— despite the hunger which was so evident in most of them,
Was how fun… how delightful, it is…
to feed them.
The children always want to know what you are eating — and to look at the brightly colored wrappers of your supply of protein bars you knew would run out soon enough.
Notably, something that they really like – is something that they don’t have often.
A family member had bought a cookie decorating kit, which I somehow managed to bring all the way across the world, due to the fact that it had all dry ingredients – no liquids.
I woke early one morning, and headed to the living room, just as the sun was rising. I took full advantage of the few moments of holy silence, while the children were still sleeping and made my way around the table and desk, setting out the ingredients for the kids to decorate cookies as they awoke.
The first little girl woke up. An eight –year-old. She heard me moving around quietly and her sleepy, tousled head silently found my stomach and she wrapped her arms around me.
“Can I show you something?” I asked, taking her by the hand.
I showed her the bright yellow icing, and the sprinkles, and the rainbow-colored sprinkles.
“What is it, Aunty?” She asked, looking at the stack of packaged butter cookies, in the shape of butterflies and flowers.
“It’s an art project.” I whispered.
She sat down and I showed her how to ice a cookie.
She thought it was paint. She took to the decoration of her piece — thoughtfully — in her little pink nightgown.
The next little boy wandered in. He was only six-years-old. He had been living on the street with his brothers until just about six months before. Now he was in kindergarten. He took his new school responsibilities very seriously and always wore a solemn, worried expression. He knew that school and church — were the factors which made his life comfortable, and separated him from the way that he lived on the street.
I sat him down, and put in front of him a cookie.
I watched him begin to decorate his cookie.
More children filed in, but graciously and quietly it happened almost one-by-one.
And so it was each in a quiet moment that I was able to show them their task.
They loved the sprinkles. They loved the bright color of the icing.
But none of them – knew – what a cookie was.
“Don’t eat it.” I had told them. And they had listened.
I suppose Crayola markers and tempera paints, and glue also appear edible — to someone who doesn’t know what they are.
The kids had gotten used to this command not to eat the educational supplies they created with.
Finally – near the end of their quiet decorating, one of the girls – a very bright child – asked – “What is this, Aunty?”
“Everybody,” I announced. “Stick your finger in this… just a little bit.”
We passed around the icing bowl – and everyone placed a bit of the “yellow paint” on their fingers.
“Now,” I smiled… “Taste it.”
As they all began licking their fingers and their eyes went joyful and wide.
“It’s a cookie.”
I took the children out to the porch and they had their beautiful treats carefully on trays, and we took some of the best pictures.
The kids began to nibble on their treats, but not one child ate the whole thing. For nearly a week, I watched them sneak into the kitchen and take out their cookie and have just a few more bites.
They knew of scones, they had heard of cakes, they were learning — how cooking on a stove was different than cooking over am open fire.
–– but until that day… they didn’t know cookies. And icing.
They loved these things called “cookies” and wanted them to last forever.
We’ve tried many different cookie recipes, with many different ingredients we can access in the village. Hopefully we can post more about those — including ingredient substitutions for commonly missing supplies, soon.
We’ve been baking cookies ever since, and are sharing some of our favorite cookie recipes with you today. Click on the pictures on the left side of your screen for the recipes and ideas by Gimme Some Oven. (See video at the end of the post.)
From Previous Post: Rainbow Cake | In A Village
This may surprise you —
— but children in villages — with an internet connection —
— love to check out beautiful foods and cakes online.
Food photography and blogs, as well as cooking shows —
–have taken over the media in the past few years.
Children watch through window displays, glassed in televisions, or phone screens —
— hunger makes them look a little bit dreamy — when they view beautiful foods on empty stomachs.
Ideas hug and comfort them with an inspirational touch — that maybe someday they will also be able to eat something like this.
For a recent holiday, the children chose to make a Rainbow Cake.
They didn’t have enough funding for several layers, but instead decided to paint it beautiful with food coloring and icing.
This was their result.
This is a great cake idea for birthdays — especially if children are helping to make the celebration special.
Bright colors — and extra sugar — bring hope to the children in the village.
Here is a link to our color wheel experiments which make Rainbow Icing possible even if a whole spectrum of food dyes are not availalble: Color Theory
Click on the pictures on the left side of your screen for the recipes and ideas by Gimme Some Oven.
Check out the gallery on the right side of your screen to learn more about Rainbow Gardening and Village Nutrition.→
Cookie Stories? What’s your favorite cookie?