by Suzanna U.
With Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday, we wanted to share a classic no-bake, no-heat recipe that can be made by children in honor of this auspicious holiday. Who remembers bringing crispy toast, over-sweetened cereal, and lovingly prepared fruit cups on a tray to their mother on a sleepy Sunday morning? If you want to join in the fun and offer a chance for the kids to take charge in the kitchen, check out this no-cook Raisin Bar Recipe.
The recipe is adapted from a dog-eared copy of Cooking With Young Children, put out by the Delaware Valley Association For the Education of Young Children (now known as First Up) in the 1970s. The Free Library’s Youth Services and Programs has long collaborated with First Up on best practices for early childhood education in the Philadelphia area. And here at the Free Library’s Culinary Literacy Center, our public classes often include opportunities for families to get together in the kitchen – both in our industrial-style kitchen classroom and in home kitchens citywide using recipes we develop here at the library. Taking a cue from Cooking With Young Children, we encourage everyone to use this Teacher’s Success Recipe:
Abundance of Courage
Plenty of Patience
Dash of Humor
Sufficient directions, well understood
Mix thoroughly with an appreciation of children.
Time: Longer than you think.
Temperature: Cool and calm.
Wash hands. Place graham crackers in freezer bag and use hands to crush into crumbs.
In bowl, mix graham crumbs, raisins and marshmallows use large spoon. Pour in cream and stir until crumbs are moist. Spoon mixture into square pan and refrigerate. When cold, slice into small square bars using a butter knife (ask for a grownup to help as needed). Keeps in refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Variations: Try chopped dates, coconut flakes, chocolate chips, or roasted pumpkin seeds to the mixture before chilling for added flavor and texture.
Substitutions: You can substitute coconut milk for heavy cream if you wish.
Looking for additional ways to engage children in the kitchen? Check out our cookbooks, for both adults and childrens, for more ideas! For culinary literacy classes, visit freelibrary.org/cook. And THANK YOU to all the mothers around the world who nourish their children year-round and inspire our next generation of eaters to use food and cooking as a vehicle for learning!