I cook much like my mom. She was always an awesome cook. She had the magical way of opening her cupboards, seeing what she had, and throwing together something delicious with nothing more than a can of vegetables, a hot dog and a potato. It was amazing. I somehow inherited her knack for cooking this way. The downside to this, is many times we have sat down and oohed and awed over something divinely delicious (more when my mom is cooking than me) and have no idea how it turned out. I have asked her for recipes before but she can’t really duplicate it more than saying, “You know…it’s a little bit of this, a dash of that….”
I don’t know how impressed my kids are really with my cooking, but I hope someday they will want to duplicate something I make because it tastes like home and comfort to them. My girls are always eager to help in the kitchen (which, as any mom or dad knows isn’t always the most helpful thing) but instead of shooing them out, I decided to start giving them “cooking lessons”. We strap on our aprons, put on our imagination caps, sometimes we talk with an accent, and pretend that the girls are in my cooking class at some fine culinary institute and I teach them. I let them help me measure things out and stir things up. It doesn’t really ever go as smoothly as all that and we are being candid here, but more often than not it’s fun and a good way to connect with them and teach them something valuable at the same time.
During this little experiment, it has also helped me to realize the value of measurements. I usually just throw a dash of this and a spot of that into the pot, but when they are helping, I rely on measurements so they aren’t dumping six cups of baking soda into something when only a half a teaspoon is necessary. Hence this idea came to me!
When I was a little girl, my grandmother gave me this recipe book for kids and I still treasure it as one of my favorite gifts ever. I still use it for the yummy coffee cake recipe in it. I figured my girls, too, might appreciate one of their own but with family recipes in it that are of my own variation or ones that my mother or grandmother or aunt would concoct.
So, we went to the Dollar Tree and got these little journals that I used for this father’s day project.
The girls asked me to draw pictures of them on the front as chefs, which I did with Sharpies then let them color them in and decorate as they preferred.
Then, we wrote our first recipe in the book, homemade spaghetti sauce. They drew a picture of spaghetti on the opposite page. And we cooked.
I’m all about starting new traditions with my kids! Hopefully this will be one that sticks. What are some fond traditions you have with your mom?