Managing Mondays: My kids can cook!

Managing Mondays: My kids can cook!

I came home tonight after running errands and the usual shuttling of my kids to their various activities to homemade pizza just out of the oven. It was covered in cheese, fresh tomatoes, sausage and bacon. It smelled great and was perfectly baked with a crispy crust and just the right amount of sauce. It was a far cry from last Thursdays nightmare and a great way to start off the week.

Now that basketball is over Christian has a bit more time and I asked if he could make pizza for us. Christian is actually an amazing cook. We have a bread maker and he makes our pizza so often he has the recipe memorized. He likes to be creative and is willing to try Pesto and Alfredo sauces with all sorts of toppings. He can also make wonderful hamburgers, scrambled eggs and likes to learn how to cook any type of meat.

All of my kids know the basics of cooking. They have learned how to follow a recipe, measure ingredients and the difference between olive oil and vegetable oil. Jessie can make Quiche like a pro and bake just about any type of cookie or cake you might imagine. Isaac though reluctant to use his skills is very adept in the kitchen as well. John is not quite as good largely do to his visual impairment and his lack of interest. He makes the best nachos, knows how to microwave his meals and could probably make mac and cheese if he was forced.

I love to cook and I know that this has helped them to be more curious in the food department. I started them young, baking cookies or bread or “helping” with whatever I was making. This is not the fastest way, nor is it the cleanest way to make a meal but I believe it has been worth the time. I also instituted a rule starting when they were about ten that the one who helped make dinner did not have to do dishes after. You would be surprised how much help you can get when getting out of cleaning up after dinner is the incentive.

I also include them in on the menu, they get to participate in the monthly meal planning and ensure themselves that we will be making what they want to eat. We joke about who would be able to survive best if I was not the main cook and it is usually a toss-up between Jessie and Christian. Jessie would make the basic dinner and extravagant dessert and Christian would make a gourmet dinner with a box of cookies for dessert. Isaac would go out to eat and John would have three Top Ramen packages and two bananas.

I love that I can say I am too tired tonight to cook, or I won’t be home in time so it’s up to you to get dinner going. Tonight I was happy to clean the kitchen after a wonderful pizza was waiting for me when I got home. Expect a mess, enjoy the mistakes, teach safety and be willing to give your honest opinion so they can get better. Their college roommates will be thankful and their future spouses will be in your debt.


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