I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Cooking with Kids

People often want to know what kinds of things I cook at home - am I whipping up Cordon Bleu masterpieces? Is foie gras a normal menu item? Do my friends hate inviting me to dinner out of fear I will be unhappy with their own cooking prowess? Allow me to burst your bubble here and tell you that while I have produced some bloody brilliant meals at home, a vast majority of them are quick, simple, tasty (edible) ...and that's it. No magic tricks. I have in fact been known to invite friends to dinner and serve them nothing but a salad and old-fashioned mac n' cheese (with real bechamel and all, but still mac n' cheese...which my DH made!)

Of late, I've been encouraging the kids to do a bit of cooking, with an eye to my future retirement. I figure that if I arm them with a bit of knowledge and cooking skills NOW, then in about...18 months time - they can do the cooking. One night per kid, two nights for DH, a couple of weekend nights where we eat leftovers = free and easy for me. To that end I started them off with simple stuff - eggs. With eggs you can make a myriad of things. Omlettes, quiches, scrambled eggs, frittatas...the list is endless, really. So they can now make scrambled eggs and simple omelettes, I figured I'd trial out a few other versions before moving onto teaching them the methods.

Now, of course, the little buggers are getting kinda picky about it all.

"Mum, my scrambled eggs were way too dry. They need to be, you know, gooshy."
"Can I have mine poached? Poached is so much nicer."
"Did you forget the salt? These were nicer last time."
"Too much pepper. WWWWAAAYYY too much pepper."
"Can mine come with some slices of avocado and just a sprinkle of sea salt?"

Sheesh. Everyone's a critic!

Lately they are so into the egg thing that we're literally burning through a couple dozen a week. This past weekend DD2 (of the "cooking is gross! You get all dirty and stuff!" fame) helped me to make some sautéed mushroom and thyme tarts (yes, eggs involved.) Having eaten variations on this dish before, she was very keen to help - knowing full well she would 'earn' one to try at the end. Tonight, I had some mixture and pastry left over and she got to choose which flavour tart we made for dinner. DD1 was complaining about the "wierd" filling so DD2 looked at her and said, "Oh come on! It's just, you know, eggs, cream, some grated cheese, salt..." DD1 wasn't to be persuaded, so she flung her filling onto DH's plate, who happily gobbled it down.

DD2 turns to me and says (in her best pre-teen voice), " Is she SEER-ious?! That's the best part!"

It would seem I have created a monster. Which, given that DD2 isn't a huge protein eater (until said run of eggy goodness), is probably a good thing.

In fact you might even say it's eggcellent!

...and eggciting

...and ... best I stop now before I get egg on my face!

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