Do you know what my kids say whenever I tell them they're spoiled? They look at me, quite pleased, with a twinkle in their eye, and say the same thing every time: "Yes, and proud of it!" (with a huge exclamation point.)
Our children are grown now with children of their own but, as we were raising them, our child-rearing philosophy was quite simple: firm discipline mixed with a tremendous amount of love and lots of laughs. That was story in a nutshell. This can, at times, be a delicate balance, but it works! We expected our kids to behave but showered them with love, indulged them when we could and had lots of fun along the way. We still have a wonderful relationship and thoroughly enjoy spending time together.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised at their response. Doesn't everyone want to be spoiled just a bit? To this day, I enjoy surprising them with fun gifts, cooking their favorite meals and preparing old family recipes they've come to cherish. I always marvel at how food can bring back wonderful memories and speak a love language like nothing else.
An example of how my kids are spoiled happens quite frequently when my son and daughter-in-law come for dinner. If I'm serving a dessert that calls for a dollop of whipped cream, I don't DARE bring out the aerosol can. Oh no, it has to be the REAL thing and preferably with REAL vanilla beans (or vanilla bean paste) in lieu of regular vanilla. See what I mean? Spoiled. Rotten.
I have to admit, there is a huge difference in the taste of fresh cream whipped to dreamy, sweet mounds of deliciousness vs the stuff that comes in a can and has lots of ingredients listed on the label that I can't pronounce. Sometimes though. I just don't feel like taking the time to get out my mixer, extra bowls, utensils, etc. I heard about a simple trick not long ago and thought it sounded too good to be true - Whipped Cream Made in a Mason Jar! No mixer, extra bowls or utensils to clean.
I had to try it. It took a few attempts to get it just right but guess what? Whipped Cream Made in a Mason Jar is amazing and works like a charm. It's almost as easy as pulling the spray can out of the fridge ............. but please don't tell my kids. I'm kind of proud that they're proud of being spoiled! I wouldn't want to "spoil" their image of me .
Try out this simple technique (takes less than 1o minutes)!
- 1 cup heavy cream*
- 1-2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 1 clean 1-pint Mason jar with lid
Place a pint size Mason jar in the freezer for 10-15 minutes with the lid on before beginning recipe.
Remove jar from freezer and unscrew the lid. Add 1 cup heavy cream, 1-2 tablespoon sugar (depending on how sweet you like your whipped cream) and 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract.
Screw lid on tightly and begin shaking. Shake vigorously for 5-6 minutes. (Have a friend or your kids help - 5 minutes doesn't sound that long but when your shaking really hard, your arm will get quite weary). When cream is almost ready, you'll notice a difference in the sound (it will no longer swoosh) and the cream will coat the sides of the jar. Take a peek. If cream is not thick enough, shake a little longer, but be careful at this point as a lovely, fluffy whipped cream can quickly turn to lovely, fluffy butter! You want a creamy consistency that will form soft peaks when stirred with a spoon.
Be sure to use heavy cream for best results.
This is a great recipe to make with kids. They can all get in on the shaking exercise, get rid of some excess energy and will be thrilled when they see (and taste) the results of their labor.