Thus far this blog has been about knitting, but tonight I’m going to share a cooking experience. Cooking has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember (as soon as I learned to write I was writing out my own recipes), but during these last weeks of pregnancy it has been difficult to deal with food (nausea, heartburn, exhaustion, etc.). Tonight was an exception. I had used an amazon Christmas gift card to purchase a fondue pot in the hopes of having some fun family dinners. While it was a bit of work, the excitement surrounding this special dinner had all of my boys helping with enthusiasm to prepare the meal.
At this point, I have to give a little soapbox speech… Cook with your kids!!! My boys have been joining in the cooking process since they were toddlers. From the very beginning, I stress food safety. I no longer have to remind them to wash their hands before dealing with food, or to not touch their nose or mouth while cooking. They have been using paring knives since preschool and know how to properly handle a knife and cutting board. Why involve kids in the cooking process? It is a tremendous learning opportunity as well as a great bonding experience. Not only do they learn proper food handling, but they learn math skills (e.g. we need three eggs and we already put in one, how many more do we need?), reading skills (e.g. what does the recipe call for?), and physical skills (chopping, mixing, blending, etc.). The number one reason to cook with your kids, in my opinion, is that they are more likely to eat what they have helped prepare. My oldest son Roman, who typically hates tomatoes, makes a homemade caprese salad completely independently and gobbles up the tomatoes. He has even prepared it to take to school for lunch. They may not like everything they make, but I guarantee your kids are more likely to at least try it if they had a hand in the prep work. Anyway, back to fondue night…
The fondue pot arrived on my doorstep this afternoon, so when my husband came home from work I made a quick run to the grocery store to gather supplies. The boys were ready to jump in when I returned, so I set up each one with a knife, cutting board, and a demonstration of what cuts to make. Justin (my husband) helped cut the bread, and even Jonathan (my toddler) helped grate the cheese in the food processor.
It was great having everyone in the kitchen working toward a common goal. Each boy loved talking about his cooking job and sharing stories about his day, not to mention feeding bits of food to their little brother as he ran through the kitchen excitedly. We sat down to an amazing meal, one that was almost as much fun to cook as it was to eat! Jonathan even got his own private dipping area in the middle of his plate. We’ll definitely be fondue-ing it again!
For anyone interested, here’s the link to the recipe we used: http://southernfood.about.com/od/fonduerecipes/r/blbb562.htm