When it comes to the kitchen, everyone in my household gets pretty involved. Trust me, I'm not complaining!
I am a baker, through and through. Where baking stresses some people out, if I need some stress relief, I often tie on my apron and spend time in the kitchen. The week before Christmas, I took a week off and spent it almost exclusively baking. It was a blast, despite developing blisters from my cookie scoops! (I love putting together cookie trays to deliver on Christmas Eve. It's become a bit of a tradition.)
My youngest little dude also loves to bake; which makes my heart so happy! He helped with quite a bit of the Christmas baking this year, with specific favorites he made sure he had a hand in.
My husband is the grill master. I won't touch the grill! Even other skilled grill enthusiasts agree, that my husband just has some pretty amazing grilling skills. I'm grateful, because I love grilled food and it just isn't something I'm interested in learning.
While both my husband and I can cook, our best meals come from when we co-op in the kitchen. We have our specialities — my gluten-free chicken wild rice and bacon soup, his country-style barbecue ribs — our very best recipes are things we try, adjust and make together — like jambalaya. (We also make a pretty fantastic barbecue sauce that is a regular Christmas gift request!)
The older two boys both have a combo interest in cooking and baking — but it is more focused on things that they like eating as opposed to trying something new.
I've done some baking with our oldest girl, too. (That doesn't happen often though. She's a teenager ... enough said.)
It makes me happy and, truthfully, a bit proud that the kids enjoy spending time the kitchen. Cooking and baking are life skills that I feel every child should not only learn, but build upon regularly. When my kids leave the nest, I want them to be able to not only be able to prepare the meals and treats that they enjoy, but also help their friends who maybe didn't leave home with that particular skill set.
Someone I know very well went to college not knowing how to use a can opener ... no joke. When I learned that, I decided that the kids would know how to cook!
This past Christmas I gifted someone a recipe book — one of those that come with a layout and you just have to write in the recipes. I learned, much too late, that it takes quite a while to enter handwritten recipes! I never intended to fill the entire recipe book prior to gifting it, but I had hoped to get a few more written in than I actually got done. I ran out of time ... and my hand started to hurt ... but I can easily shoot over recipes when I find some that I think they might like.
I have decided that I am going to start working on recipe books for my kids and with my kids. I'm going to start now and when I come across their favorites, we can write them in. When they leave home, whether it be for college or life in general, they will have a recipe book full of the things that remind them of home.
In the meantime, we will continue to try new things! I have a Pinterest board chalk full of recipes that I want to try, with Mexican street corn and mooncakes topping the list!
I'm always excited to learn about new recipes and would love to get some of yours! If you email it to me, along with a photo, it may even grace page B1 of the weekend edition of the newspaper eventually!
Got a recipe to send me? Email is to email@example.com. I can't wait to see your kitchen creations!
Heather Kantrud lives and works in Fergus Falls at Daily Journal Media as the general manager/managing editor.