Friday, August 24, 2012

A Budding Chef

Whisking salad dressing.

Excited to help!

Little hands
I'm sure you're not surprised that Ava has taken an interest in cooking with me in the kitchen. Since she was about 18-months old, she has been standing on the step-stool helping with stirring, measuring, and learning cooking basics. Last night, Ava and I went to our garden to get fresh parsley for my tomato and cucumber salad. For salad dressing, I gave her a mixing bowl and a kid-sized whisk and she whisked like a pro! She asked to smell the vinegar and olive oil. I could tell she really liked the nutty smell of the olive oil.

I cook and bake with Ava as my sous chef. She really likes to whisk eggs too. She knows to put in salt and pepper in the eggs. It's really fun to have her in the kitchen.

I got her some kid-sized kitchen equipment and the set included an apron. She loves to put it on when she's on the stool. Ava really likes making Mommy and Daddy's salads. She likes to tear the lettuce and place the ingredients carefully on the salad like shredded carrots, cheese, and small spoonfuls of pumpkin seeds.

Play kitchen
Ava's grandparents got her a play kitchen for her 2nd birthday and she really loves it! We keep it in the basement and since then we also got her a Melissa and Doug wooden pizza set. Since we made pizza nights our Friday night family tradition, Ava loves to make pizza in her own kitchen. She puts a slice covered in toppings in a bowl and tell us that it's hot and advises us to let it cool off. Then we pretend to eat it. It's really fun!

I'm so excited that Ava is learning to enjoy cooking so much. She feels empowered helping me in the kitchen and I'm amazed by how much I get done with her participating. At meals, she'll proudly say "I made that, Daddy," which really warms my heart!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

State Fair Visit 2012

Class quilt (Ava is bottom left)
Since moving to Indy, we've made a family tradition to go to the Indiana State Fair. Ava's preschool did a Fair recently with the kids and each classroom submitted crafts. Ava's class made a bell pepper plant, quilt with class pictures, and an elephant. They kids played in a bounce house and had fun with games. Ava had so much fun!
Bell Pepper

Then this past Monday, Aaron and I took off of work a little early to spend the evening at the State Fair. Since last year, Ava seemed to enjoy the animals more since she felt braver than before.

She pet the newborn calves.

Last year, Ava wouldn't go near the baby calves, but this year with some encouragement she pet them. Here's my post from year's visit. They were so small, about the size of Bena! They were curled up and sleeping in the hay. Ava was excited to watch piglets nursing with their mommy. We dropped in a horse and cart show where the horses were decorated.
Sleepy calf.

We shared Fair foods like a butter ear of corn, fried cheese, breaded pork tenderloin sandwich, and a cinnamon-sugar drenched elephant ear for dessert.

This year, Ava enjoyed the horses much more! Last year they scared her up close. We stopped in the horticulture center and Ava looked at the flowers and vegetables.

She loved this!
Feeding baby goats slices of carrot.

We stopped at the Lactation Station where I've volunteered in years past. We ran into Fernanda who has been working the Lactation Stations for several years. She loves seeing Ava and was surprised by how much she's grown in the last year. We didn't go in to nurse, but we did stop for a family picture!

It was starting to sprinkle and look stormy so we hurried back to the car after visiting the Future Farmers of America area. They have more baby animals and a playground.

We had such a fun evening! Since it was a Monday night, the Fair wasn't crowded. Although next year, I think we'll go back on a $2 Tuesday to take advantage of the savings and they do sample portions of food.