Not for the first time, I've decided my kids need to take a more active role in dinner preparation. I've tried variations of this in the past, and for various reasons. One summer I had them choose the menu a couple nights a week in the hopes that they would complain less about what they were being served, but after a month of spaghetti and meatballs I had to revise my strategy. More recently, my reasoning is that they are old enough to help, and they both ought to be contributing more to household tasks. (That they don't have more responsibility around here is mostly my fault, and that definitely needs to change.) Also, they have to learn how to cook sometime.
We eat dinner as a family every night with only a few exceptions. It takes a lot of time to fix a meal and clean up during prep and after we eat, so that seems like a good place to start, no?
I brought this up with Daniel and Anya over the long weekend. "I've decided you guys are going to help me make dinner at least one night a week," I said, "and for logistical reasons it's going to be Tuesday nights." I explained that we would pick menus together and that the only real rules are that we can't make the same thing every week and that they have to help. Daniel merely shrugged and said, "Okay," rather agreeably before going back to reading his Minecraft book. Anya, who generally shows more enthusiasm for things, found a pencil and piece of scrap paper and immediately made a list of all the foods she wants to make. We also looked through a cookbook with nice photos and wrote down some more things to try.
What should we call this? I asked, figuring if we have a name for this goal of mine to put the kids to work, they'll get into it a little more. Kids Night? Cooking with Kids? "I dunno," said Daniel. "How about Tuesday Night Fun Cooking!" said Anya, so that's what we're calling it.
Tonight for Tuesday Night Fun Cooking! we made pizza. I had Anya make the dough and grate the cheese...
...as well as shape the crusts and put on the toppings and cut up some side vegetables but I ran out of steam and didn't take pictures of those things.
The pizza was delicious. I'd call the first week of fun cooking a success.
Daniel, unfortunately, has been home with a fever, so he got a pass on helping this time. He (and the rest of the household minus me) just got over the flu last week and I totally wiped out on my bike this morning on an icy road. Really, my goal is to make it to the end of the month more or less in one piece; I'm resetting the bar pretty low here. Anyway, I told him he could make up for it this weekend. He wants to make lasagna. We will see how that goes. I'm also thinking of making this a regular weekly blog feature. I have been trying to think of good topics to write about.