Cooking Up a Passion

Metro Parent's editor-in-chief dishes on her love of baking – and getting kids involved in the kitchen.

Every once in a while I feel inspired to take up a hobby. Bowling perhaps. That seems fun and slightly athletic. Or maybe knitting. I could make myself blankets or even a sweater. Or maybe I should hit up estate sales every weekend and start a napkin ring or Bakelite jewelry collection. Bottom line: I should do something non-work related that distracts and entertains.

And then I suddenly realize … I already have a hobby – baking! It doesn’t feel like a legit hobby; that’s part of the reason I don’t immediately think of it. Perhaps it’s because it’s so ingrained in me. I’ve been measuring and sifting, whisking and beating for as long as I can remember. And part of it is because I feel like I shouldn’t bake as much. It’s not good for my waistline, right? But the truth is it calms and delights me. I love tinkering to make what I think is the perfect chewy sugar cookie or boozy banana bread. And I love sharing food with people.

I still remember the pride I felt the first time I made my dad a cake in my Easy-Bake Oven. My mom made a big ballyhoo when he walked in: “Julie made a cake for dessert!” I beamed as I showed him a lopsided brown disc slathered in some sort of frosting made with a packet of powder and drops of milk.

Oh, the fuss he made! Oh, the joy I felt!

Who knows? That little exchange could have cemented my love of baking – even if my pitiful cake didn’t quite measure up to that label.

In this month’s cover story, we aim to spark your child’s interest in the kitchen – and give you a hand during the busy holiday season. But nowadays, a lightbulb-baked confection using ready-made mix just isn’t enough. So we had our kitchen-savvy mom contributors and editors serve up their kid go-to recipes – the sorts of foods that kids can take a heavy hand in making (if not do it all themselves) but would really deserve some props from pops and the rest of the fam. From classic deviled eggs to the easiest peach cobbler you will ever make (and it’s good!), you’ll find just the recipe – or two – for your budding chefs.

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