Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cooking with Will

Now that Owen has reached that independent-yet-more-dependent-than-ever phase (where even though he’s starting to walk and be generally more self-sufficient he’s more attached than ever to the idea of being right by my side) making dinner with him in the vicinity is growing more difficult by the day. I stand at the counter dicing an onion; he stands tugging at my legs whining desperately for some face-to-face attention. Maybe he wants to chop onions too.

So Will and I have begun adopting a dinner preparation ritual during Owen’s naptime. On at least a few afternoons a week, we wind up cooking dinner ahead while Owen catches his afternoon snooze. I love these times with Will, both of us working over dinner together. And he’s growing increasingly adept at tasks that you’d think would be frustrating. Chopping carrots with a dull table knife, for example. He loves to stir a sauté, add any measured item into a bowl, peel carrots and potatoes, and stir ingredients together. He also tends to anticipate dinner with great enthusiasm when he's involved in the preparation. As in “this is going to be the best soup EVER.” And he is generally excited to eat the food he’s helped cook. The other day I said to him as I was noticing how much he was enjoying himself with his inadequate knife at the cutting board, “Maybe you’ll be a chef when you grow up.”

“No,” he said decidedly. “I’m going to be a trash man.”

In the meantime though, it’s nice to have an apprentice cook (even if I am a very mediocre mentor).


shannon said...

excellent! tell him he has a job at my restaurant any day. What's so great about that is that first of all, you cook for your family instead of resorting to frozen dinners and fast food on a regular basis. Secondly, that boy is going to be cooking for his family, too (when he's not working the trash route, of course). How beautiful for his ?wife and ?kids that he had a mother who showed him the way around the kitchen!

Speaking of slow food vs. fast food, there is a slow food fundraiser dinner out here in Pine Mountain on October 4th for families at a local farm, Jenny Jack Sun Farms. I and the chef from the Big Eddy are cooking produce from the farm and others will slow roast a heritage hog. There'll be a fiddler and a story teller and some home-made ice cream with local honey!! So come if you can. Direct questions to

Allison Kennedy said...

Everyone needs a trash man! :)
Come see us!

Tina said...

Even Alex, my three year old wants to participate in cooking.
Does anyone have any suggestions for any good cook books for kids? I bought snack time but no luck.

We all are adjusting to our new life in Sweden and food has been a big part of this.
The kids will start day-care/preschool soon and they get all meals there, no more lunch boxes. I was afraid about what was going to be served and called the director of the school. The answer was: We have eliminated all sugar. I got the menu and the food is so healthy comparing to what is served at public schools in Columbus.

Even the smallest little dinky grocery store here has a great selection of organic and sometimes local food. What I really miss from Columbus though is the organic food coop, I wish I can start one here in the future.

Fall is here now and last week the kids and I went out mushroom picking. I filled a huge basket with chantarells and other delicious mushrooms. I felt so rich.

Now we are on the way out the door to pull up my fishing net. I will let you know what I catch

Annie Addington said...

Shannon, I'm hoping we can make the slow food dinner on the 4th. It sounds like a wonderful time.

Allison, I'll send Will over on the next garbage truck.

Tina, so good to hear your tales from Sweden. If you haven't yet, you need to read Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan -- since you're foraging and fishing and enjoying local food (all of which is making me envious!). I'd put it a notch above Animal, Vegetable, Miracle even -- which I know you loved.