Three Berry Focaccia: this Grandma loves that Grandchildren love Berries!

imagesIt seems that recipes that use fresh berries catch my eye.  My grandchildren love berries and love playing with berries.  After all, berries are just little balls and children love balls.  Berries are delicious and are great to expand children’s palates.  “Focaccia” is a great new word and a great way to expand vocabulary with palate.

In July 2013 Parents Magazine is the recipe for Three Berry Focaccia.  I love that it only takes 10 minutes to make.  Remember this Grandma’s advice when baking with grandchildren:

Baking with grandchildren is a great activity.  The recipe should be a simple one with not too many ingredients.  The recipe is just the beginning of Grandma’s plan.  The recipe should be divided up into child tasks depending on the number of grandchildren and the ages of the grandchildren doing the activity.   Of course, Grandma must try to be fair and give each child a chance to participate, but the appearance of fairness is more important still, especially when use of appliances that may be dangerous to a young child.  Teaching cleanliness and safety is part of the process. 

Yes, cooking and baking is a great learning experience, but most of all, children remember this for a long time.  Remember to have a camera ready to memorialize the activity in pictures for the grandchildren’s annual photo album from beginning to the best part, eating the finished product.  Grandma has to be ready to accept a big mess so have lots of old towels and paper towels available.

 A Grandma can make this an experience that includes supermarket shopping, learning about berries and how they are grown using the internet or reading books about berries, researching how to select the best berries, or just cooking.

Grandma can make this a many part activity or just a cooking activity.  Grandmas always look for inexpensive gifts and letting each grandchild select their favorite sprinkles or such topping which leftover (labeled with child’s name) can to used another time.  The supermarket is a great activity in and of itself and targeted supermarket shopping for a single goal is the best way to start.  If you take young grandchildren to the supermarket, go yourself first to locate the items and the specific aisles so when you bring the grandchildren, your trip is more successful and less stressful.

Remember that for grandchildren who reach the checkout counter in the supermarket, candy  is going to be a magnet and a problem for grandma.  Either get permission from the parents for each child to pick one candy item, have a parent or grandpa join you and take the children directly to car seats and grandma checks out alone, or have a conversation before the trip that each will be picking a candy topping and that is the only candy involved this trip. 

 

You can make the supermarket very quick and find the first items the grandchildren like, or begin a dialogue about comparison shopping and costs of different brands for the same item. For younger children, we count, boxes, items we are buying.  For beginning readers, we look for sight words.  For experienced readers, we look at ingredients and compare brands.  Pictures!  We don’t need to go buy eggs, oil, vanilla and other staples we have in the house, unless that is

to be a lesson on all the egg alternatives, sizes, and kinds.

I personally use the supermarket as an example to my grandchildren of how lucky we are to live in America, and have all the choices, options and opportunities we have.  Yes, I do remind them that there are those who do not have enough food to eat, even in the United States. I show them, by example, to be appreciative of all service workers, be polite, and thankful to everyone.

Here is the recipe for Three Berry Focaccia which makes about nine pieces:

Ingredients:

1 10 ounce portion fresh or frozen (thawed) whole wheat pizza or bread dough

1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted

1 teaspoon olive oil

¼ each fresh blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries

¼ cup sugar

large baking sheet

Parchment paper

Pastry brush

a ruler

Now to preparation.  Prepare yourselves, grandmas, to accept the mess.  I have the grandchildren lay old towels in front of the sink, everywhere on the floor in kitchen, on the work surface.  I have rolls of paper towels near the sink and the workspace.  The garbage pail is handy.  Then we all wash our hands with soap and sing the alphabet song.  ( I do remember Katie Couric  on the Today Show on NBC saying that is how long we must wash our hands to get them germ free).

 At this point, with the grandchild reader holding the written recipe, we bring out all that we need to bake, double check, count, smell, touch.  With the smallest, we can even make some music banging spoons and pans.  We can parade with the music too.  We can make up a cupcake song. Hi. Ho. Hi. Ho. …  Remember, the journey is the fun.  Who cares to hurry.  Pictures! Now, grandma divided up the tasks in her head so each gets a chance.  Pictures!

Preparation:

1.       Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Stretch or roll the dough into a large oval (about 11” x 8”) on the baking sheet.

2.      Combine the butter and olive oil in a small bowl.  Brush the dough with the butter-oil mixture.

3.      Sprinkle berries and sugar on top and bake until the dough is golden and berries begin to bubble and burst, about 20 to 25 minutes.  Cut dough into 9 pieces to serve.  124 calories per piece.

Now, it’s time to look on the internet with the grandchildren for other focaccia recipes to make with

 

Joy,

 

Mema

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