After spending a sleepless Friday night with a stomach virus, I awoke Saturday morning with about as much energy as a 100-year-old woman who just ran a marathon. Yet, there were four little mouths to feed and my oldest daughter, who sort-of knows how to cook, was at a friend's house. The thought of rising from my bed to cook breakfast was not an enjoyable one. I started to just tell them to eat cereal, but an idea came to me that would not only feed my children, but teach them a bit of responsibility.
My 10-year-old son, Caleb, enjoys cooking. He's learned how to make homemade biscuits and grilled cheese sandwiches. So I asked him if he would like to make breakfast for everyone -- assuming I gave him instructions along the way. He was excited about the prospect, so we struck upon the idea of making what we call "Monkey Bread." We enlisted 8-year-old Joshua's help and set to work.
First I had Caleb preheat the oven to 400 degrees while Joshua hunted for a round cake pan. I had them bring me the pan along with a can of non-stick cooking spray so that I could spray it. The last time I had a child spray a pan, they used up the rest of the can and left a soupy layer of grease.
Next, they brought me a can of biscuits from the refrigerator. I peeled back the paper and let Josh pound the heck out of it on the counter. He thoroughly enjoyed this part, but what 8-year-old boy wouldn't? I instructed Joshua to cut the biscuits into four sections each using a butter knife while Caleb made a cinnamon sugar mixture: 4 tablespoons sugar to 1 teaspoon cinnamon. The cinnamon sugar went into a zip lock bag.
The boys coated the biscuits in the sugar and placed them in the pan. I could hear them from my bedroom as they worked and relished in their accomplishments:
''From now on, we can make monkey bread and Mom won't have to" Joshua proudly stated.
''Yeah, I know how to make biscuits and grilled cheese sandwiches and now I can make monkey bread,'' added Caleb.
Caleb slid the biscuits into the oven and set the timer for 10 minutes.
As I lay there listening to my boys express such a sense of accomplishment in their newfound knowledge I thought to myself, ''This was worth a night of torment, just so that I could hear the joy in their voices as they reflected on their achievement.'' Too bad it took my total incapacitation before I was willing to delegate and to be patient enough to instruct.
When the 10 minutes were up, I ventured from my bed long enough to make the powdered sugar glaze for the top. I had to, because I have no idea of the measurements to delegate that one to Caleb. It's a cereal bowl of powdered sugar, a drop of vanilla and enough water to turn it into a spread-able glaze. Caleb drizzled it over the top and it was some of the best Monkey Bread I ever ate. Give Monkey Bread a try with your kids. They'll love it and they'll have fun at the same time.
Marnie L. Pehrson is a writer and online publisher who helps webmasters have fresh content for their sites. Find 1,000's of articles on business, home, family, marketing, computers, life, etc. Get your articles featured for free or build your own content-rich site or newsletter at www.ideamarketers.com.