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Kids in the kitchen

March 5, 2015

Our awesome PTO offers an after-school class called Book and Cook, where Pea’s beloved kindergarten teacher reads a story involving food to a group of 5-7 year-year-olds, and then they make said food together.  In a kindergarten classroom, with 25 kids and 3 adults, in one hour.

If I taught this class, I would find a story where a hedgehog eats apple slices, or an astronaut builds a baloney sandwich.  Not this group.

  • Week one: a full breakfast of waffles made from scratch (including beating and folding in the egg whites), pancakes, sausage, and eggs.
  • Week two: Spring rolls with noodles and zillions of veggies and herbs.
  • Week three: homemade roti and mango salad.
  • Week four: tacos with salsa rice, homemade refried beans, and all the fixings.

There are two classes left, and Pea is living for each one.  He counts down the days until his next class.  This morning, it was, “I HAVE BOOK AND COOK TODAY AFTER SCHOOL!  And THEN I only have to wait SEVEN MORE DAYS until it’s BOOK AND COOK AGAIN!!!”  It’s a huge hit.  He recites the recipe for roti from memory like a prayer.  He pumps his teacher for clues about the next week’s menu.  He is a little boy obsessed.

Wanting to capitalize on this interest, and inspired by my friend Cindy, whose kids cook each Monday, we’ve recently made Tuesday “Kids Make Dinner” night at home. The boys alternate weeks.  When it’s their turn, they make the menu and the shopping list, and are in charge of all cooking.  I hang out in the kitchen to operate the oven and make sure everyone keeps a constant number of digits during chopping.

We’ve had some good meals from the kids so far.  Pea’s spring rolls, for example, were second to none.

spring rolls

This week, however…well… I don’t know how to put this kindly.

Anyone who’s an Arrested Development fan (and if you’re not, how are we friends?) will remember Lindsay’s brief foray into cooking.

hot ham water

“Mmm…so watery.  And yet there’s a smack of ham to it.”

Pea is possibly a little too comfortable in the kitchen, and never wants to use a recipe.  This is OK with spring rolls.  His choice this week was soup.  “Perfect Soup”.  He claims he read it in a book at school.

Our conversation to make a shopping list:

“Corn.  And carrots.  And tomatoes, but not the ones in a can.  The ones you have to cut up with a knife.”

“Sounds good.  Anything else?”


“OK, and some salt?”

“I guess so.  And pepper.”

“Great.  Can you pick a protein?  There’s lentils, quinoa, chick peas, tofu, any kind of beans…”

“Black beans!”

“Perfect.  Sounds delicious.  Do you want to make bread or scones or corn muffins or something to eat with it?”

“No.  French fries in the oven.”


The soup wasn’t terrible, but it began with a stockpot filled nearly to the brim with water.  There were at least 20 cups of water in the pot.  Mmm.  Water.  When his back was turned, I ladled out a whole lot of it, which wasn’t easy because he’d already dumped in the corn.  Still, it was a bit weak.  We all ate more bowls than usual to feel full.  I am not complaining, because he is gleeful about cooking, and presumably, by the time he’s 10 he will be able to make something on his own that doesn’t taste like it came from the tap.  Also, the french fries were delicious.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Cindy permalink
    March 6, 2015 6:28 am

    Love it!


  1. Kids Cook Monday!! | Yarnstead
  2. Kids Cook Monday!! – Yarnstead

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