It all started with a trip to our favorite bakery. At this point weâve been going there for about two years, every Thursday during our trips to the local childrenâs museum. My daughter, only a few years old at the time, eagerly watches the bakers as they knead, roll, slice and frost.
We do a ton of cooking and baking in our home, but my style is littered with shortcuts and based off of convenience. Iâm nowhere in the same league as the real bakers, who work with a patience that is beyond me.
The bakery has a large, open kitchen where you can watch the employees at work. Colette is always one to notice the little details and sheâs immediately drawn in by just how attentive the employees are. They put the same amount of focus and attention-to-detail into their baked goods as they do their customers: friendly smiles and quick, attentive service.
Sheâs motivated to mimic her favorite employees and as soon as we get home she asks if she can bake something, too.
âAnd though she be but little, she is fierce.â Iâm reminded of this as she pushes her stepstool across the floor, the one as tall as she is, and carefully climbs up. Without it sheâs too short to see over the counter, but when she stands on the buttom rung sheâs just the right height.
Itâs amazing how her tiny hands are learning how to clumsily manuever equipment. I do the peeling and cutting but sheâs eager to participate and so, with my help, she adds cinnamon to the apples in the sautee pan, half watching what sheâs doing but mostly keeping her eyes on me, waiting for approval.
When Iâm in the kitchen with my four year old Iâm in a constant state of amazement. To her every little thing is important because itâs all so brand new. In her eyes the potential is endless of what she can create, and I have to reign in all of that wonder and curiosity and help her translate that into something tangible â and delicious.
Technically Iâm the one teaching her, but what no one else witnesses is all that sheâs teaching me. Sheâs a constant reminder to me to pay attention to even the tiniest details, and despite the fact that she only comes up to my waist, her passion is contageous. Every time I step in the kitchen with her Iâm inspired to do something more and Iâm eager to have my companion join me.
Weâre making apple crisp, itâs simple enough for a child and packed with enough good-for-you ingredients that I donât mind her eating the entire batch herself. And now weâre learning how to make whipped cream and sheâs weighing in her mind whether she should add vanilla or cinnamon.
Itâs tricky and she stammers back and forth a few times before ultimately deciding on cinnamon.
Itâs pretty inspiring how much food affects us, not just in body but also in spirit. In the âOut of the Kitchenâ series by BonAppetit.com you can see about how passion and attention to detail can make all of the difference.
Rustic apple crisp
Author: Homegrown & Healthy
- 5 apples, peeled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- Â½ cup packed brown sugar
- Â½ cup raw oats
- Â½ cup flour
- 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick), cut into pieces + 1 tablespoon of butter for cooking the apples
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- In a small cast iron skillet over medium heat, warm a tablespoon of butter. Add your apples and sautee until they begin to soften. Add cinnamon and mix well.
- Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine brown sugar, oatmeal, and flour. Blend into thoroughly blended. Add cold butter and pulse for a few spins until the butter just begins to break off into chunks.
- Pour your struesel topping over the apples and spread it evenly. Put the entire cast iron skillet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven, top with fresh whipped cream or ice cream and enjoy warm.
Want to meet purveyors who are making a difference with their customers? Check out BonAppetit.comâsÂ âOut of the Kitchenâ, an ongoing exploration of the relationships that build and sustain the food industry. See how hyper-local food markets operate and how their focus on quality and service keep customers coming back for more.
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