The only times I can recall being allowed to cook in the kitchen with Mom was during the holidays, when it was time to bake. I can remember vividly lacing the top to a cherry pie, pressing out & decorating sugar cookies, that sort of thing. While I remember many of the items she made, I’m having a problem recreating even the most simple.
Funnily enough, it’s baking that I really enjoy. Quick breads, to be precise. But it is definitely the baking, the measuring and stirring and then leaving it alone in the oven to see what happens that is my thing.
It’s a simple equation, all the parenting magazines will tell it to you: if the child helps you cook it, chances are they’ll eat it. In this case, I’m talking about Sunshine.
At Thanksgiving, I made my deviled eggs. No recipe, just go by gut instinct and taste. He helped me season the egg goo, and stir and stir and stir. For the first time, he also ate a deviled egg with his dinner. Now that he knows what is going into it, that he can claim ownership in the meal, it means more for him.
Today, I decided to make spaghetti and sneaky meatballs. Because even though he chopped the veggies (kewl little contraption, you smack the heck out of it and you get finely diced veggies), poured them in, helped mix everything up… When he eats it tonight they won’t have veggies in them. They will simply be His Meatballs. The ones he made. The sauce is simmering as well. He helped season it, open the cans and pour in diced tomatoes, etc. He will have full ownership of the meal tonight, and I can’t wait.
Sometimes I wonder though: what will he take out of these experiences and pull into adulthood? Not the recipes, since I rarely if ever follow one unless I’m baking. I might start out with one as the base, but then I end up going and doing what ever the heck it was I wanted to do anyways. There are no 1 teaspoon of this, a table spoon of that. It’s experiment time!
I hope that’s what he takes with him into adult hood. That cooking should be an adventure, even when you’re making something as normal as sketti and meatballs.