Simple Service: Giving Plate

Service Project: create a plate that will keep getting passed around with treats on it

Prep time: none

Cost: $1

Duration: 2 hours

Lesson(s) learned: Service can keep spreading

Books to help reinforce the idea:  How Kind! by Mary Murphy and I Can Help by David Hyde Costello.  To see more book ideas, click here.

How we did it:

The fun of this project is that it keeps on going.  Who knows where the plate will travel?  Decorate a plate with a cute saying and instructions to eat the treats then fill it up again and pass it on to someone else.  Doorbell ditch it to someone that would enjoy the surprise and who would have fun passing it on to someone else.  We started this plate back in September.  Has anyone seen it?  It could be in Timbuktu or on your neighbor's porch by now.

Pick out an awesome plate.  We went to the thrift store for ours.  Maybe you can spare a plate of your own.  Maybe Target is calling your name.  Or splurge at a department store.  Whatever, just get a plate and wash it.

Print off the template we used or make up your own.  Older kids could write whatever they choose directly on the plate or younger kids could scribble a drawing as decoration.  If you use our template, you might have to play around with the sizing (just change the scale when printing) to fit your plate.  Cut it in a circle to fit the flat part of the plate.

Scribble with a dark lead pencil on the back.  My daughter loved this part.  We’re trying to get a carbon copy here so press hard!  Make sure there's dark lead on the back of any spot with writing on the front.  

Flip it over and tape it in place on your plate.  Trace around the letters, checking the back periodically to make sure that you’re getting a mark on the plate.  Take off the template.  You should be able to see everything from the template.

Use a pen specifically marked for use with ceramic dishes.  I have heard that Sharpies work too but have never tried it myself.  Trace your penciling with the pen.  Let it dry for a day.  Stick it in the oven at 300 for 30 minutes, or whatever the directions on your pen say to do.  Let cool.

Do your kids like to help you in the kitchen?  Do you have a favorite recipe you make with them?  I remember helping my mom make popcorn balls for neighbors when I was little.  Now my daughter is excited to help with anything in the kitchen.  She’s especially fond of the whisk so I decided on some cookies we could make with a whisk.  We don't have a fancy kitchen helper to bring her up to the counter so I bring the mixing bowl down to the floor where it's easiest for her to help.  We eat gluten free around here and it's no fun to make cookies and not get to try them out so we made gluten free cookies.  You’ll find our recipe below, adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction and using methods from .America's Test Kitchen How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook.

Monster Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
6 TB  (100g) creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
1 large egg
1 TB vanilla extract
1 and 1/4 cups (160g) all purpose GF flour mix or regular all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (40g) quick oats (GF if needed)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup (50g) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup (50g) milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup (100g) mini M&Ms

Melt butter and peanut butter in the microwave in a large microwaveable bowl.  Whisk in the sugars and keep stirring until they start to dissolve.  Try to resist dipping your finger in the bowl.  Whisk in egg and vanilla.  

Add flour, oats, and baking soda.  Taste test a couple of m&ms and chocolate chips then throw the rest in and give it a good stir.  Chill for an hour.  

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare your cookie sheet with parchment paper or however else you like to do it.  Roll dough into balls and place on cookie sheet.  I used my 1 ½ TB cookie scoop to make sure that they were the same size and then gave them a quick roll in my hands to smooth out the edges.  Bake for about 10 minutes or until they are done to your liking.   

If your child will do okay whisking more in a big bowl, I would definitely double the recipe. More cookies is always a good thing!

Stick those cookies on your special plate, drop them on a lucky person’s doorstep, ring the doorbell, and RUN!

Hope your 2016 is off to a great start.  Have you decided how you will spread the spark this year?  We've got an event this Saturday planting trees which would be a great start to that resolution.  Come serve with us!