14 February 2011

all the dishes are still dirty

Happy Valentine's Day!

I am so blessed by my darling valentine and our three little miniature valentines.

So blessed, that, this morning, when Ada Bee asked if she could make banana bread muffins (the oven is already preheated, Mama), I said 'Sure.'

One of my big goals for the next couple of years is to teach Ada to be a competent cook. She can now read well enough to follow a recipe, and she's responsible enough to not burn the house down. Not that I'm ready to truly abandon her in the kitchen, but I don't feel like I have to worry that while I'm putting in a load of clothes, she's going to put her finger in the immersion blender.

Wait, that was me.

At 25 years of age.

Well, over the last couple of weeks, she's made a couple of things alone. I'm usually also in the kitchen, but I'm not counting her teaspoons.

So, today, while I was getting the boys dressed and such, Ada began making banana muffins.

And I didn't monitor any of it. At all.

Come to find out, maybe that would have been a good idea.

After the timer went off, we opened the oven.

This is what we found.

So, we got back out my recipe for banana bread (a recipe that I've made at least 100 times, maybe closer to 500), and examined.

"Oh, one AND A HALF cups of flour...I forgot that half of a cup."

Yeah. That's what you did alright, bee.

Ada Bee was disappointed. "I worked so hard, and all the dishes are still dirty." I hate it for her. But what a wonderful lesson to learn now - when you're six - rather than when you're twentysix.

One of the biggest things a parent can do to to make a child really feel our love and God's grace is to empathize. So, this morning, before Ada set about Latin and Spelling and Grammar, I gave her a few stories of my cooking disasters.

The time I put the cheesecake in the waterbath without wrapping the springform pan in foil first.
The time I put the roast in the oven, invited folks for supper, and didn't turn the oven on.
The (at least one) time I turned the red beans on high to speed up their cooking and didn't check on them before every single bit of the water was gone and I had a burned mass of dried out red beans .
The time I pulled a pie out of the oven, placed it on the stove and later turned the wrong eye on, which I didn't notice until the pie was actually on fire. There was a burning pie on my stove. It was awesome.
The 523 times I've burned the bread. Including this past saturday night....

Ada and I had some good laughs, and after her disappointment, she did not feel failure - she felt camaraderie. She did fail, in an important sense of the word. She failed to follow directions, and that resulted in us having 24 miniature burned cups of banana soup. And it's important that I not think that failure is cute. (or at least not let on...) But, it ain't the end of the world. It's not even the end of the morning. And she gets that.
She knows that I'm perfectly capable of failure, but the key is that she knows that I'm also perfectly capable of success. And so shall she be.

Ada said, "Oh well - I tried to make a valentine treat."
I said, "let's have a reeses peanut butter cup."
She said, "I'll mess up more often."

Uh oh...

1 comment:

  1. Love it! What a great lesson, and I'm sure Ada (your Ada that is) will be a great cook like her mama. I pretend to cook, but usually I mess something up horribly. Like last month, when I made a pumpkin roll and forgot the pumpkin. Or a few years ago, when I made chicken pot pie...and you guessed it, forgot the chicken. Here's hoping my Ada will have better luck :)