The boys have had a long-standing fascination with baking and cooking. Pull out a carton of eggs, and two little blonde heads suddenly appear at the counter, asking what they can do. Obviously, chores requiring the stove, oven or something sharp are off the table. But this past weekend, I bestowed the ever-important job of bacon “cooking” to my 8- year-old. Saturday mornings, we aim to eat a full breakfast together as a family after Matt wraps up morning work. The menu has pancakes or a similar main dish as well as “sides” of eggs and bacon or sausage.
We prefer to cook bacon using the microwave, making it a good option for a boy wanting to help cook. After being shown how to lay out the first of the bacon on a paper towel-covered plate, he finished the rest, including starting the microwave. He was pretty proud of his feat, proudly proclaiming to Matt that he made the bacon. And Matt was appropriately impressed with his effort.
My son likes to show how he can work independently, and it's fun to watch him figure out how to make basic recipes. Signs are that I might have a young chef on my hands. During the breakfast-making session, we talked about how I learned to cook different items at his age in 4-H. He’s just joined a club for his first dairy project, but now he’s asking when he can cook. So, it looks like we might have to pick up a community club as well. If he keeps this up, maybe one day I will be able to take a break from cooking.
Charlene Shupp Espenshade, special sections editor