Did you know you are a control freak? You say you aren’t? I say you are. Try baking with young children.
You know what will happen, right? At least one of them will want to crack an egg. That’s right…
CRACK. AN. EGG.
OK- I’m not going to be that Mom that won’t let my kids try things on their own. What’s the worst that could happen? It’ll be fine. It’ll be fine, right? I’m sure it’ll be fine.
There’s several aspects to consider here in a child-operated egg cracking situation: salmonella, general mess on the table (or floor if the aim is off), egg shell infestation in the batter (the smaller the pieces the better, right?) and keeping the child’s confidence intact.
Salmonella..stupid salmonella. Try explaining salmonella to a kid, especially when they want to lick the raw batter. So not only are you worried about raw eggs, but if raw egg touched the hand of your child, you now need to make sure they don’t pick their nose or rub their finger on anything or touch their siblings until they wash hands. And not just run their hands under the water, but use soap and scrub. And don’t lick the batter!
General mess on the table. Cracking an egg is a pretty standard and uneventful process for an adult. A younger child? Totally different story. There’s finesse in cracking…can’t smack the egg on the bowl or table too much but not too light, either. How does a child know the right amount? They start out light and repeatedly tap a little harder each time until they make a noticeable dent on the egg shell. Then they start to push on the compromised part of the egg with their thumbs and it’s only a matter of time before the egg succumbs to the pressure and completely squishes, with the gooey insides streaming down the child’s hands. Which leads me to the next issue…
Egg shell infestation. This is my favorite part of damage control when baking with children. There’s nothing more fun than trying to pinch small pieces of egg shell out of the yolk goo or batter.
Confidence. So in the (frequent) event that an egg crack doesn’t go quite as planned, there is the pep talk for the child. “You did fine! This takes practice! It’s not too bad, look…I can just pick out the shell parts and then it’ll be all better. See?”
Crap…now I have raw egg goo on my hands and a possible salmonella outbreak here.
Don’t lick the batter!