Often there are stories attached to these recipes that are passed down from one generation to another. In our family, my father’s father was a pastry chef while his mom was a salad chef. They were both exceptionally confident and opinionated in the kitchen. At holiday time, I remember them sharing the babka recipe with me while listening to them dispute how something was to be done. That recipe card had the ingredients, procedural steps, stains from sitting on the counter during the baking process and the endearing memories of my grandparents posturing for kitchen control. I also remember my maternal grandmother teaching me how to make pierogies. We didn’t follow a recipe card but through oral instruction, I was taught the steps in making her delicious soft potato dumplings.
If you don’t have family recipes to resurrect, then look for new ones to use with your children. I’ve added a number of holiday baking links below. You can start your own baking traditions.
Depending on the age of your child, following a recipe might require a touch more patience, but it is worth it! Your child will appreciate you allowing them into your ‘adult space’ that is filled with interesting and challenging tools. In addition, they will develop the following: