It’s a beautiful Fall-like day here in Florida – finally! And a good day to make soup. My favorite recipe is “Open the refrigerator door and see what needs to be used before it spoils.” I was inspired by a recipe I had seen in a magazine recently, but – alas – had none of the ingredients on hand. However, I did have kabochi squash, kale, Applegate chicken & apple sausage, garbanzo beans, garlic and an onion. Hhhmmm…….those seem to go together and the finished product might actually look/taste like the recipe I had seen. I loaded the CD player with a few of my favorite oldies, fixed a cup of tea, and began freewheeling in the kitchen. I was on a mission to create soup! The time went by quickly as I appropriately sliced, chopped, peeled, or roasted each ingredient.
Then it suddenly occurred to me: this must be close to what a child experiences each day in a Montessori environment! Here I was, working in an atmosphere of freedom (no recipe to follow), engaged in appropriate work, using my hands (slicing, chopping, etc.), using critical thinking skills (“Which ingredients would work here?”), sequencing (gathering ingredients and tools, preparing, then cleaning-up and putting away).
The creative juices were flowing. I felt happy, productive, and satisfied with the pot of colorful, fragrance of soup that resulted from my work.
If this was merely a taste of what a child experiences engaged in his own work, then what a gift we each day!