Okay, time to dig deep into years past, specifically Kindergarten. I thought I had a copy of this project, but apparently my mom had it in her stacks of documents. I suppose that makes sense, since this looks like it was designed to be given out for Mother's Day. And since we just passed Father's Day, it's only right that we celebrate Mother's Day again. If 90's sitcoms told me anything, it's that all fathers are dolts not *real* parents.
Er, too cynical? Okay let's lighten the mood and start being overly critical of what children think cooking entails.
So harken back to 1986 when we were all fresh of mind and bold of spirit. We knew just enough to know that we knew everything, including culinary intricacies. So with our favorite dish in mind, our teacher had us detail what went into making it. Below are the highlights (I mean all of them. It was a small class.)
First up is Jennie and her recipe for brownies. At first glance, everything seems to be in order. Granted it's apparently a recipe for making a brownie mix, but let's not let that get in the way. Even now, I'll make a mix vs cooking from scratch. We all had things to do and full lives to live, especially when we were five.
But then things get a little funny. How do we quantify a "not that hot" oven. Room temperature? Slightly warm to the touch? And then baking it for only 10 minutes. I'm no expert, but something seems a little off. The last command to "Eat Them!" seems a little aggressive. I fear for her husband someday.
One of many Chocolate Cake recipes follows with Patrick's entry. We start off needing a measuring bowl, specifically one with the numbers on them. Many a cake has been ruined by using the ones without numbers. It just makes things harder. But he makes sure to target the addition of 'pudding stuff' and dough. I might have opted for more than several spoonfuls of milk, but 16 Hershey bars sounds like a brilliant plant. Mixing it at that point might be a little difficult, but furthermore cooking it at 10 degrees poses additional challenges. Perhaps instead of using heat to congeal the batter, we just outright freeze it. At least the last instruction tells us to let it cool. I'm pretty sure we can safely assume that.
Jamie E gives us a pretty good pizza entry. Spread dough; add sauce, two kinds of cheese, and pepperoni. There's more of this 'warm' oven business, but only five minutes this time. Then another command to eat it. Well maybe I will, maybe I won't. Now that I think about it, Jaime and Jenny were twins. That explains everything.
More cake, marble cake. I'm always up for more cake. Karen tells us to mix chocolate and vanilla cake in a pan, making sure we grease it. She's on a roll so far. Then bake it for 6 minutes... Ouch, we were doing so well. I'm not sure how we're supposed to then take it out only when it's done. I hope no one ever tried this. They're probably still there to this day.
So I hadn't seen this cookbook in over 30 years, but I still remembered Darrell's salad. His recipe is sort of the Sharknado of the group. While I can poke fun at stupid kid logic, this is just a work of art. I quote: "tomatoes, bananas, hot dogs, chicken, tunafish, and cake." Wait, it's not done. Pour gravy on it! Cook it! He's a mad man! 8 degrees! Take it out and EAT IT!
Darrell, I hope you changed the world in the end, because you changed mine.
There's not much to say about Michael's pizza, and I don't mean the ingredients. Never mind that there's only one of them, and we're just cooking dough, but there's that 10 degrees again, but only 5 minutes this time. I'm almost wondering if I'm missing something. What does happen when you set your oven for 10 degrees? Does it start cooling things down? Is this real life? Who am I?
Jania breaks the mold of pizzas and cake with her recipe for Lasagna. Cheese in the pot. Check. Tomato sauce. Check. Meat loaf... Okay that's just gross. Sorry, but if meatloaf enters the equation, I'm out. It matters little if she and her brother take it out and eat it. They can have it all.
Hmm, 6 degrees for 20 minutes. Okay I give up. There's a consensus forming, and I'm on the outside.
I'm certainly no fan of macaroni and cheese. Especially that boxed Kraft version with the neon orange cheese dust. Let's hope Jaime C can pull through. The first step is to pull eggs apart, and while that seems like more a recipe for disaster than a recipe for a meal, I'm much more okay with eggs as a base. We cook the eggs on the stove, so I'm still onboard, but nervous for the curveball. Take it off and add cheese. Stir and add milk. Put butter on, then eat. I'm very much good with this recipe, but weren't we talking about macaroni or something. No matter, this sounds much better.
Mashed potatoes seems like a good solution for 5-year-old aggression. Instead of time-outs or missed recess, just have them wail away on some spuds. In John L's words, "use a masher and pu[n]ch it down." Add butter and put them on a plate. I'm good, but again we have this harsh command to "eat them!" I suppose I understand though. He's just let all of his energy loose on some potatoes, and in kindergarten, that's a lot.
Thanks Carol, what am I supposed to do with this? I've spent the past few paragraphs just ripping into 5-year-olds, and then you give me a completely normal recipe for soup. Carol is probably living in a suburb somewhere with 2.5 kids and a dog. Although it's canned soup, with the red label no less, so perhaps she's living alone and this is her only meal. Or maybe she's in a fallout bunker. Oh man, now I feel terrible.
More meatloaf, I hate this one already. Thought my main dislike is all the extras like onions and peppers that somehow go into it. Why can't meatloaf just be like a giant square meatball? Here he tells us to just use hamburger, eggs, breadcrumbs and tomato sauce. Okay, maybe I was too judgmental, but I still won't eat it. And what's all this about corn and beans?
I don't think John B actually wrote this. I think he was absent this day, but the teacher didn't want his mother to think that he didn't love her. The recipe is too on the nose and correct for what we've seen here so far. Well maybe John didn't actually love his mother, and now she's getting mixed messages. The teacher should have really thought this through.
Not cake again, but rather cupcakes. It starts with peanut butter in the middle of bread, which is curious. More bread on top, and then a layer of chocolate and sprinkles. Christine breaks the mold, and probably the oven next as we're supposed to turn the oven "all the way up." For 10 minutes your appliance will suffer the wrath of Hades, before getting a rest (but only for a little while). I suppose we are to trust that they're so GOOD. I have my doubts.
More cake. Tim was on his second year of kindergarten. I'm unsure how you actually fail kindergarten since I don't really remember getting grades at that point. I met up with Tim in high school later on, except he wasn't with me. He was in 8th grade, so somehow I leapfrogged him.
Despite this, the recipe doesn't seem too bad. Even the 'big cups' of stuff is completely natural. For those of you who use the metric system, you'll just have to trust us that 'big cups' is completely different than just cups. They're bigger obviously. The 100 degree cooking temperature seems a little low, but given the earlier entries, I'll let it slide.
Smashed potatoes vs regular mashed potatoes is an important distinction. But Jaclyn tosses this out the window when her first step involves peeling the potatoes. You had one job Jaclyn. She saved it a little by specifically mentioning the 'smasher thing', which is something no kitchen should be without.
The fried fish entry has no known author. Either the teacher forgot, or was just too embarrassed about the student's future job prospects and in turn failing a background check based on this alone. I could go into the actual text, but just read it three time over in your mind, and move on.
Spaghetti time. It's hard to mess up pasta, and I'm sure these were probably genuine things the kids were allowed to help out with. Michele and Carol must have been friends, since this one also gives me little to go on.
So let's move over to Kerrie's recipe for the same thing. Maybe she's done something I can poke fun at to make myself feel better. Nope. These were the teacher's pets for sure.
Cookies now, peanut butter ones. Gustin insists on a big bowl to make a big batch. Makes sense I suppose. The ingredients seem fine, but I might use a little bit less than a half bucket of water, especially if it's one of those 5 gallon buckets. It is a big batch though. Stir it up, presumably with a giant broom handle at this point, and cook at 20 degrees. I'm not even going to argue at this point. Eat with milk since they're not wet enough.
Lawrence has a pretty decent outline for steak burgers. I'm not sure how those differ from hamburgers, but I suppose there's no ham in those, so maybe he's on to something. He gets a little domineering though in the end, but only on fringe details. The tomatoes must be sliced, so those of you who like them full, tough luck. You have to find Ketscup brand, and everyone's burgers get A-1 sauce. No exceptions. After that you can choose the condiments. He is the sole person allowed to put everything on buns too, presumably to ensure these rules are adhered to. He also mentions the 'squisher thing', which as you remember comes in the 2-pack alongside the 'masher thing'.
Then we get to my entry. So you may thing that I'm no better than the others, but I assure you the teacher didn't listen to my request. See, I wanted an all-frosting chocolate cake with a cherry on top. No bready part. She just had me make a regular cake, so I can't be blamed for anything here.
I will take credit for chocolate flour, which is the only way to describe it. How else do you make chocolate cake vs vanilla. You may take issue with the 600 degree cooking temp for an hour, but compared to the other sub-freezing instructions, I think it hits a little closer to the mark. Also make sure when buying a jar of cherries, that you do that first. Don't start cooking and then realized you need to run out. But maybe that will give you something to do while your oven slaves away for the hour.
I get the biggest piece too, so don't think you're getting anything more than second best.