Every day we cook. Every day we explore new recipes. Every day our mind is blown with the tastes of the world.
I adore cooking and baking for my family. It is one of the things I love most in the world and honestly feel called to do for them. Out of the many things that I feel I fail at as a mom (no pity needed. That's just the life of a mom, isn't it?! I know I'm not alone.), broadening my children's pallets is one thing I feel I've succeeded at. Don't get me wrong, there is plenty of frozen pizza eaten in this house and spaghetti bolognese but you'll rarely see me try a recipe twice; if I do, it's because it's stinkin' good! There are just way too many amazing recipes out there that I need to try! (Side note: want one of my favorite recipes in the world? Here you go!)
My kids have grown up eating adventurously. Put a plate of those Moroccan lamb meatballs from above in front of them and they will gobble them up! I believe that what you introduce them to in the beginning informs the way they eat later. Honey soy glazed salmon? Heck yes!
One of my greatest joys is having my kids help me in the kitchen. I remember Isla as a little toddler helping me cook. She would make an absolute mess and sometimes it would annoy me but I would always remind myself that these are the precious, teachable, gone in an instant moments. This is me sharing the gift of food and cooking with her and the mess doesn't matter. My joy comes in knowing that even if I can do nothing else, they will eat, and they will eat well.
I always joke with people that cooking is my love language. But in all seriousness, it's probably true. So when my kids sit on the counter and help me cook or just watch what I do, my heart swells to the point of bursting.
The other night Milo sat on the counter watching me prepare veggies for dinner as he snacked on mango and tomatoes. Then, since I had time to spare, I started shelling broad beans for the next night's dinner of broad beans with garlic, dill and eggs. I took one pod, broke it open, and picked out the beans. Milo, watching me, took a pod of his own and tried breaking it open. He didn't manage so I broke it open for him and showed him out to pick the beans out and put them in the bowl. He did it with so much enjoyment! Not only was I teaching him about shelling beans but he was practicing sorting, fine motor skills and patience. A win in my book! He did eventually get distracted and started scattering my beans all over the counter BUT I'll look past that!
What's my point? I think cooking is one of the greatest expressions of love. I want to teach my kids to cook in the hopes that one day they will adore it like I do. I want our kitchen to always be a place of welcome, happiness, love, and the smells of home.