I love to cook, love to bake - basically, anything that happens in the kitchen that ends with yummy foods is all fun to me (Dishes, no, not so much...) Cooking and baking are my down time, my "me time", the time that I use to decompress and get my head on straight. I've been somewhat reluctant to invite my kids in with me. My desire to be alone plus my overactive type A personality that just knows the right way to do these things means that I tend to get a trifle territorial. It's a struggle for me to share the kitchen, that's for certain.
But I remember my own mom letting each of us girls have free reign in the kitchen . Each Friday we took turns to prepare dinner from start to finish. It was a great lesson for us that food takes work, good food takes time and to always be appreciative when others cook for you. My mom let us plan our menus, and I'm certain she regretted allowing me to purchase "A Child's International Feast" when it meant that I served "Scandinavian Beans " - basically doctored kidney beans - for six weeks in a row.
My older children are less adept in the kitchen than I might like and I worry for them when they move out on their own. I foresee a lot of eating out and ramen in their future - but none of the older three are really interested in cooking or baking. My younger three, though, think it's fun to cook, and when my 12 year old son came to me with a recipe that he wanted to try, I took a deep breath and said "yes".
And so that's how we ended up dipping chicken legs into buttermilk and rolling them in crushed cornflakes and laying them on aluminum foil that had been sprayed with cooking spray. We put those coated chicken legs into a 450 degree oven and later enjoyed a wonderful easy and pretty darn tasty dinner.
Did you cook or bake as a child? What have you created in the kitchen with your children?