Whole Grain Pumpkin Twists with Maple Glaze & Welcome to the Well-Cooked Life
Those who know me (either personally or through my books or blog) know that I love fall. Autumn colors make me look like I have food poisoning, but the foods of fall – apples, pumpkins, seeds, kale – are perfect for cooking and even better for cooking with kids.
Usually, I show food, but I’m opening my kitchen to show you the youngest in action, making his version of pumpkin donuts. Are these really donuts? If your vision is a vat of hot oil and that odd sickening aftertaste, then no, these won’t qualify. But if my picky pumpkin-fearing pediatrician husband likes them, chances are you, a normal person, will too.
Here is William, aged 4, opening the can of organic pumpkin. I show you this not only because Will’s enormous man-hands qualify him for most giant 4-year-old, but because yes, I use food from a can. Do I prefer fresh pumpkin? Yes. Did I use all of it up last week during Soup Week? Yes.
So canned it is.
Also, I show you Will working the can opener because it took patience. Not his. Mine. When kids cook – really cook – not just dump in what you’ve carefully measured – they have a different clock. Speed is not the goal. Will’s desire to open this can by himself showed in every limb – his steady legs, his firm arms, his strong (man)hands. And he did it. Did the opening take almost five full minutes? Yes. But after the initial puncture, I didn’t help him once.
Now, if you look in my shop you might sense a theme – items that have lived, that continue to do so in your home. While each object has its own story, perfection isn’t part of the story. Perfection is the killer of cooking with kids. Kids make messes and don’t even know they are making messes. Or they make messes and have a blast doing so.
Messes, like childhood, are temporary.
So Will does the measuring for real.
Now, those sleuths out there also notice another imperfection. Yes, yes, my table is handmade and crafted from discarded wood and made locally and by independent craftsmen.
And yes, my baking soda expired at the end of June. As noted, it is fall.
We are alive! It’s true that baking soda loses some of its power. However, we still have some left to use up so I threw caution to the fall wind and ignored the expiration date. The fact that the olive oil is from my dad’s olive trees and the maple syrup is from our friend’s farm in Vermont must cancel that out, right?
So let me say this again – welcome to the Well-Cooked Life.
And let me say this again – messes, like childhood, are temporary. May we learn to live with one so we may love fully the other. While it lasts.