1.) (And I cannot stress this one enough) Momma Ain’t Making Dinner. The kids are. They can make easy dinner recipes — they just have to not be made by me. It’s Spring Break. On Tuesday it occurred to me — four kids. Four weekdays left. ‘Nuff said.
2.) Each kid plans dinner one night. They must find the recipes, plan the menu, write the shopping list, and shop with me at the store for ingredients (after checking to make sure we don’t have them at home.) Then they need to make it.
3.) Every dinner must include at least one serving of protein and at least one serving of vegetables. Dessert is optional (Bwahahahaha! No one opted out of making dessert. Shocker.)
1.) Tim — boy; aged 11
2.) Alexis — girl, aged 8
3.) Caleb — boy, aged 6
4.) April — girl, aged 3
Tim’s night: Homemade pizza (he made two, loaded them down with veggies, and argued that should satisfy the vegetable rule. The Judge allowed it), ice cream sundae bar
Alexis’s night: Spaghetti and meatballs, peas, Nigella Lawson Chocolate Fudge Cake (oh yes, she did…that’s my girl!)
Caleb’s night: Corned beef (cooked according to package instructions), “lettuce with ranch dressing” (not salad. Lettuce only), dessert trail mix (this is tonight. I believe it involves popcorn, M&Ms, chocolate chips, and…who knows? If it’s good, I’ll share the recipe here. But I did have to veto mixing in an entire tub of vanilla frosting.)
April’s night: “We have chicken!” She needed a little guidance. We’ll be making Crockpot Cranberry Chicken, served over rice, and asparagus. For dessert, “I make ice cream!” And so we shall. Our first homemade ice cream of the year.
The great things about the challenge:
-Pizza with faces
-The working on fractions that always comes with cooking (“Oops. I can’t find the 1c measuring cup. You’ll have to use the 1/2c. Now what?”)
-New recipes (hello, again, Nigella Lawson Fudge Cake. I both love and fear you, you delightful, ridiculously chocolatey confection.)
-Unexpected alone-ish time with each kid as I helped in the kitchen. Around here when we cook, there are anywhere from 4-8 extra hands wanting to help. Because each kid gets their own day, they were all willing to allow each other their own time to cook with Mom. A lovely bonus.
-(hopefully) The beginnings of children who will be self-sufficient when they leave this house someday, and will not survive only on cereal and Top Ramen (or, if they do, will do it out of laziness like their mother, and not because they don’t know how to cook.)
-Only one, really: I’m not actually getting a break from cooking. I didn’t think I would be. Because at this age, when kids are in charge of anything — cooking, chores, homework — they still need grown-up supervision (and advice and motivation and…) But I’m hoping we’re laying the groundwork for them to do these things on their own one day. Maybe by Spring Break 2019, I’ll be able to veg in front of the TV and they will bring me my dinner. Holla.