I’ve always liked to cook. The first meal I made as a teen was Stuffed Green Peppers. I followed the recipe from my Mom’s Betty Crocker Cookbook. Cooking is one of the easiest things to do because all you have to do is read and follow directions.
I don’t have the knack my grandmothers had of just grabbing a pinch of this and a handful of that and having their dish taste the same EACH TIME. (How did they do that?!). But I can hold my own. I also like to get creative and experiment. From baked good, to main dishes, to cocktails -- there’s no doubt that I can make something great tasting that’ll make you smile -- I just may not be able to repeat my work (writing stuff down would be too much like science).
Anyway, I enjoy cooking because if there’s good food and drink around people are generally happy – and I like being around happy people.
I also like cooking in my home because it’s one of the few things I can do without being interrupted by the House Testosterones. I now have them trained to stay on the far side of the island counter (DON’T CROSS THE LINE!). And they listen. That leaves me the time and room to get into the zone and create. It’s great.
*Now, as a part of their chores, the boys have to put away the dishes, sweep the floor, take out the garbage, etc. – and aside from making cold cereal, hot-air popcorn, or a sandwich, I’ve been pretty happy with their lack of interest.
But my youngest child is his mother’s child and lately has taken to asking, almost daily, if he can cook something. While I’ve not wanted to stifle his interest, I also haven’t wanted him in my space. (Goodness! They take over everything!).
We’ve taught him how to cook a few things -- for himself (*did I mention, he’s a digger?). And now it's clear that I need to enroll him in a cooking class; since school's been out he's been hanging around the kitchen more and more (the young experimenter is trying to grate cherries and the ice dispenser yielded a frozen grape tomato).
So, the other day I fulfilled his request to make Chocolate Chip cookies.
[Deep breaths… Deeper exhales]
Now, cooking with this imaginative child is … well, all of the activities have sounds & dialogue attached to them: The eggs apparently don’t like being cracked. The baking soda is mad at the salt because they look alike and neither likes the flour. And they chips – every last one of them has their own voice (how many
voices chips do you think are in 2 cups?) I don't even what to go into what happen when they met the hand mixer!
Bottom line: we had a ball. And yep, I prayed that having him wash his hands and under his nails after each ingredient was added would ensure that chocolate chips were the only morsels added to the dough.
So, I have to give up some more territory in the house and watch my 9 ½ year-old become more independent at the same time. (MY BABY!) Quite honestly, I’m not sure which one hurts more.
*Something I’ve learned along the way: For thick chewy chocolate chip cookies, use any standard recipe, up the flour and substitute brown sugar for the white sugar. Add a little cinnamon and cayenne for what I call Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies