I’d like to introduce you to the household cooks. First, let me confess that I have been very slow to train my kids in kitchen skills. Sure, I’d let them throw in some flour and crack some eggs and get their hands all doughy and lick the spatula, but I was usually more concerned about keeping the mess within bounds than equipping them with a skill. On top of that, I was always too busy to take the extra time to include them, to teach them, to wait for them, to encourage them, to clean up after them. Not much has changed – I’m still busy, it still takes extra time, they still make big messes, and there’s a whole lot more clean-up. What has changed? That is material for another post or several other posts (a topic I intend to focus on a bit on this blog – change), but for now I’ll leave it at this:
The time I invest in these little people yields exponentially in a short time. And I anticipate I’m only on the brink of experiencing the rewards. Kids busily occupied with the planning and doing of real things are happy kids!
Zach (14) has taken entirely over breakfasts and, I must say, he’s more ambitious in the morning than I am! Porridge is still a staple meal, but we eat a lot more banana buckwheat pancakes with coconut whipped cream and fruit topping than we used to. He’s also the resident salsa master, whether water-bath canned, fresh, or naturally fermented (my fave!).
Gabe (12) covers most lunches, specializing in soups such as creamy carrot and chicken vegetable. He also makes a tasty bruschetta flatbread, a greek pasta salad, and pretty much any other recipe I stick in front of him. When we’re having pasta for supper he’s the guy I call on to make fresh spelt pasta! (There is usually a keen younger sibling to help with the task of rolling and hanging it out.)
Ben (10) is the granola maker, he likes to bake and since we don’t eat a whole lot of baking he’s thinking of starting up a little neighbourhood service to expand his baking opportunities. When chicken adobo is on the supper menu, he’s my man.
Noah (7) is our official pizza crust roller (individual size made up ahead), and he along with….
Danica (5) are in training to take over the bread making. I predict that in about two more batches they’ll be on their own and I’ll just have to put it in the oven for them.
Katie (2) is egg cracker extraordinaire. Give her a dozen eggs and a bowl and let her go. No shells! She likes to pull up a chair and help me with just about anything I’m doing in the kitchen.
Below are the bread bakers busy at work today. They each make a two-loaf batch so it’s not too difficult to knead. At the far end of the table you can catch a glimpse of Ben (behind a bucket) working on granola.