Thursday, February 17, 2011

my mini-chef cooks lava

Guess who caught the virus next?

While I didn't get it as badly, yesterday afternoon found me wrapped in every blanket I could find and curled up on the sofa, trying to not think about planning dinner.  I had put a package of Happy Cow in a bowl of water to thaw and pulled out some tomato soup* for a simple dinner, but couldn't get myself up to make it.  (*This is the only meal I have in the repertoire that calls for soup.  I wouldn't make it, but the kids love it and it fits the bill when I need something really simple.)

Pook was at his first baseball practice and CD was joining him there straight from work.  It took some persuading but Bug agreed to make dinner.  Then was so proud of himself he wouldn't have accepted help if it had been offered.

I present to you a meal COMPLETELY made by a seven year old.  I call it Cheesy Sloppy Joes.  My kids think it has something in common with stroganoff and want to call it "Sloppy-noff".  My veto isn't getting anywhere.

Our first obstacle was that he refused to touch raw meat.  I was pretty sure I couldn't do that either, so I worked around it.  (One of my superpowers is the ability to parse an activity into steps and adapt them to work for anyone.)

The Happy Cow meat was packaged in a plastic baggie sealed with a metal clip on one end.  I instructed him to remove the meat from the bowl of water and place it on a cutting board.  With a steak knife, he cut through the plastic on the bottom side of the package, then held it by the "handle" to drop it into the pan.  He used utensils and materials he could reach- not always what I would have used- but I don't like stools by a hot stove.  (They seem to slip.)

He cooked the meat and broke it into chunks, then added some leftover diced tomatoes (optional ingredient) and the can of tomato soup.  (Fortunately Happy Cow meat has very little fat to drain, so we skipped that step.)  The soup had a pull-tab which he levered open with a spoon.  He used the spoon to put the soup in the pan "because it doesn't have a water-like texture".

I had him get cheddar cheese from the fridge and "chop up a pile as big as your fist."  To check, I had him put it in a measuring cup and tell me how close to full it was.

His pan was "looking like lava" so he added the cheese and then turned his attention to toasting some hoagie rolls.  He was on a roll at this point, amazed at his own abilities, so he decided to make some salad too.

He took plates from the cabinet and put baby carrots and some slices of cucumber on each. (Any excuse to use the knife again!)  Next thing I knew, he was setting the table, pouring milk and asking what sort of tool he should use to serve his meal.

His dad and brother were still not home, so he phoned to check on them and then declared, "Well I might as well clean up and put stuff away."

Yeah, pretty amazing. Too bad I didn't feel like eating any. But I'm glad I thought to have him take photos! (On his new hand-me-down birthday camera from his Papa.)

I look forward to the leftovers.

1 comment:

  1. I see a junior-blogger in the making! Good job, Bug!!