It all began with breakfast. Breakfast for dinner, that is.
On Friday evening, right before I began cooking pancakes, eggs, and turkey bacon for dinner, my nine-year-old son asked if he could help me cook dinner. This has never happened before. He's never asked to help cook. He's never asked to help with much of anything. I had just read a magazine article identifying all the chores my kids could do if I only made them. With this in mind, I told him I'd love to have him help me cook.
I let him use the stove, separate eggs, and cut fruit. With some oversight, he did everything except make the pancake batter, which I'd already completed before he came on the scene.
As we finished dinner, he surprised me further by saying he'd like to plan and cook a meal. You could have knocked me over with a feather when he welcomed his younger sister's input on the menu and preparation.
With my help, they settled on a menu. Proving that my children have only low-brow and high-class taste with no in-between, they settled on filet mignon as an entree, which would be my responsibility. Who was I to argue with genius?
The crowning glory of the meal was to be the dessert that my son created. I had to admit that it sounded pretty good.
While I did the breakfast-dinner dishes, they scuttled off to their desks to make the pretty menu and place cards for their fancy dinner. I promised them that, if they were still interested in the morning, after I ate breakfast and finished my coffee, we would make our shopping list and go to the store.
The kids were still fired up about it this morning, but they let me sleep in anyway, earning them huge brownie points. After I finished my coffee, we made our grocery list. I've never seen two kids more excited to go grocery shopping.
They were helpful. Very helpful.
Keeping with the helpful theme, my husband took the kids out to lunch without me to give me a little quiet time (hooray). When they returned, the three of us made the pumpkin bread for the special dessert, then headed out to the pool for the rest of the afternoon.
Then I put them to work.
They took turns at the different tasks: snapping beans, peeling potatoes, making homemade whipped cream and homemade butter, arranging the fruit platter, and setting the table. No fighting, no complaining--a team effort.
The results were spectacular.
We are all overstuffed, and the kids are very proud of themselves for both their ideas and execution. Everyone agreed it was the best meal we've ever had at home.
What the kids don't realize is that, now that I know they can do all these things, they will be helping in the kitchen a lot more going forward (hooray for that). I am constantly amazed at what they can do when they put their minds to something. Maybe next, laundry?
The menu: filet mignon, steamed green beans tossed with olive oil and sea salt, homemade potato chips, fruit plate, sliced tomatoes with olive oil, basil, and mozzarella, rolls and homemade butter, pumpkin bread with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, and homemade whipped cream.