too many cooks in the kitchen ?

Even though they spend hour upon hour with me each day, my children never seem to tire of my company and always want more of it. One of the places they love to seek me out is in the kitchen and having four kids means it’s a place I spend a lot of time.

The thing is, I really like to be alone in the kitchen. My kids are always eager to help and I’m always shooing them out of my space. Lately, I’ve started to feel guilty about it. Cooking together is such a great thing; learning the importance of healthy choices, working on math skills, practicing cooperation, inheriting family recipes, creating memories.

And I know this because as a child I spent a lot of time standing beside my mom during dinner prep. She wasn’t a Betty Crocker – all bake sale items were bought from the grocery store and dumped into tupperware for disguise – but she is an excellent authentic chinese cook. And I absolutely loved standing beside her sizzling wok, handing her spices or throwing chopped veggies into the sparkling oil.

I was her “taster”, the one who told her if there was enough flavour in the dish-of-the-night before she brought it to the table to be served. I doubt she really needed my input, she made those dishes hundreds of times, after all. But I’m sure it was her way of teaching and I did learn.

Years later, I’m making many of her signature dishes for my family and take great pride in knowing how much they enjoy them. One of our family favourites is my mom’s steamed pork and egg dish (recipe and photo provided by noobcook.com)

Just the aroma of this dish is enough to bring my kids running in anticipation.

And so I’m going to use it as my inspiration to take my ear buds out (okay, so sometimes I like to bring my ipod into the kitchen for company) and pull up some chairs and start the teaching.

What about you? Do your kids join you stove-side?

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Louise Gleeson is a freelance journalist and mother of four. Her professional portfolio can be viewed at www.louisegleeson.com and you can follow along as she shares stories from everyday life on her blog at www.latenightplays.com. You can also find her on twitter @louisegleeson

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