February is National Bake for Family Fun Month, which is exactly what it sounds like y’all! Whether you’re baking cookies and desserts, breads, or other meals, this holiday is a good excuse to get the entire family into the kitchen and share in the fellowship of baking together.
Why celebrate this holiday? It may seem daunting to get so many cooks and opinions in the kitchen, but baking is a hobby that encourages everyone to share the task and focus in on accomplishing a goal together. It’s also a good break from more technology-based hobbies like video games and watching TV.
Besides that, it’s very satisfying to create something with your hands and physically see the fruits of your labor. When you bring your family into the kitchen, it no longer becomes “I did this,” but instead it’s “wedid this.” Working together fosters camaraderie and can help establish new family traditions or create hilarious stories of mishaps and mistakes that you’ll bond over for years to come.
The concept is great, but you may be wondering where to even begin with getting the family involved. Here are several ideas on how to get the family engaged in baking together:
With kids, it can be the littlest things that get them involved in the kitchen. At Christmastime, I was baking gingerbread cookies with a little one, and she was extremely eager to have even the smallest part in baking them. It took patience and many tries, but she learned how to crack an egg for me. Beyond that, she was able to use a cookie cutter on the dough once I rolled it out for her.
Of course, what kids look forward to most (aside from eating a sweet treat) is decorating them. Young children don’t necessarily have the restraint to not spill the sprinkles all over the cookie or cake, but it’s important to still give them some agency in the project, even if it’s just choosing the color of the sprinkles. You can also hold the shaker for them and help with those type of delicate tasks.
Sometimes, one spouse is more inclined to be in the kitchen than the other one. Perhaps they enjoy eating more than baking, but with some encouragement, you can get them into the kitchen so that they can see the work that goes into making some of their favorite treats. Even if baking doesn’t become a new hobby of theirs, you at least had some quality time together and they gain insight on the work and love that goes into baking.
Recipes and experiences can both hold sentimental value. Invite your parents into the kitchen and encourage them to not only teach you how to make their favorite recipe, but also ask them to share the story of the recipe. Was this a recipe passed down by family? Was it one that they got from a friend who got it from another friend who got it from another country? Each recipe has a story, and even if that story is lost to the ages, the memories or making that recipe are not. Perhaps your parents baked with their grandparents before them and have stories centered around that. Whatever the case, baking together can spark interesting conversation and stories.
There are plenty of other family members that may be a big part of your life, and you can include them in similar ways. Just remember, it’s baking for family fun, so enjoy the time that you have together, and then go enjoy some delicious baked goods and memories.