By now you might know that something very bad happened to one of my kids this year. He’s 9 and has been recovering in a variety of ways; therapy, talking, and, since March, cooking and baking. Sunday nights he flips through cookbooks and decides what he’d like to make. Monday we find the ingredients and that afternoon he sets about making the lemon poppyseed muffins, cereal cookies, and garlic shrimp. He is methodical now about gathering the goods, setting up before he begins, and cleaning up when he’s done. I’ve tried to let him have free reign of the kitchen – it’s an easy way to let him feel in control, gain independence, and also make something he’s proud of and that can be shared. He’s quite good, able to substitute applesauce for oil or change flours depending on what we have or the depth of flavor he desires.
Today, we’re working together. I slice the radishes from our CSA delivery and he measures everything else. He balances the heavy jug of vinegar. “I can do this,” he says and it’s reassuring to all of us.