I attempted to make hamentashen with 6 children last night.
Dear stepson is 15 and interested in lots of things; baking with 6 little kids not being one of them.
My 22 month old wasn’t really baking, more like “interfering”, but he definitely felt part of the process, and wore an apron sewn by Safta just like everybody else. My ten year old patiently showed him how to “pinch pinch” and then had the restraint to let him try while she sat on her hands, so to speak. There are many times a day that I am struck at how much better a mom she will be than I am. Thank G-d.
Interestingly (at least to me) her daughter and mine both came up with the “mini hamentashen” version… I would argue there is a direct connection to Polly Pockets. Hmmmm………………..
So my lesson-learned-the hard-way of the day:
We made two batches. With the first, everyone took turns doing everything. We went in turns measuring and pouring the ingredients, and then took turns rolling the dough, cutting circles, filling, pinching, etc. Sounds great, right?
That was not really a lot of fun. No one was happy with their lot, and they all spent a lot of time “critiquing” their fellow chefs. While trying to manage them all at once, the baby somehow managed to spill popcorn kernels all over the floor.
There was a time in my life that would have phased me, too.
Second batch: I made the dough, told them to deal with that; they had to let me do that part. I then rolled 5 approximately even balls of dough, and let them each choose one to make into hamentashen from start to finish, one at a time, in ascending age order.
I believe that such plans aren’t necessary when you are baking with two. But baking with six (five, really), well, it made a huge difference. Everyone had their chance, without interference, to do it “their way”. They each had the same number of hamentashen come out of their “batch” (6) and peace and order (relative of course) was restored.
In my own defense, batch number two probably wouldn’t have gone as smoothly as it did without the “tutorial” of batch number one that we did together. Still, next year we will bake together — separately.