This past weekend, my 16 year old daughter celebrated her birthday with her friends. She decided to celebrate by having them all over for a sleep over – paired with a nice dinner in our formal dining room, and yes, with lit candles.
On the menu:
- Shrimp Alfredo with farfalle pasta
- Homemade pumpkin pie
I was in charge of making dinner – and she really wanted to make the pie with her friends. Of course, I was ALL OVER making dinner for this group of up and coming sophisticated young women. Up and coming sophisticated young women?? Wow, I can’t believe I just said that!! But, they really are.
Camrie was very adamant about having her friends join in and make her all-time favorite dessert and that I was to sit back and take my hands off the wheel. I was totally fine with that . . . until I actually sat back and took my hands off the wheel. What a surreal experience to see this group of “up and coming, sophisticated young women” take charge in the kitchen, relating to one another very much in the same way that I relate to my own girlfriends. It literally brought tears to my eyes, and it brings tears to my eyes again just writing about it.
Being that I have kids that range from as young as 5 years old to 16 years old - I feel like I have an unusual perspective that I can share with you. I can see the challenge of sharing my kitchen with my 5 year old – and I know that a lot of moms with young children can relate - but at the same time I can see the benefit it reaps many years later with my teenager.
If you have young kids, I would encourage you to take one meal a week per child – maybe it’s lunch – and encourage them to make a meal with you. Don’t overwhelm yourself – or your child – but keep it simple. Ask them to help you make a smiley face on their sandwich with mustard. Or, have them take their raisins and make shapes on their plate.
If your kids are older, ask them to join you in making dinner. Very much like doing their own laundry, cooking is a life skill they will have to carry with them their entire lives – whether they like it or not.
You never know – maybe it will lead them to enjoying some culinary fun with their friends as adolescents or teenagers down the road.
Oh, and the recipe for the Alfredo? Just bowtie pasta, sauteed shrimp and a jar of Classico Alfredo sauce topped with shredded parmesan cheese. Easy dinner!
Whatever you do, Live life with gusto!