I need a better step ladder because now that Sarah's a big 2-year-old, I officially have 2 able kitchen assistants. They are (for the time-being) both much shorter than I and cannot reach the work space without aid, but the one step ladder just isn't cutting it on the 2-kid front.
I also need a silent blender, because now I cannot make them smoothies without at least one of them insisting she help. If they hear the blender from another room, there are invariably tears to follow. I love having their help, but it's putting a real damper on the Getting-Things-Done-In-A-Timely-Fashion front.
We made muffins the other evening. Sarah has mastered feeding the dog; the whole dumping a quantity of matter from one container into another skill, so she gets to dump pre-measured ingredients into the bowl. She is also fairly adept at turning the stand mixer on and off. Kate, who is a Big Girl, likes to crack the eggs. It's something she's still perfecting and so I stay close by to talk her through it.
"OK" I told her "hold it in the palm of your hand, firmly, like this..." I placed the egg in her hand and wrapped her fingers around it, guiding her toward the edge of the bowl. Alton Brown insists that breaking your eggs on the edge of the bowl always results in the shell shattering and small pieces ending up in the goods. I've tried his recommended approach of cracking them on the table instead, but find it really doesn't work for me. So, to the edge of the bowl with Kate's egg we went. "Now smack that egg on the edge there, and make a big crack!" I encouraged, sounding like an engaged sports commentator. She gave it her all and the egg cracked sloppily. I was there to neatly separate the sides and dump it all in the bowl.
"I'll do it!" Kate insisted, resenting my help. She picked up the second egg, expertly grasping it in her palm, and smashed it on the edge of the bowl like I showed her. Her aim was true and the egg cracked perfectly down the middle. I nodded appreciatively "that's very good, Kate! Now, remember, you don't want to get any shell in the..." at that point she threw the entire egg in the bowl, shell and all. "...bowl". We both peered over the side of the bowl at the egg, oozing out among the other ingredients. Kate grinned proudly.
"I think you might have gotten a little bit of shell in there on that one" I said, not taking my eyes off the egg. "No I didn't" Kate calmly responded, also staring directly at the egg. "You don't think so?" I asked, feeling like one of the Law & Order lawyers when a witness says something completely different on the stand from what they said at the deposition. "Nope, looks good. Let's stir!" We are both silent for a second. Then I said "OK. Sarah gets to do the stirring, so you climb down and let her up here." During the transition, I quickly removed as much egg as I could see and hoped for the best. This is what I mean when I say things are taking awhile.
And, you see, this is why I haven't had time to blog all week. Every thing I do takes twice as long as it used to and Kate keeps wanting to sleep on the bed in the office. So, when they finally bed down and I might ordinarily have a chance to post here - I can't because I'd wake Kate up. I'm trying to keep you updated on these kids, I really am. But if you're missing news, just assume we're slowly...oh so slowly, breaking a banana into small pieces and putting them into a blender to make smoothies.