Italian Plum Crumble & How to Get Children in the Kitchen Cooking
I am very blessed to have such an amazing tribe of friends here in Washington. When we first moved here in May, I was so worried that I wouldn’t find any great friends, but I was so wrong. Every week is always fulled with fun and excitement. Another blessing about Washington is all the opportunities I have been given to really embrace the seasons. I love how a lot of people here are very aware of seasonal produce . I’ve always knew about seasonal produce and how it is important to eat with each season, however this year is so extra special because I finally got to experience it first hand. My friend and her children got to pick italian plums from her friends garden, so we made plans for a baking play date. I wanted to make something super simple yet very delicious and a plum crumble immediately came to mind.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about how important it is not only for children to help out around the house but also to get them into the kitchen. I’ve come a very long way, when I first got my children into the kitchen it was a mess and my patiences was tested. However, with time, I grew to enjoy it and remember the long term effects the experience will have on my children. Below I would love to share a few tricks and tips I have learned along the way (and share a yummy crumble recipe with you all!).
- Don’t have high expectations! When I first got my girls into the kitchen, I was super OCD and wanted everything to be neat. I would see pictures of Montessori children kneading dough neatly and cutting veggies perfectly. Unfortunately, with that false reality and perfectly curated Instagram images in my mind, that wasn’t my case. My daughters would throw food on the floor, touch knives, and the list goes on! I realized very quick that those cute pictures of children were only what the parents wanted you to see and that every child is different! So please, leave comparing and expectations at the door.
- Be patient! This piece of advice goes well with the first one, just take your time. Let your children have fun and relax! Not only do they learn to get more comfortable in the kitchen but they get to help clean all the mess up too! Cleaning and cooking skills!
- Prep ahead of time! Now I will confess that this part I am not so great at. However, when I behave myself and do this, I pat myself on the back! When you prep it makes baking or cooking with the kiddos a bit easier. It helps reduce frustrations and huge mess! Also with prepping sometimes, I will make my own dish on the side, therefore if the children mess the dish up, you still have some on the side to actually consume.
- Plan ahead! Prep ingredients ahead, but plan baking and/or cooking with your children ahead of time. Once per week we bake so I already know what to get at the store, what day and around what time. Now I know with children, having plans sometimes don’t work out the way we intended. However, it helps to know in advance what plans you have for cooking and your children will have something fun to look forward to.
- Have fun! Throw flour, put butter on your nose, listen to music and dance! It will get super messy but children in the kitchen at an early age builds such a great foundation for gross and fine motor skills. Plus, it is a great sensory project and reduces the chances of your littles being picky eaters.
I hope those few tips helped! I will also be posting a blog post on how to get children involved in knowing where food comes from and building a great relationship with real whole foods! Enjoy the recipe and cute photos below!
Recipe adapted from The Hungry Mouse.
- 1 lb. Italian prune plums, pitted and quartered
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 1/2 Tbls. flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup oatmeal
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 6 Tbls. butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Grease a 9-inch glass pie pan lightly with oil or butter and set it aside. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
- First, make the filling.
- Cut the plums into quarters (removing and discarding the stem and pit). Leave the skins on.
- Put the plum quarters into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Add the flour & brown sugar. Mix gently until all the ingredients are combined.
- Transfer the filling to your greased pie pan. Be sure to scrape out any sugar that’s sticking to the bowl.
- Next, make the topping.
- Put the flour, white sugar, brown sugar, sliced almonds, oatmeal, salt, and butter in the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl, if you’re mixing by hand).
- Mix on medium-high until you have a uniform, coarse meal.
- Sprinkle the crumb topping over the plum mixture.
- Pop the pan into your pre-heated 375-degree oven. Bake for about 45 minutes.
- Cool it on the counter and serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!
**Recipe adapted from The Hungry Mouse**