Saturday, March 19, 2011

Kids in the Kitchen

I was baking for a get together this weekend and on the list was a must- my favorite cookie, the chocolate crinkle. I have been making these cookies since I was young enough that I had to stand on a stool to stir the chocolate in the top of my improvised double boiler. My mom didn't ever actively try to teach me to cook, but she made her cookbooks available and would get me what I needed if I wanted to make something. I never really liked making dinner type stuff (that was my sister's specialty- she could take all those mysterious "ingredients" and make something yummy, without so much as a recipe), but I would bake and make fudge now and then.

The things that I did cook when I was young are the things that have stayed with me as favorites. The chocolate crinkle recipe was used so much it fell out of the cook book and I had to tape it to a recipe card and, eventually, scan it so as not to lose it. The fudge I learned to make in Junior High I still make every Christmas. And I still love the bean tacos, which were one of the first "meals" I learned to make.

I want D. to have those early cooking memories- the tastes that bring back the warm fuzzies and a happy memory or two. I also want him to have at least basic cooking skills before he flies the coop (I was amazed at the number of guys I knew in college who couldn't even read a recipe, much less follow one). I have had D in and out of the kitchen since he was a toddler, but now I am trying to be a little more organized about it.

Every week or two, I am having D pick out something he really likes to eat and having him do most of the prep, cooking, etc, with me acting as advisor/sous chef. The first week he chose Mac & Cheese with hot dogs and a side of green beans. The next week he got a little fancier and made Potato Soup. This week he wants to make homemade meatballs for some meatball sandwiches. He seems to be enjoying his time in the kitchen and he is definitely very proud when he serves his family dinner. Memories in the making. :-)

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