I'm not a big fan of cooking. I thought once I became a stay at home mom, the cooking instinct would kick-in and I would magically become Julia Child, whipping up delicious dinners for my adoring family. Four years into this adventure of motherhood, and I'm still waiting for that dormant cooking gene. I'm afraid I may never be more than an adequate cook.
Thank goodness my lack of enthusiasm for cooking has yet to rub off on Little Page. For her 4th birthday, she received Pretend Soup by Mollie Katzen, "a cookbook for preschoolers & up." Designed specifically for children, this cookbook gives easy recipes in simple, illustrated steps. Recipes include quesadillas, popovers, and "pretend soup" - a type of fruit salad.
I've seen children's cookbooks before, but this one stood out to me. Why? Because the author admits your kid might refuse to take a bite of any of the recipes. Little Page is a notorious picky eater, and I learned early on that making a dish does not equate wanting to eat it. In her introduction, Mollie Katzen focuses on the fun, sensory experience cooking can be for children. The act of cooking - stirring, smelling, counting, measuring - is valuable in and of itself, apart from the food's nutrition.
I chose the Carrot Pennies recipe for Little Page to make tonight. With minimal help from me, she followed the simple, numbered steps and cooked up a yummy side dish for our dinner.
Thankfully, this picture doesn't show the chaos in the kitchen as my husband tried to share the counter with me to finish dinner and Littlest Page did her best to climb up Little Page's step stool.
Doesn't it look delicious? It actually was quite tasty and Little Page ate it without complaint.