I’m a bit of a foodie.
It comes from growing up in a house where (gasp) almost every single meal I ever ate was made my my mom or dad. We rarely ever ate out and fast food was no where to be seen.
My parents liked food, therefore we kids learned to love all kinds of stuff that kids today, and well, even back then, wouldn’t even dream of eating. I have to admit, there were some gems. To get those of us who didn’t like it to eat fish, sometimes my dad would make a huge batch of nachos with cooked fish in it. It’s hard to get picky about fish when it’s smothered in cheese and salsa and all that good stuff. The 40 cloves of garlic chicken is still one of my favourite memories and anytime we came home to see my mom standing over the stove making a huge batch of homemade pasta sauce, we knew it was going to be a good dinner.
They made their mistakes too though. I still can’t stomach the idea of rice cooked in either apple or orange juice. Sorry dad, I know you were really trying with that one, but just no. Just no.
By the time I was in my early teens, I wanted to get in on the kitchen action. I started to bake a lot. I learned how to make a lot of basic dishes. I loved being in the kitchen.
Fast forward to my own family. Yes, I have also had my major fails. My husband would never let me live down the time I decided to make a home made version of hamburger helper and cooked ground beef with cream cheese. The grey gelatinous looking mess was to horrible to look at, let alone eat. But, I learned and evolved and am now a pretty darn good cook, if I do say so myself.
I have a collection of cookbooks that takes up an entire row on the shelf in my kitchen and a repertoire in my head of recipes that the kids are always reminding me that I have to write down some day so they can have them for their own families.
I noticed, as my kids got older, that they too wanted to be a part of the magic of making meals. Mine must be the only house where faces light up when spinach, kale or garlic are mentioned. My oldest, a boy, got the baking bug early and pretty much took over in the cake department when it comes to birthdays and big events. My next oldest had it for a while, but pretty much gave up after the one time she tried to bake cookies in the microwave (to save time) and nearly smoked out the whole main floor of the house. It’s our middle girl who does the cookies now. She’s even home today, as I write, baking up a batch.
It is exciting to me to know that my kids are, for the most part, fearless when it comes to trying new foods. We’ve taken them out for sushi and they’ve had eel and raw fish (now, a bit of a nuisance, as they ask for it all the time), they have had escargot, goat, scallops, muscles, curries and so much more.
I love it when I’m in my kitchen and the kids get up on the counter to watch me and talk while a meal is being made. They always have questions about how I know what to use and why I rarely measure. They are eager to help out – which believe me, isn’t the same when it comes to laundry or chores. The best meals are the ones that happen by accident, when we’re just creating from what we have and the kids are part of it all.
I’m proud that I know that my kids are growing up knowing how to handle themselves in the kitchen. It’s a skill everyone should have. And I’m looking forward to going home tonight and doing it all over again.