Creative cooking with the grandchildren

Jun 29, 2024
As a grandma, I love spending time with my grandkids when we can share creativity and do things together. Source: Getty Images.

Whilst moving house I rediscovered my mum’s old handwritten recipe book written in her beautiful calligraphic style. It has smeared ink pages where it had fallen in the sink, plus a few sticky marks from her forays into the kitchen. My nine year old granddaughter likes to cook, so we have started an adventure going through my mum’s old cook book, and seeing what we can create.

I pick her up on Fridays from school and drop her little sister off to gymnastics. Then we go home and put on our aprons and get our ingredients ready. Then the fun begins. We decide on our recipe, then get to work with lots of mess and a few mishaps – flour everywhere, dropped eggs and sugar underfoot. One day the electric hand beater spread batter all over the kitchen. But we persist. Anzac biscuits, hokey pokey biscuits, queen cakes and Russian fudge. And there is still so much more to discover.

There is measuring, stirring, tasting, rolling out and getting the baking trays ready. I try to step back to let her work it out all by herself. Once the biscuits are on the trays there is the long wait of peering through the oven window. Once cooked, the smell fills the kitchen and big brother and little sister come for a taste test. And her mum too when she gets home from work.

If the recipe is a success she hand copies it into her own recipe notebook, along with a sketch of the results. I have grown to love the one on one time I have with her as we remember my mother and my childhood memories of my mum cooking from the same book. It creates a shared history, and as she learns how to make some things from scratch, she learns that sometimes home made is the most enjoyable.

On other occasions I have taught them to do basic knitting and crochet, and do other creative things. Now that I am living near my grandchildren I try to spend time with each one individually as their busy mum works long hours and dad is no longer in the picture. The youngest one likes me to read her stories in the bath and have lots of snuggles. The big teenage boy likes a deep and meaningful chat and encouragement as he makes his way in the world.

As a grandma, I love spending time with my grandkids when we can share creativity and do things together. I am blessed that I live nearby, and that for the time being, I am helping to care for them by sharing my time and life adventures, along with the practical skills I have learned.

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