Learning to Cook {Family Love}

I experienced a full-circle moment yesterday. As a Mother, I think these moments are precious and poignant. And truly reinforce all that is beautiful about Motherhood.

I grew up watching my Mom cook. And some of my most memorable moments with my Mom are of the two of us watching Julia Child. Back then, we didn't have entire TV channels devoted to cooking shows. There were 2 or 3 programs on PBS. But it really doesn't get any better than Julia. I loved those lazy afternoons with my Mom.

When I started cooking on my own (at a pretty early age), I would imagine that I was the host of a cooking show and talk through all the steps of what I was making. I would talk to the wall like it was the audience and camera. I can only imagine what I must have looked and sounded like.

My love of performing didn't fade and I went to university to pursue an acting career. Some of my most memorable moments on stage were related to food. Apparently a scene that I did that involved me not being able to open a pickle jar was a highlight. It sounds so mundane but I think it was probably tragic and comic all at the same time.

When I was in my early twenties, I became a devoted fan of Martha Stewart. I began my subscription to Martha Stewart Living and consumed every show, special, publication, and book. I went on to adopt more subscriptions and proudly carted all my back-issues around with me for every move. I have a lot of magazines.

Some of the first books that my daughters read were my Martha Stewart magazines. They are actually wonderful for toddlers because the photography is so beautiful and about such varied topics. It was here that Georgia first identified eggplant- a vegetable that I don't like or cook with, but she saw the photo and learned about it.

Fast forward a few years and I now have 4 1/2 and 2 1/2 year old girls that LOVE to cook and bake. They come by it honestly. It is my passion and my kitchen is where I am happiest. So of course they want to join in. Georgia, my oldest, is quite adept in the kitchen and becoming very independant. She can prepare a meal, from start to finish. She understands many cooking principles and is very knowedgeable about food and kitchen safety. Olivia is still at the stage where she wants to mix and dip her fingers in for a lick.

The 3 of us have such fun in the kitchen and we usually start with me pouring dozens of back issues of Everyday Food magazine on the kitchen table and asking them to choose a few recipes. Again, with such great photography and the "digest" size, these magazines are perfect for kids. Georgia is already reading recipes out of these handy magazines.

When I learned of Everyday Food cancelling their monthly publication I was incredibly disappointed. I love this magazine but am happy to have so many back-issues that they will continue to be useful for every day menu planning. I understand the reality of print media and it appears that Everyday Food is going to continue with other media outlets such as videos, their blog, and web content.

I was scrolling through the Martha Stewart website and saw the link to the Everyday Food videos. I thought it would be fun to show one to Georgia. We sat and watched Sarah Carey make chocolate mousse and Georgia asked for another video. She instantly fell in love.

We have now watched about 14 of the videos in the last 3 days. She has chosen a few of the meals for us to make. This is fun for me because she is choosing recipes that are new to us and she wants to experiment.

This morning, I walked into the kitchen and heard a little voice. Georgia was at her toy kitchen, cooking a meal and teaching her "audience" how to make it. I hear her say, "the spinach will reduce and then you add the lemon juice." And in that moment I realized that I had re-created that very special memory I have of my Mom for my daughter. She is following in my footsteps with a passion for food, and maybe even a talent for teaching and performing.

I was careful to not let her notice me so that I could listen in on her TV cooking show debut. I soaked up the moment. And I fell in love with my daughter all over again.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My Mum did not enjoy cooking or baking particularly - no special bonding times there! We did love to read together though, and a very early memory for me is acting out a tea party scene from Winnie the Pooh on my bedroom floor - I was 5 at the time. Maybe that went full circle when our younger daughter began mixing potions in her secret corner of the garden, after we'd finished reading the first Harry Potter - she was 6. I am so glad your girls enjoy time cooking with you - it will serve them so well later in life.

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