Wednesday, June 1, 2011

From Scratch

Nathan asked if he could bake bread , "like old-fashioned, Mom!", the other day.  Well, actually, he asks me that fort-nightly - at least.  My usual response is to just say "no". No always seems easier in the moment. However, I have been re-re-convicted (again) that I should say "yes!" to my kids whenever possible. 

So we did just that.  Or I should more correctly say - I watched, while he did just that.

Melting the butter with milk
One of our favorite rituals is curling up on the couch together and looking through the latest "Food" magazine the day it arrives on our doorstep. We ooh and ahh and dog-ear all of the pages of potential recipes we might try out.  

We try out approximately .01 % of those that we tag, but it's fun to share that time together, regardless of my lack of follow-through in the kitchen.
Blending the egg with the flour/milk etc.  You'll notice they don't use the word etc. in cookbooks a lot - this is why I will not ever be able to write a cookbook.  Sadly, there is a lot of etc. that goes on when I cook and bake.
Remember the family flag page game? It was a watershed moment in my life earlier this year, and it is something I am still recommending and referencing from time to time.    

Nathan is a member of "control country".  He loves to plow ahead and get things done on his own.  Should I ever be unable to fulfill my duties as a parent, he is ready and willing to do his part to take over.  

Actually, my oldest three all have control country as their home or adopted country. It won't surprise me a bit if the youngest two have it lurking near the surface as well. They come by it quite honestly.  It's only my adopted country, but I like to visit there often...a lot.

I know you're shocked.

My experience of doing the flag page game with Nathan was something else.  I can look back now and see it as funny. 

Let's just go with that feeling.   

I knew going into it, that he was from control country....that apple does not fall far from the tree!  However, he kept avoiding many of the control country cards when we played the game. After much deep breathing on my own part, I tallied up the cards he chose and told him that he scored high one of the other countries (peace, perfect or fun, I can't remember which one!).  He responded by contorting his face like I was speaking Portuguese,  getting quite upset and saying something to the effect of "Mom, I am NOT from that country - I am from control country!"

To which I responded, in English:

"Alright-y then son, let me just do a little recalculating.  Look at that you are right - yes, it was you that came to that decision that you are from control country, and not me.  Verily you are much wiser than myself and this silly game that you clearly think is trying to control you.  I had NO IDEA."

Well, I might not have said exactly that, but I might have thought it, control freak that I am.  
I love it that he needs a chair to have the right leverage for kneading.
Nathan loves to have opportunities to exercise his independence and show that he is competent in the things he is interested in.  

Saying yes to him might make a mess in my kitchen for a moment, but the confidence it grows in him and the trust it builds between us is absolutely worth the clean up.  I need to remember that when I am tempted to say no.

I think part of the reason Nathan (and I) loves to work in the kitchen is that he (and I) loves being in charge of all of the different aspects assembling a recipe involves: measuring, mixing, shaping...controlling! He can take flour, eggs, milk and yeast and Bam! He magics it into (really tasty) bread.  

I learned this week, watching him, that you up the control factor when you take away the mixer. 

For him, that's a great thing!
"Who needs you mixer?!  I have fists of fury!!!"

 I need to take more pictures when we do things like this.  Remembering makes me fall in love with my kids more - as opposed to just loving them because they are mine. 
I did it !
These really are precious moments, and saying yes creates so many more of them.

"Yes and No are very short words to say, 
but we should think for some length of time before saying them"


  1. WHAT?! no 'after' picture of that loaf????
    great lesson...i am trying to say 'yes' more often too (and often fail).

  2. Kelly - we are such pigs it was gone before I could remember to take a picture. It was excellent though, you'll just have to take my word for it.

    More proof that I am not Pioneer Woman ;)

  3. Nathan - what a great job of baking bread! You look like an amazing chef in all the pictures. I am glad your Mom lets you make a mess in her kitchen. She is very wise.

  4. You must cultivate that baking thing in him! Bread - I'm impressed.

  5. Love this! Nice job, Nathan! And nice job, Karina, on the yesses :) It's so hard sometimes to remember to do that.


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