Just For Fun~My creative blog for scrapbooking and digital freebies!
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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Now Why Didn't I Think of That Sooner?!

Dinner time means crazy time. Homework, Piano practice, basketball practice and tennis practice, fussy time for toddlers (and moms) and everyone is hungry. Trying to make dinner between 4:00 and 5:00 is pretty near impossible. My first thought was that I would make dinner earlier in the day, that didn't last long. I have finally found two things that work for me.

1. I make triple the amount of food. When I make dinner I add three times the amount the recipe calls for, and depending on the dish I either freeze two of the three helpings or I cook them all and then freeze them what we don't eat that night. My family is none the wiser and I have homemade meals in the freezer, ready to go. Hmmmm....what should we have tonight? Spaghetti or vegetable beef soup.

2. The second thing that I did was get the kids cooking in the kitchen. Sydney was most excited about this one. It kind of happened by accident. I was chopping up veggies for soup when I looked at the clock and realized that if I didn't get the cornbread made soon it wouldn't be done in time for dinner. I called Sydney into the kitchen,

MOM: I need you to make the cornbread for dinner.

SYDNEY: Really Mom, or are you just joking? (I had been joking but I thought "What the heck.")

MOM: Really.

SYDNEY (who is 8 1/2): All by myself?

MOM: All by yourself. I'm too busy cooking dinner.

SYDNEY: No way! Cool!

My cornbread recipe is from scratch and all I did to help Sydney was to glance at her measuring cups and spoons as she checked with me to see if they were the right ones to scoop the ingredients. Oh, and I also pulled the super hot bowl of melted butter out of the microwave for her.

Her cornbread turned out delicious and I had not seen her that proud in a very long time. It reminded me that I need to trust my kids to harder tasks and let them go it alone sometimes.

Since then she has also made 4 cakes (complete with frosting) and snickerdoodle cookies. She is on a roll and only one cake (I didn't double check the measuring cups) turned out a bit weird.


Shayla said...

Oh man, why does this scare me so? I LOVED cooking when I was around 8 years old and my mom let me. I know Kenzie would adore getting to do this, but my stomach just clenches thinking about it. Would that be the control-freak in me? Sigh. I guess I should take this as inspiration and let her at it. :-)

debsters said...

That's fantastic Amy. My girls love to cook. After a lot of practice, they can do it alone.
I'm convinced that Sydney's new skills will bless her life forever, after all she's part of a large family where it's a talent.

Aubrey said...

I am so glad you shared these ideas! That is one of my favorites things about blogs - the helpful hints from one person to another. Once I get my new freezer I am totally all over the freezer meals, have you found it saves on grocery bills?

Heidi 'n' Jeff said...

I discovered my kids help in the kitchen too. They love it and they are pretty good. You are so right about them being proud. Abbey made dinner last night. We had pancakes and she's does a great job.

I like the idea of cooking 3x as much as you need. Now, I only need the freezer space. :)

Bren's Life said...

I was thinking about you this morning when driving. Thought I hadn't seen your blog for awhile & wondered if you had updated & hadn't seen it??
How cute is she to cook. Way to go.

Nicki said...

How exciting for Sydney. I hope she continues to enjoy it. Girl's are so much help! I don't know what I would do without mine.

Cindy Brinkerhoff said...

Cute post, I am terrible at trusting my kids to go it alone in the kitchen (well if I am to eat what they made)...

good ideas for sure!

Lisa said...

Who knows.....maybe some day she'll turn out to be a famous chef.....{and it all started with corn bread} :)

Great ideas!

SuzanSayz said...

I was not very good at all when it came to turning cooking over to my kids. I love that Heidi started the girls when they were still quite young. And even knowing how competent they are I still have a hard time letting them loose in my kitchen when they come for visits. Good for you Amy. I loved the pictures of Sydney busy at work with her corn bread.

Jodi said...

Aw, that is awesome!!! Way to go Sydney. I need to put more trust in my boys - but it's just so scary. Thanks for sharing that Amy. Oh, and tell Sydney I'm going to be in Activity Days now! :) I'm so excited to have the girls from my old primary class again.

~The Robin's Nest~ said...

What an amazing daughter you have... She bakes and writes wonderful stories! I know this girl is going places!

Mikki said...

I need to do this more often too. My girls both love to help out in the kitchen.
She seems so much older than just eight. What a wonderful helper!