Friday, February 10, 2012

Playdough?! Pffth. Please. That is SO last month.

As part of our daily routine together, Joseph always helps me prepare our meals in the kitchen. As long as it doesn't involve sharp, pointy knives, boiling water, or sizzling oil, he's in on the action. If I pull out the step ladder, blender, or mixer, the kid immediately races over to assist with a great deal of enthusiasm.

I'm really pushing the whole "mommy's big helper" bit for when his baby sister arrives. I'm self-serving like that.

Anyways, after using a bunch of egg whites to make his Aunt Kate a birthday cake over the weekend, Joseph and I had to come up with a use for the leftover egg yolks. When I found this recipe for fresh pasta, I remembered that I actually have a pasta maker from my childhood... Hmm... Toddler... Pasta maker... Noodles... DECISION MADE!!

We made the dough together the night before and refrigerated it. Joseph was not happy with me when I put HIS dough in the fridge and so he was very excited when I pulled it out the next morning and handed it to him:

We rolled out the dough together while I made very unladylike straining noises. Rolling is hard work! Besides, toddlers find these noises endlessly funny and are big on imitating them:

And then laughing uproariously after doing so:

Of course, at this point, Joseph looked up and noticed that it was snowing outside. Naturally, he wanted to go out right away. Like yesterday, Mommy! Being flexible, I went and grabbed his clothes and winter gear... Joseph was a tad put out. I obviously didn't comprehend the urgency of the situation. Cars needed to be driven on snowy roads. Crashes needed to take place. Jeez. Mother's just don't understand! Who needs shoes when there's snow on the ground???

He was thrilled right up until his gloves became wet and cold. Then the world was ending.

So, we went back to pasta making...

Do you see the look of wonder?? Priceless.

Just look at the focus in the kid's eyes!!

Dudes... If you have a toddler at home... you need to try this. We spent almost an hour playing with pasta. 

And, okay, eating the pasta...

...and turning the crank in the opposite direction to feed the linguine noodles backwards...

...which actually results in this really neat ripple effect...

We even made thin lasagna noodles, but Joseph didn't think they were as cool as the spaghetti and linguine. Picky, picky.

The pasta maker can be clamped to a table, so we did all of this while sitting at Joseph's picnic table in the middle of the kitchen. We do everything there, so thanks Mom!

I think the pictures speak for themselves.

This was a fabulous toddler activity and a very entertaining morning. And we got lunch out of it.

We tossed the boiled noodles with olive oil, lemon juice, basil, salt, pepper, and fresh tomato. It was quite tasty, but Joseph was less interested in eating the cooked noodles. I guess he had already filled up, so he focused on getting me to slurp...

And since he didn't eat much in the way of lunch, we then made Kim Woodward's smoothie...

I'm pretty sure Joseph would live off of that smoothie if he could and it's the only way I can get him to eat spinach... So thanks for sharing, Kim!

Baby sister is also grateful. ;)

I really, really loved this activity. I enjoy cooking and baking with Joseph in general, but this was just extra fun! It made me a little nostalgic too because I remember making spinach linguine with my sisters with the same pasta maker as a kid. We strung all of the pasta up over the cabinet doors because the strands were so long. Good times. I will definitely be doing this again in the future!


  1. What a fun day! Pasta and snow!! Toddler heaven. :)

  2. I loved this, and it really inspired me to have Colton "help" me in the kitchen. I don't usually do this, because Salmonella! Knives! Hot things! (Seriously, my brother has salmonella when he was two, and was sick for like, 2 months. When he went back to school, none of his friends remembered him. I'm a little terrified when it comes to raw meat and eggs now.)

    But, I let Colton stir our crockpot meal; pour rice, water and broth into a pot; and stir the green beans I was cooking. He ate more for dinner than he has in weeks! I think it was because he was so proud of his awesome helping skills.

    I was thinking this morning that, with the exception of the spinach, you could probably freeze Joseph's smoothie ingredients for a quick, easy meal or snack for him once the baby comes. You just need to know how much OJ you typically use, then freeze it in ice cubes.


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