Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tuesday Dinner

I don't always cook with my boys. There are times they are busy playing and I don't want to disturb them, and times that I need the quiet and to hear the "thunk" of the knife as it hits the cutting board. And sometimes I am just in a rush.

Last night, however, I wanted their help. I'm still recovering and making dinner wasn't something I even wanted to tackle. So I set Boy #1 to washing baby potatoes and pricking them with a fork, while Boy #2 chopped carrots with this crinkle cutter. Our rule is that both hands stay on the black portion of the handle while cutting, and we've yet to lose a finger. I chopped an onion and tossed that at the bottom of my Le Creuset 5 Quart Buffet Casserole, then we added garlic cloves (boy #2 hit them with the bottom of an olive can to make them easier to peel) and chopped parsley, plus the carrots and potatoes. I put the covered pan in the oven to roast.

The boys headed outside to shoot hoops while I took care of the "green" portion of our dinner. I cleaned and chopped zucchini, broccoli, and field peas for steaming. Sometimes we add green vegetables to the roasting pan, but these were all quick cooking so steaming them seemed easier.

I promised to let the boys help make lemonade. We used some Rapadura sugar I bought last month, which made hot tea "muddy" and had been relegated to the back of the pantry. It worked fine for lemonade, but it was definitely brown in color. The boys had fun making DH guess what it was.

Most homeschoolers will tell you what a great lesson cooking is, with measuring, fractions, etc. For me, those things are incidental. Much more important is learning to make a meal, appreciating food, and working together. Making meals is one of the main rhythms of our day, repeated continuously.

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