Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kitchen bonding

I'm no Martha Stewart. In fact, I'm sort of the opposite. A confession: I probably stayed with my X longer than I should have because he cooked for me. I'm not necessarily a foodie, but I certainly prefer to have my food served to me than do the serving.

When I did leave my X and was left to fend for myself (and the girls - unfortunately both on solid foods), I tried many different cookbooks and online menus, but I still hated the whole process. We survive now mainly because of DreamDinners.

Sylvia couldn't wait to start her cooking class this semester. I wasn't excited; I was too fearful that it would result in even more time in the kitchen for me watching over her...not to mention, that she would finally see what a loser I am in the cooking department (just what I need: another reason for my tween to disrespect me).

I'm pleased to report that the experience thus far has not only been a success, but a wonderful source of bonding for us. Now Sylvia cooks for us every Sunday night.

In Sylvia's homework projects, I've mainly been able to step back and observe and she's impressed me with how well she can handle it. She has a great attitude about it, and has learned safe cooking procedures thanks to her teacher.

It's a source of pride for her to cook a meal, and how could that not be a source of pride for me?

Dinnertime used to be a time of battles for us. Because Sylvia remembered her dad cooking, she used dinnertime as a means of expressing her frustration at the lack of control she had over the situation. Never the best of eaters, she became even pickier, and would refuse to eat things she had enjoyed in the past. While I understood this, it didn't necessarily make it easier - especially since cooking was never my favorite thing, and now I had to be concerned if she was actually getting the food she needed.

It's gotten easier over the years, but by doing the actual cooking, she's far more willing to experiment. On Sunday nights, she beams, and the mood is infectious.

I have a lot of fears for Sylvia's future: what kind of man she'll love, how independent she'll be, how she'll weather the many obstacles she'll meet along the way that I won't be able to shield from her. There's comfort in knowing that she'll not only be able to nourish herself, but take pride in doing so.

This post is inspired by SV Moms Book Club pick for May, Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs.


Kori said...

There IS comfort in knowing that she will be able to privide the most basic of needs for herself. : ) And will also be able to come home on holidays and cook thanksgiving dinner for you, too.

PunditMom said...

Thanks so much for sharing this. Family meals are so comforting, though I never felt that was as a kid. But I want my daughter to feel nurtured in that way.

Florinda said...

I haven't read the book, so I didn't join in on this Book Club, but I really like your spin on the "comfort food" concept.

won said...

How nice for the two of you to have those girly bonding times. I can almost imagine the look of pride on her face. Priceless!

MindyMom said...

I love to cook - even better cooking WITH someone. A couple of my kids enjoy cooking with me but they are all (except my 3 y/o) self-sufficient in the kitchen. Now, if I could just get them to tackle the laundry as well as clean... Are there books for that?

Dingo said...

When do you introduce her to the slowcooker/crockpot? While she may love spending time in the kitchen now, when she's older she will LOVE that you introduced her to the crockpot.

Natalie said...

I think this is a wonderful experience for her and a neat way to enjoy the family meal. Maybe when my guy is old enough, we can try something like this too.

Jen said...

I'm guessing, April, that with you for a mom, she'll be able to nourish herself in all ways. ;-)

Unknown said...

I've heard of Dream Dinners but I haven't tried it. Sounds great!

That sounds like quite an adjustment, so glad that all of you are bonding over your own kitchen meals.