Monday, December 17, 2007

Drew the Chef

The Drew Monster has been big into utensils and measuring cups and bowls for a while now. It likely started when he discovered how much fun it was to take out all the tupperware from the lower cupboards in my mother's house, grab a spoon, and stir just like Momma. We put child safety latches on our cupboards, though, so Drew opted for dragging a chair up to the counter so he could rummage through the cooking utensil drawer (we have long since removed anything sharper than a butterknife from that drawer). He knows the word "hot" very well, not because he's burned himself, but because Momma and Daddy are so freaked about that chance given his predilection for cooking that we've drilled it into him.

He's added a new twist to his cooking fixation. In the past week, I've had to set up a cutting board for him and give him either a piece of celery or a carrot to work on with a butterknife. The kid's learned a lot by watching me, and his fingers haven't once come close to getting in the way. El Boyo Diablo appears to be a natural. Once he cuts up the carrot or celery into a number of pieces, he'll then load up a measuring cup with them. A couple of times, he's tried to toss the contents into whatever pot or pan I'm toiling over. He also tastes his diced vegetable at least once, discovering regularly that, no, indeed he doesn't like raw carrots.

I always try to give him something he can add safely to the pot or pan with dinner in it, usually it's a can of broth to add to the soup pot or something. But he's clearly learning and wanting to do more. I had just started getting items out for dinner and hadn't turned on the stove top when I turned away to take care of something (probably answer the phone). When I turned back around, Drew had climbed up onto the counter and opened the cupboard with all the spices and started rooting around for the perfect mixture.

Mark and I have known for a while that we'd be getting our son planning menus and cooking as early as possible as one of his "chores", but we hadn't realized that he would 1) take so well to it and 2) get a head start on things. Ironically, he's not all that interested in Ratatouille.

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