Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Joys and Sorrows of Cooking With Children

Heart Of Dakota on Facebook posted some suggestions of what to do with your kids for breakfast. Since that first meal can set the tone of the day.

I replied saying I had trained my kiddos to make their own breakfast since I have a grumpy Gus, she has to be hooked up to her Vest Airway System for 20 minutes each morning. Letting her have control over this aspect of her life is beneficial for all parties involved. Not to mention the added benefit that Little Miss Sunshine now makes smashing omelets, and Sweet Potato makes great tho slightly wet scrambled eggs.

I have to admit this road was paved by my Mom. Can you guess who the grumpy Gus was in her house...can you? Huh Huh Huh? I was beyond annoying in the morning. I was hard to get out of bed and not fun to be around before 10am.  Oddly enough when Mom put breakfast squarely in my hands I became the pancake maker for my siblings. Looking back on the wisdom of my ancestors elders, I have followed suit.

I have to admit it took a good year to transition to self made breakfast.

The Sorrows... 
Look at that nice tiny dice and she's only 10!
 I lost sniff sniff my best beloved Calphalon Omelet pan in the process. I live in hope that when they grow up and realize how much one of those costs, they replace it. It's fine for other things now but no longer suitable for making omelets.

Letting kids in the kitchen means you will have large messes to clean up, and they might lose a bit of fingernail in the process. I'm a believer in giving a kid a SHARP knife to cut with. Once they have the mechanics of cutting down. Imho DULL knives cause more injuries than sharp ones. Sharp knives cut, dull ones slip off the red bell pepper and into child's hand, leading to a run to the bathroom for band-aids.

Was once a butter dish! Smashed 5 days after post. 
Don't forget if it's glass, it is going to break, expect things to fall and smash beautifully while your all walking around with bare feet.

They will put the $10.99 a pound cheese in their omelet and not leave any for you, because "MOM this Cheese is fantastic."  You will run out of eggs halfway though the week when you have no more money in the food budget envelope, because they burned them, dropped them and/or left them out.

Not to mention the time it takes to train them! When you can do it faster, and more efficiently by just kicking them out of the kitchen.  It's not easy having that little one with sticky fingers touching all the drawers and handles that will need to be cleaned up after. You know your not gonna be happy till all the honey is off the fridges handle, And your going to be the one to clean it. But as they age up they actually start putting away the eggs with out being told. Even soaking the pans.

The Joys...
The hard work of training them is beginning to pay off. No longer are my quiet times reminiscent of Nehemiah's emergency prayer requests. Quiet Time is in the morning before I get out of bed. I grab my itouch  and open up my bible reading program and read, think, pray. It's fabulous I can't believe I'm 62%  done on my bible reading plan!  It helps me be a slightly more patient Mom, and it gets me more awake and functioning. So I can face the math! Cause lets face it I'm still not really wake before 10am still! 

I have found my kids will eagerly show off their egg cooking skills, and make me a tasty breakfast in bed. Unlike some of the nasty burnt creations of my child hood. Those I lovingly carried up to my parents room. BTW Mom/Dad I'm so sorry for all the nasty eggs you had to secretly feed to the cat. My kids make food you can eat, delish even.

Allowing the freedom to fail, leads to creativity in the kitchen. It's amazing the MEALS yes I did say meals Little Miss Sunshine will make. I'm so proud of her when she asks to make dinner at 10 years of age.

Frying up spices to replenish our Garam Masala spice jar.
They can cook... think when they go to college they can cook for all their friends. Who are resorting to Raman cup-o-soup. 

They appreciate food more. If I made Sweet Potato eat eggs everyday for a week she would have a whine fest. Yet this same child can make herself eggs for 10 days in a row without complaint. Odd isn't it??? I think this falls under Giving Voice, in the ideal parenting model.  Like Burger King they can have it their way everyday as long as they clean up afterward. 

I now have helping hands, yes the pieces of green bell pepper may not be cut into OCD precise cubes, but hey you didn't have to cut them up!

I'm making memories, of failures fixed by a dash of this and that, or standing by and letting them cook it all by themselves. That first loaf of bread or batch of cookies they did while you "spotted" them in the kitchen.

The joy you feel when Daddy praises you for a great dish, and you nod your chin at the children and you coyly say "They made it." I swear their little faces beam back at you.
Update: Yup we have had a glass smash! added photos :-) 

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