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.