April 01, 2011
"So, what are your kids setting on fire for dinner tonight?"
That’s the joke around the library on Tuesday nights when I’m working and leave my kids at home to finish supper.
So far, two out of five attempts have ended in something permanently bonded to my best sauce pans. The smoke alarms were fully engaged. Then there was slightly blackened enchilada night. No, it wasn’t a Cajun recipe.
And no one will soon forget the half-cooked chicken and rice fiasco that ended with their dad coming home and taking them out to dinner. Due to its suspicious nature, this incident is still under investigation.
It’s not that they aren’t briefed. Before leaving the house on Tuesday afternoons, all the ingredients and pans for dinner are staged on the kitchen counter and ready to go. I round up the kids – 12 and 16 - and make eye contact as I run through the instruction for dinner. Only after receiving a sufficient number of nods and "yes, Moms," do I walk out the door.
But somewhere between our briefings and dinnertime, things happen. Phones ring. Naps are taken. Friends send texts. Facebook statuses must be updated. Television shows must be watched. And dinner? Hey, what’s that smell?
Am I discouraged? Nah. I work at a library, and I know there’s got to be a book to help my situation.
Maybe, I need to introduce a little fun into cooking. For my 12-year-old, I could try these two juvenile learn-to-cook titles Fun with Italian Cooking and Fun with Mexican Cooking. Or, maybe a more McGyver approach for my 16-year-old. I could try A Man, A Can, A Plan: A Second Helping or A Man, A Can, A Tailgate Plan. These books elevate the can opener to MVP status in the kitchen.
Or, maybe Tuesdays should be Dad's night to cook. Since my husband has deemed his credit card his favorite cooking utensil, I'd better take home The Kansas City Restaurant Guide.