Today I’ve asked Nanny from Too Many Visitors for One Little House to interview Sara Bonetti. Sara shares her wonderful recipes on her blog Caffeiiina.blogspot.com, and has been featured on BakingIsHot.com. She’s also a featured publisher for FoodBuzz. Besides her phenomenal baking, I love Sara’s mission to fully include kids in her baking process. Nanny will be asking Sara a few questions about her exceptional journey to baking with kids, and Nanny will even get to ask Sara’s young baking apprentice, Carla, a few questions too!
Hello dearies! Nanny here. I’m terribly tickled to introduce my friend Sara Bonetti and her scrumptious muffin recipe which is featured on the Booksicals Craft For Kids page. Sara loves to bake with kids, just like I do! Today I’m going to ask Sara and Carla some questions:
Nanny: So! I see in your ‘about me’ section you started really baking in California. Was it entirely new for you when you came to the States?
Sara Bonetti: Well, I have to say baking was not entirely new to me. I come from a poor family, so baking was more of a luxury than something for our everyday lives. However, we did do a lot of baking for holidays and big family gatherings, and it was up to me to do the baking. I would say, though, that at Davis baking became a passion.
Nanny: What changed about baking for you?
Sara Bonetti: At Davis, it became a way for me to put in practice my own philosophy about eating, cooking, and baking. My mom thought me that the best way to eat is to have a little bit of everything. I reject vegetarianism or veganism (unless it is for a real health issue, of course) and I do not share the view of many people about carb-free or sugar-free diets. We do need a little bit of everything and even better if that everything comes from food made in your home, from scratch with good ingredients and lots of love.
Nanny: Sounds like your mother was a huge influence on your baking. What did you make together back in Italy?
Sara Bonetti: Well, she never liked baking but only because she has no sweet tooth at all. And still I think she does not realize how baking with her had a huge impact on me. Aside from our family’s favorite cakes, gnocchi and bolognaise sauce are the two things I learned cooking with her. They are now my husband’s favorite J.
Nanny: How did you decide to pursue working with kids?
Sara Bonetti: When I moved to the Bay Area and I found the school where I now work, I felt I have found my place on earth. Finding the right school, the right people, and an educational approach I truly believe in (the Reggio Emilia approach) just made my decision to drop out of my PhD in Agricultural Economics much easier. In between I had a terrible year and a half making up my mind! The decision was hard to take but so worth it.
Nanny: What’s your philosophy about baking with kids?
Sara Bonetti: I believe in the full involvement of kids in the kitchen. By “baking with kids” I don’t mean me doing the job while they are watching. Or baking ‘kid’ food. I mean doing real baking with them taking an active role. Of course, you can’t ask a 3 year-old to cut but he/she can totally stir and mix. The important thing is to know what you can ask of each age group and of each child, otherwise both the child and you will get frustrated and it will not be an enjoyable activity.
Nanny: How did you start baking with Carla?
Sara Bonetti: The director of my school put me in touch with Carla’s mom because she was looking for a fluent Italian speaker to keep up with Carla’s Italian. During our first phone conversation it came out that Carla enjoyed spending time in the kitchen and being that she is a little slow to warm up to new people, we agreed that it would be a great ice-breaker to make something together.
Nanny: So Carla, how do you like baking with Mrs. Bonetti?
Carla: I love it!
Nanny: Have you learned anything new?
Carla: Measuring with cups and spoons and now with the scale.
Nanny: What’s the yummiest recipe you’ve made with Mrs. Bonetti?
Carla: ALL THE COOKIES!
Sara Bonetti: The ones you buy are huge and so sweet. We needed to learn to make them to adjust them to our tastes.
Nanny: Learn by doing. Baking. Kids. I love your style, Mrs. Bonetti!
Sara Bonetti: Why thank you, Nanny!