With a wet, late-April snow falling outside, I knew our plans of swings and sand toys would have to wait for another morning. So I did what I always do with time on my hands and little ones to amuse: I baked.
To kids, cooking is a science project, a marvelous exploration of textures and colors and smells. To parents, it’s an opportunity to turn “to-do list” time into “quality time,” as you explore the softness of flour and the scent of vanilla while making something yummy (and hopefully healthy) to eat.
A peek in the fridge revealed a half-empty carton of buttermilk, so I knew our recipe would start there. Then I flipped through cookbooks, looking for something to fit the occasion. Lemon buttermilk pound cake? Delicious, but too rich and sweet so early in the day. Buttermilk rolls? Too much like dinner and not enough fun. Buttermilk muffins? Sold.
As my daughter stirred the melted butter into the bowl of eggs, buttermilk and vanilla, we marveled at the butter. Remember how it had started out hard, like one of her blocks, and was now runny like water? Kind of like the snow outside, which could be hard like a snowball or runny if left to melt. Little lessons, to be sure, but ones that will keep her climbing up on the counter for more together time — and more opportunities to learn about the food we eat and how to make her own healthy choices.
This being a snowy day and all, I decided to sweeten things up with a cup of half-thawed organic strawberries, picked last fall at Berry Patch Farms. These were for my oldest child, who prefers fruit to chocolate chips inside her muffins, and who, I knew, would be thrilled to find our strawberry buttermilk treats on her plate for an after-school snack.
Click here for the recipe for Strawberry Buttermilk Muffins.