Friday, December 7, 2012

Chef Riley

I've attempted to have Riley 'help' me with cooking in the past, but she only seemed mildly interested so I didn't really push it. It sort of fell to the wayside and I stopped asking her to help.

But then one day I was making pizza which seemed like a great thing for her to assist on.... and I was trying to keep her from whining about not being able to watch TV. Apparently, I just needed to introduce cooking at the right time for her because she fully embraced it. I sliced up all the toppings and she assisted with adding them to the pizza. At one point she got pizza sauce on her fingers so I encouraged her to just lick it off. She did and proceeded to pick up mushrooms, lick the sauce off, and then put them back on the pizza. That's one way to do it kiddo.

Never mind the sharp knife to her left.

She insisted on watching the pizza cook in the oven. I had a hard time convincing her to sit at least a couple inches back from the oven. Apparently, we have a bit to work on regarding the concept of a hot stove.

Final product which she did not want to eat.

Ever since the pizza making day, Riley gets excited when there is even a hint of a possibility of being able to cook. There have been times I've walked into the kitchen just to quickly grab something and Riley starts yelling "chair! chair!" At first I didn't understand her request, but it soon became clear that she associates the chair with cooking since that's what she gets to stand on. We've encountered some minor freak outs if you don't get her a chair so it just seems easier to honor her request even when you aren't actually cooking.

Buttering bread for me. 

Putting bread in the toaster oven.

I don't always have real things for her to do, but we usually find something for her to feel helpful.

And if she doesn't have anything immediate to do she'll make sure the cats have some 'toys' to play with - otherwise known as kitchen utensils. I now have to be more mindful of what utensils are within reach - such as the cooking scissors or the pizza slicer that's in her hand above.

Overall, cooking with her  has been a big hit. She wants to help any chance she can. Just tonight she walked into the kitchen and said "you cooking?"... so I didn't hesitate to pull her up a chair.

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