole}

Mrs. White

My Favorite Thing - Rising While it is Yet Night.

To Cheer You - Homemaking with Frank Sinatra.






Lesley said...

We eat dinner around the table every evening, too. It's a great time to reconnect with the entire family about how each person's day went, what's going on, and discuss high points and challenges.

busymomof10 said...

This was a precious post and I loved the old picture!

Anonymous said...

It is important to join together each day as a family, and we too, sit around the table for our evening meal. It is good to instil this in our children as it is something that they will continue to do in their own homes.
I allow my four children, ages 6-20, all living at home, to help in the kitchen. The older ones have chores to do, and they are surprised to hear from their friends that they are not allowed to help out in the kitchen. This is a great pity, as many of today's youth can't even make a proper cup of tea...

Helen said...

Mrs White - a delightful post as always. makes me long for the 'good old days' pre so much business! A precious mealtime. Matthew looks like John in the photo and the girls have the cutest turned up noses!
Hey, how do you make the iced tea and pray tell - how do you cook chicken in a microwave? Was it pre-cooked or smoked?

Love to you

Mrs. White said...

Dear Mrs. Machinist (smiles),

You must be so busy! I am so happy to hear from you!

The chicken was the easiest thing in the world. It was precooked and just heated up in the microwave!

The iced tea was a mix added to water. Took a couple of seconds.

Just a quick, easy supper.

Mrs. White

Wanita said...

Loved your post and how you took the time to get your daughter involved in a fun way.

When I make biscuits, I use a cutter made from a tin can. You can use cans if you open them with a opener that just takes the top off rather than cutting them open. It works great, and you can have a variety of sizes from different sized cans.

Thanks for sharing your experience!

Katrinka said...

You have such BEAUTIFUL children!!

Michelle Smith said...

Such a sweet post, Mrs. White. I love the photo you shared of your children when they were younger. Your post reminds me that I need to gently encourage some of my children to join in with the kitchen preparations more often. Such a memory making time--both working in the kitchen together and dining together as a family. :)

Jennifer Lavender said...

That is an excellent memory. I need to start working with my daughters (8 and 5) to do more of the homemaking type stuff.

Nancy Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing this. I especially liked the "staging" of the meal, making everyone anticipate what would be coming. A small thing that sets the mood - perfect!

Dana said...

Nice. I love working with my kids in the kitchen but I never do anything to make the table look nice beyond clearing it of our homeschool stuff. Maybe someday...

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Thanks for the post, and the link up to the hospitality carnival.
Here's a tip for speeding up the biscuit process- makes for less handling of the dough, too, which makes a more tender crust: