I became more and more attentive to my Mom’s movements around the kitchen. She laughed and said she didn’t even know how to boil water when she first got married. But she now knew her way around a beautiful angel cake recipe, a garlic flavored leg of lamb with a dab of mint jelly on the side, and the mashed potatoes seasoned with just the right texture and moisture. I loved eating!
My son learned the art of cooking as soon as he could stand up on a chair and tear lettuce apart for a salad. I immediately announced to him with enthusiasm, “You can cook!”
He gave himself a Chef’s name, and came out to the front room to welcome us to his restaurant and handed us the homemade menus. We ordered. (Of course there was only one choice, which we had agreed upon beforehand. But we acted with surprise like this was exactly what we wanted!)
Our chef joined us in eating! It was role-playing at its best. We didn’t need a lot of money to enjoy these moments! ……and years later, our son is the evening head Chef in collaboration with his wife and kids.
I found safe ways to let him participate. By the time he was ten, he was running a home restaurant for his parents when his spirit moved him —complete with menus and a sheet hung across the kitchen door to cover up the Chef’s secrets. For safety, we were listening from the other side of the sheet and attentive to every sound! We loved it!
Another memory pops up, when we had a dinner with a group of family and friends. At thirteen, our junior Chef cooked and served the meal. He even taught himself how to make poached pears from a Julia Child show. My family friends were all impressed and it was then I realized he had surpassed my cooking abilities! I loved it!!
In the coming days, you may wish to provide your child with an apron that speaks to their special personality. You can choose one that is already designed and make personalized changes to it. Or, you can create your own design using photos and text to fit your child’s fancy.
Check out your local library. I know of children’s cook books available to me on-line from Libby
Take it from me, life goes by pretty fast when you look back. Take some time to make eating a special event every day! Have fun and love it!