Let’s get cookin’.

I really enjoy cooking.

And if you’ve been here a while, you know I like the Food Network.

A lot.

And you probably know that Trisha Yearwood and her cooking show annoy the crap out of me.

But she always talks about her mom.

And she makes a lot of “Mama’s” recipes.

Mama’s roast beef with gravy.

Mama’s ground beef potato casserole.

Mama’s corn hush puppies.

And that is one thing that does not annoy me about her.

What nice memories to have.

My mom wasn’t a big cook.

So we never really had any moments together in the kitchen.

Most of what I know about cooking I learned from cookbooks.

And Ina.

Giada.

Bree.

Bobby.

Martha.

And, yeah, as much as I hate to admit it, I’ve even learned a thing or two from Trisha.

Now I’m not ready for my own cooking show, that’s for sure.

But I can hold my own in the kitchen.

I make at least a couple Mama-worthy meals.

But no one knows how to make them.

Not for lack of trying.

Every night, Number 4 comes into the kitchen and asks if she can help with dinner.

And every night, I snap at her and tell her to get the hell out.

Not tonight, I say.

Maybe tomorrow.

Can you please just get out of here???

I know Number 4 is young. She’s only 6. There’s still time.

But the time goes quickly.

And if I don’t change something, we will just keep going along the way we have been.

Her pleading to help me, and me shooing her away.

Her asking me, “Mommy, when can I help you?”

And me snapping, “I don’t know. Not tonight.”

Before I know it, we’ll be packing her crap into the car and driving her off to college, and we’ll get her settled into her dorm, say our goodbyes, and I’ll start driving down the road.

And then I’ll bawl my brains out, remembering her as the little girl she is now.

And I’ll say to myself,

Where the fuck did the time go?

I never taught her how to cook.

I never made…those moments.

Nope.

That’s not happening.

Because as much as she wants to have those moments with me,

I want to have them with her.

So I’ve made a decision.

I’m scheduling it in.

Right now.

We are done with swimming.

And baseball.

At least until September.

There’s not really an excuse now. I have some extra time.

And it’s not just Number 4.

Number 3 has also expressed an interest in working in the kitchen.

He loves sandwiches.

And the Sandwich King.

sanwich king

So once a week, they are each getting a slot in the kitchen.

And I am going to tell them.

Today.

We will pick the day this morning.

If I can schedule in a workout,

I can schedule in that time with my kids.

No regrets for this mom.

The kitchen is now open.

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!!!

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6 replies
  1. Jessica
    Jessica says:

    That’s great.

    I only have one, not seven, but she loves being in the kitchen with me and doing what I do. So when I”m getting dinner ready I pull a chair up to the counter for her to stand on and give her some veggie’s to “peel” with an old dull peeler and she has a blast. She’s only 2 and will stand there with me for 30 or 45 minutes easily just watching me or, occasionally, trying to steal whatever it is I’m currently chopping up. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Kim
    Kim says:

    I love this..thank you. I do that all the time with my kids, just so I can get it done, because as it is we’re not eating dinner until after 7pm!! But you know what? Those times when I can take my time and let my kids help me mix a batch of cookies, or stir the pot of spaghetti sauce, or even just hold the measuring cup and dump it in the bowl: those are the moments they’re going to remember. I’ve been trying to be patient and help out as often as I can (they’re 5 and 2), but still.. every so often, you just get tired of tripping over 2 stepstools or chairs, and falling over little people sitting in the middle of the floor playing with the silverware you just washed and left drying in the dishrack in the sink.
    I’m determined that my kids will know how to cook SOMETHING by the time they’re grown, and not rely on Ramen and pb&j (not that they’re bad!) in college!

    Reply
  3. Irene C.
    Irene C. says:

    That is great. We started making pizzas on Friday nights (in the winter, just too hot to turn the oven on in the summer). Our kids LOVE IT! Before our twins came along and we only had our older daughter, we used to have Saturday special dinners. My husband and I would take turns picking something out of a cookbook, buy the ingredients, a bottle of wine to go with it and make it together. We made some awesome meals. With our twins turning three soon, we want to bring the special dinners back. We really enjoyed doing it.

    Giving the kids each a night to pick a meal is a great way to make it special for them and teach them a valuable life skill, too!

    Reply
  4. Jenn
    Jenn says:

    Thanks for writing this. I love to cook, and I have a 5yr old who always wants to help. At the end of the day I am crazy and tired and just want to get dinner on the table, and sit. But I was thinking the same thing the other day as I was watching my 9 month old walking that I don’t have tomorrow, and the bond you have with your children now makes them who they are. And I am constantly shooing, and yelling from exhaustion, and I don’t want them to think that they weren’t worth my time. Because they are the reason I do everything. But actions speak louder than words.

    Reply
  5. Jana S
    Jana S says:

    Knowing how to cook is worth it’s weight in gold! I have my kids help with side dides and desserts 🙂 I know the time will come when I will explain more techniques to them to tackle the main course. (I should explain that I only have the patience for this about once a week, because kids move in slow motion)

    My brother and I casually helped in the kitchen making simple meals as kids and while I am a SAHM my brother is a Chef (the Food Network has asked him to be on shows but he thinks the Tv stuff is cheesy) So with 7 kids, 1 might become a Chef…which means you will have every Thanksgiving and Christmas and Easter dinners prepared for you…now that will free up some time 🙂

    Have fun and enjoy seeing what recipes your kiddies create.

    Reply
  6. Donna
    Donna says:

    You have your hands full with seven. Exhausting. However, I think you nailed the point when you said, “if I can fit in a work-out, I can let them in the kitchen.” Choices. So with the extra time away from practices, what fun summer things are you going to fit in with your kids you posted about before school ended?

    Reply

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