Another Cooking Lesson

June 12 2013 060

Nothing is as yummy and summery as strawberry shortcake. We made cream scones, macerated our berries, whipped our cream, and can’t wait to dig in.

When my daughter was eight I asked her if she wanted to start learning to cook. She was excited, we got a kids cookbook, and I let her choose what she wanted to make. Fettuccini Alfredo, made with fresh pasta seemed like an ambitious first try, but we forged ahead. With a fair amount of direction and help from me we turned out a delicious dinner for our guests, and I saw the pride in my daughter’s face as everyone enjoyed their fettucini. A few weeks later, on a cold winter day we were hunkered down in our cozy kitchen, talking about making a pie, and Rachel stood in front of me, hand on her hips, and in an accusatory voice said "I thought you were going to teach me to cook!" “It’s not a one-time thing” I explained “learning to cook is a lifelong process” and we have been working on it together for a few years now.

I’m not sure my mom actually taught me to cook. I remember watching her, and I remember cooking, but I don’t really recall cooking with her the way my daughter and I cook together. I try to keep things relaxed and low pressure, but I may hover a bit too much, and do the culinary equivalent of reflex breaking (the way my dad did when I was learning to drive) or it may just be her own quirky personality, but she worries over every spilled grain of salt (no, I am not exaggerating) and measures with a precision generally reserved for working with radioactive materials. Perhaps she has a promising future as a baker!

Tonight we worked through my over-supervising, and her anxiety to produce something we both really enjoyed!

Naturally I want my daughter and I to share enough interests to sustain a close relationship through our lives. I hope I am teaching her that to cook for someone is to share warmth and love, that to share a meal together is a time to share the moments of your life with someone, whether it is daily, or less frequently. When she is grown and on her own, I want her to have good memories of our time cooking, and making wonderful food, then sitting down together and sharing it. My wish for her is that she develops a healthy love for food and can skip the battle scenes.

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