Home educating Christmas activity: chocolate truffles
Today we were feeling festive and crafty and
a bit desperate as we didn’t know what to get some friends for Christmas generally joyful, so we decided to make some yummy chocolate truffles. The results of cooking and craft in an autonomous education household generally look nothing like the instructions or Pinterest, so I thought it would be interesting to see what the kids thought of rolling chocolate mixture into perfect spheres, keeping the kitchen clean, and not eating any of it. I do like to have a laugh.
The recipe we started with was super simple, with only a few ingredients and no cooking needed. Woohoo! It was:
A pack of digestive biscuits (approx 25)
Half a can of condensed milk
3 tbps cocoa powder
The first thing we did was eat some of the biscuits which meant getting out another pack and chucking in about half of those, leaving us with little clue as to the newly-needed ratio of the other ingredients. I put the lots-of biscuits in a plastic bag and gave the kids a rolling pin each to smash them. Around four seconds later I gently retrieved two of the rolling pins and suggested a turn-taking method to minimise cranial damage.￼
Whoever said tables weren’t for sitting on? Invite them to our place, it’s fun-ner here. (Yah I know that’s not a Proper Word; don’t you think it says something about our culture that there is no word to simply mean ‘increased fun’?)
After bashing and crunching the biscuits into crumbs, we added around half a pack of melted butter and maybe 2/3 of a can of condensed milk, to make up for the extra biscuits. Then we had to add powdered oats to absorb the apparently unnecessary extra condensed milk. Hey, learning is a lifelong process, right?
After mixing it all together, it looked like a big giant sticky chocolate truffle. We put out some cocoa powder and icing sugar and started rolling them into bite-sized treats. Nom!
After a few goes our middle daughter decided to make families of tiny truffles instead, each decorated with a small clump of icing sugar. Sure, why not?
A few minutes later I stepped out of the kitchen as I had started being a bit control-ish and decided they would have more fun without me. Which they did. By the end of it there was cocoa everywhere, lots of spherical truffles from the eldest and an army of cocoa-dusted squiggles from our four year old.
As ever, I’m really glad that I let them take part in their own way without pushing my own agenda of some perfect Pinterest-worthy truffles. Instead we have thoughtful, unique gifts that capture the spirits of the girls (calm, artistic, sensible eldest and fiery, anarchist middle) and they both declared that they couldn’t wait to give G’dad (Grandad) some of the sweets they had made.
I wonder how many times we have stopped kids from fully investing in an activity because we want them to do it our way, or because we have our own agenda formed in our minds? One thing I love about autonomous education is that I get to see how incredibly trustworthy and learning-orientated our children are, and today was one tiny, festive, delicious example.
Travel journalists, home educating our lovely brood of 3 girls. Planning a year-long RTW trip late Summer 2017.