Littlest Chef in the Family

My brother is a chef. Not a cook. A real, honest-to-goodness chef. He even has two degrees, a fancy chef's jacket and an office name plate to prove it. You'd think this means we eat well - at least on holidays and what not. We do, quite frankly, but not because he's cooking for us.

Of course, the lack of tasty treats is quite another post in and of itself. This isn't about Brother Chef. This is about how we all cook in my family - well of us except Bruce who can't do much more than BBQ what's prepared for him or scramble eggs. He's a lost cause. I've tried.

When we were kids my mother always invovled us in the kitchen. There are photos of me helping prepare a salad before the age of two. We were always baking and cooking. It wasn't a surprise my brother ended up in the career he did.

I loved that time in the kitchen. It wasn't just the act of creating something from a lot of different nothings. It was simply another mechanism to spend some great, quality time with my parents and my brother. It was something I wanted to be sure would continue with my kids. (Plus I wanted to know my son could exist some day without requiring a cooking girlfriend/wife or a lifetime supply of frozen pizzas -- unlike his father.)

Logan has, in fact taken to the kitchen quite nicely. He loves helping me. He makes baked goods - cookies, cakes, breads. We take turns kneading the bread dough. He likes to punch it down. We watche it rise. He shapes the loaves or the pizza crust or the french bread. He makes dinner. He makes breakfast. More and more often he's requiring less help - he measures, he stirs, he pours.

Meg also finds the kitchen a joyful playground. She likes to help stir dinner and sample what we're making on her big wooden spoon. She watches us bake cookies, but hadn't yet dug in herself and helped in the preparation. Today, however, we took that next step.

Today, Megan made Logan's birthday cake. She helped prepare the pan by smearing shortening all over it. She helped by putting flour in the pan. She poured the cake mix in the bowl. She poured the various ingredients in the bowl with some assistance and then, all on her own, she turned the mixer on. She was very proud of herself, as she should be. She will be most impressed to see the finished frosted product. Wonder if she'll take credit for that part.


kenju said...

Sandy, I think it is great of you to allow your little ones to help in the kitchen. I never wanted to help my mom or learn to cook and when I got married, I had an awful time learning to do it. When my kids were small, I didn't have nay patience with them in the kitchen, so I discouraged their help. I now realize that I did them a disservice and I will always be sorry. Good for you!

Michele sent me.

srp said...

Here from Michele.
What a great looking cake, she should be very proud.
Nyssa likes to cook strange things. I do hope she gets a guy that loves to cook. I had to work, being a single parent and when we got home she was hungry, right then. If it couldn't be microwaved it didn't get made. Besides, I'm not very good... I have a "from scratch" carrot cake in my past that weighed seven pounds. Cakes that heavy are not good.

~A~ said...

Cooking with my littles is always my favorite.

Awesome looking cake. I'll have to come back and show the kids, they're going to want to bake one too.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Happy Weekend to you.