of Cooking with
How appropriate to initiate our StarChefs Playroom with the most ubiquitous
yet versatile of fruits! In fact, children's first experience with fruits
most commonly includes applesauce.
Right now autumn is the time to explore the HUGE world of apples . Farmers are increasingly growing 'heirloom' varieties that are very delicious and offer more flavor options for exploring as a family in orchards, farmer's markets and, of course, the produce aisles of the supermarket.
Below are some family activities with apples along with some proven family-friendly recipes from the book, Cooking Time Is Family Time.
Apple Tasting Gather samples of 5-6 different apple varieties. Cut them up and display them on separate plates. Have the children help you label each variety on an index card of piece of paper. Now, taste each one and compare differences. Kids think of an apple meaning a 'red one or a green one.' This exercise will broaden their understanding of apples, as well as help them learn more about their own flavor preferences. Be sure to talk about their taste experience, asking such questions as:
Apple Picking Nearly every state that grows apples has a website that will help you find a 'pick-your-own' orchard nearest your home. By driving to an orchard and letting your children thrill to the fun of climbing trees and plucking choice fruit from a tree, you will help them appreciate nature, freshness and the labor involved in bringing food to your family table.
When you return home, a bushel of apples can disappear pretty quickly when you have some delicious options as the ones listed in the recipe section of the playroom!
Caramel apples Melting caramel candies slowly and then dunking whole apples or chunks into the molten candy, followed by rolling them in chopped nuts or cereals is fun for young and old. You can get creative with the decorating. Be sure to let them set on wax paper and place them in the freezer for 15 minutes to keep the caramel from dripping right off onto the paper!
Dunking for apples This is a very old game that, once again, is fun for every age. Place the apples in a large container, kiddie-pool or the bathtub!
Everyone gets 1 minute with their hands behind their back for each turn. The 'winner' successfully pulls out an apple with their teeth! (Little ones can pull up the stems with their teeth it's hard to get a tiny mouth around an apple!)