How Old Do You Have to Be to Be a Maker?

My buddy Petey Rojas is four years old, and he is already a maker. He goes to a school where they bake every week and over time he has become something of a pint-sized celebrity baker on his mom's site, Inhabitots. This is his video on how to make vegan red velvet cupcakes. His family is vegan, so that's how he cooks.

You may think from watching the video that Petey is getting coached. Not really. He gets some help with the order of things since he is not yet a reader, but the hosting job and mastering the actual process, that's all him. He does look off camera to his mom to make sure he's doing a good job, or just to be sure his audience is with him.

How old do you have to be to be a maker? Kids have a natural creativity that flourishes if we cultivate it, or just make room for it to flourish. Who knows how it aids them as they get older? A maker is a creator, but also a problem-solver, an imaginer, someone who can think up a few ways to get around an obstacle, valuable skills to have all through life.

Bread in the shape of an "S" for Susan. The dough was made by Inhabitots Patissier, four-year old Petey Rojas.

I was recently at Petey's house when he was baking bread. He had a little trouble understanding the concept of why yeast takes time to make the dough rise, but saw how it worked and got it in the end. While his mom molded her bread into the first letter of the recipient's name, Petey made all  his pieces into "goggles," which he later referred to as glasses. Not sure why he thought bread in the shape of eyewear was the thing to do, but I'm still not entirely clear why Duchamp argued that a toilet bowl was art. That's the prerogative of the maker, or artist. The picture above is the piece of S bread I took home; we ate Petey's goggles while they were still warm, with honey or olive oil, straight from the oven.




Chocolate Chip Pear Bread

I have a baking buddy. I think everyone should have one. Each of us adds something to the mix - and the result is usually really good - it's different every time!

My baking buddy, Lisa, & I came up with this recipe. We've been baking breads together since last summer and take bits and pieces from different recipes and put it all together.

I wanted to make a pear bread & my buddy added the key ingredient that I think makes this bread so good - ground cloves! It gives it a very light, almost minty flavor. Hope you like it as much as I do - it's my absolute favorite!

1/3 cup brown sugar
3 TB unsalted butter or Ghee (softened)
1 cup unsweetened applesauce

Mix dry ingredients, add to above mixture & crack 2 large eggs into it:
2 cups flour
2 TB unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda

Fold in:
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1 large Asian pear or 2 smaller pears peeled & cut into chunks

Bake at 350 degrees in a loaf pan (9x5x3) for 1 hour. Let it cool & enjoy!