well, being the person at home right before we usually eat dinner, it has fallen to me to be the primary “dinner-maker”. i have been enjoying acquiring new recipes and learning as i go,the little tricks of each recipe, how to work with each vegetable, my stove top. it’s fun. however, add two small kids and the fun can soon fade from view. i want ruth and joel to both grow up feeling welcome in the kitchen and also, as they grow, to have their hands more and more in food preparation.
i mean, sure, it would be easy to pop up the baby gate in the doorway and block them out so i could concentrate (if anyone can concentrate while there is an eighteen month old screaming his head off nearby:) but i try to be more creative than that. i try to let them come in, stand up on chairs, help with a few things (ruth is real good at all of the steps involved with the rice maker, for instance). joel usually tries to eat everything and grab everything. his chair would be the furthest from the stove and i’m always careful what i set down within grasp of him. more than once he has immediately picked up and started wielding a knife i absentmindedly set down near him. whoops. my bad:)
if there isn’t too much for ruth to do for food prep (which there often isn’t simply because it often involves cutting things up and stirring things in a hot pan) she finds other ways to amuse herself in the kitchen.
yesterday, i was cutting tomatoes for indian lentils (which joel was helping me with by snatching one every few seconds and taking a bite out of it) when ruth decided that she would “reorganize” all of the silverware in the drawer. basically, this is code for: she just wanted to bang all of the butter knives and forks nosily on the counter top. i mean, she was slamming those utensils down with passion. not only that, but she knows how to work the old radio affixed to the bottom of the cabinets on the right side of the sink, so, sure enough, she turned it on and turned it up. and,i don’t know why, but whenever ruth is in charge of the radio, we always end up listening to classic rock.
soon, joel wanted to join his sissy on the other side of the kitchen, so i set him up next to her at the sink, playing in the water, while ruth slammed down the silverware,rocking out to the classic rock station. i think everyone out there can probably imagine the mess? i see it all as part of the process of kitchen integration, and also, my dues for having a moment to cook the dinner.
i took a video, which i wish i knew how to upload,because i think it was damn funny. but i do have a picture. now that i can upload.