Now that we’ve been cooking with our children for several years, we’ve always wondered how well would they function entirely on their own. My boys have claimed for some time now that they are proficient in the kitchen, and while they do a fine job, I have always remained close-by.
Last Monday was Danny’s and my wedding anniversary. The evening before was full of fugitive huddles and fervent whispers between brothers. Their eyes were shining when I tucked them into bed, and Mateo, the considerate one, asked me how early they could get up.
Something was afoot, although I’d never imagine they would attempt a full breakfast in our honour. It turns out those two are full of ambition.
In the morning, the first thing that struck us as unusual was the calm. Downstairs we heard voices murmuring and movement in the kitchen, but it was the sounds of harmonious teamwork. Quite the accomplishment for our 8- and 6-year olds.
We were given strict orders to remain in bed, and my cup of coffee arrived fairly quickly. Noah was wincing a little because he had spilled a little on his bare foot, but “Mom, I stayed calm anyway.” he reported. They had used our Keurig to brew the coffee, not the espresso maker, but the cup of joe was nicely fixed with a little cream and sugar, just how I take it.
“We’re making pancakes!” Mateo announced, jumping from one foot to the other. I raised my eyebrows and then shrugged. “Let me know if you need help.”
They took Clara back downstairs with them and gave her juice and toast (she wakes up ravenous) to keep her busy. I could hear Mateo chirping at her, while Noah, I am assuming, got to work making the pancake batter. I’ve taught him a basic recipe that he’s memorized and yields fluffy results every time. (I’ll post the recipe below).
They brought us two glasses of orange juice and toast (no plate) while we waited, and eventually, invited us downstairs (where I snapped the photos for this post with my phone). Mateo had set the table and whipped the cream by hand. We whip nearly all our cream with a simple whisk and a bowl; it’s often a job I have the boys do, so he’s had plenty of practice. (If you’re on Instagram you can see Mateo in action on this particular morning.)
Noah fried a platter of pancakes and had even trekked to the garden to get a fistful of flowers for the table. It was all so warm and inviting, my heart swelled with the sweetness of their gestures. And, it must be stated that the morning continued to be squabble-free. Was that pre-planned? Who knows, but it was most appreciated.
As Monday was a holiday here in Canada, we took our time around the table, laughing and eating up every single pancake. Even the whipped cream disappeared. Both boys were practically levitating with pride, which was cute to see.
But there is a flip side to every coin, correct?
When I asked Noah about the straw in the 1 litre orange juice jar, he looked a little uncomfortable, but then confessed that he hadn’t known how to pour from the jar without spilling. SO HE SUCKED THE JUICE OUT WITH A STRAW AND SPAT IT INTO OUR GLASSES.
He then delivered it to our bedside, served up with a smile.
Oh, how we howled with laughter. Oh, how our Facebook friends snickered. Oh, how my dearly beloved on Instagram nearly spat our their morning coffees. Then they applauded his problem solving capabilities.
Friends, even though I unknowingly drank my son’s spittle, that morning was still pretty perfect. I’m encouraged to hand over even more responsibility in the kitchen to my children, although Danny has commented that they are due for a lesson in risk management, just in case something did go terribly wrong.
As for trouble shooting and improvisation? I think they have that one covered.
|Noah's Easy Peasy Pancakes|| || |
- 1 egg
- 1 brimming cup of buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon of raw cane sugar
- 1 scant cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Beat the egg, buttermilk and sugar together.
- Dump in the flour and the baking soda.
- Mix until smooth.
- Cook on an oiled griddle until bubbles appear. Flip and cook for another minute.
- Serve hot.
Note: all photos are snapped with an iPhone. Apologies for the poor quality.
How early should we give our children kitchen responsibilities? Did you cook in the home as a child?