Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Someone is in the kitchen with mommy!

With two older girls who regularly help out at mealtime, I have become aware of a couple, shall we say, challenges in sharing my kitchen.

When Emily was 12 she developed a fondness for the culinary arts. In fact, she went through a period where she wanted to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days aweek. While I appreciate an occassional break in meal preparation, in general I find it enjoyable and relaxing, so what developed was a turf war. I suppose you could say it was the "Mum" against the "Chicklet". The Mum, being the dominant, all-knowing owner of the kitchen was less than thrilled at the Chicklet's desire to push her out and reign over her territory. Chicklet's methods were not like Mum's, and the recipes she chose were out of the ordinary too. Now, I fondly refer to the Chicklet as our very own vega-chicka-tarian because of her dislike of most meat; but the Chicklet forgot that she dwells in a family consisting largely of male carnivores. Her menus, noticably lacking in red (or even pink) meat of any kind caused my hubby to consult with the Mum on more than one occasion to discuss strategy. Our solution was a calendar of "dinner nights" assigned to the various able-bodied cooks in the family. I would like to say we all ended up happy, but in truth we only ended up appeased.

A second difficulty that has recently become apparent are my "supposedly" confusing recipe index cards. Whenever I come across a new recipe worth trying I copy it on a 3X5 card and file it in a small file box. Because I generally know how to prepare the recipe, and because I have a lazy streak in me, I usually only write the ingredients and the bake temperature and time. I have done this for years so many recipes reflect our pre-huge family days when a meal in a 9X9 baking dish could feed our whole family. Twice this week my girls have picked one of these recipes, unaware that they needed to be doubled in order to fill the bellies of our hungry bunch. Lucky for us, I had a supply of sourdough bread that turned the dish from a snack into a meal and all was well.

So now our kitchen woes are told, spread out on the table for the world to see. Remember this ladies: be careful when you invite your little ones up to the counter to help you measure and mix, because one day they will conspire to take over your kitchen and -GASP- change the way you do things!

Happy cooking!