Cooking With Your Kids When You Can’t Cook

The Next Family

By Brandy Black

Brandy Black cooking with kids

It’s no secret in my house that I can’t cook.  The kids generally don’t like my food and my wife walks into a smoky kitchen every time I attempt anything out of the ordinary.  Think I’m exaggerating? I once tried boiling –just boiling -eggs and they ended up exploding on the ceiling.  

I am a master multi-tasker outside of the kitchen, and so I don’t necessarily mind lacking the chef gene.   But I do envy the bonding time my wife enjoys when she and the kids cook together, and I know they are eager to help me whenever I do attempt a meal.

Armed with the wisdom to take this cooking thing sloooowly and a plan to surprise the rest of the family to a Saturday morning treat, my three-year-old daughter and I headed to the store for Pillsbury Grands Cinnamon Buns.  

Back at home, we donned aprons because Food Network teaches that every good chef does that.  Besides, any time a costume is involved, my daughter is all in.  

Cooking with Kids

I carefully peeled the wrapper off the can as to not lose a fraction of the written instruction, even though it is merely 3 simple steps. I’m definitely not ready to start ad-libbing!  My daughter’s tiny but capable hands placed each bun in the pan without me having to worry that we might have messed up.  And me?  I sat and supervised and sipped my mocha.  Hmmm…not bad, this cooking stuff! 

Cooking with kids when you can't cook

We slipped the pan into the oven with time to prepare the rest of the meal.  Luckily I did learn to scramble eggs in college.  Several times my daughter peered through the oven’s window, anxious for the buns to be ready to ice.  

kid looking in oven

Not surprisingly, icing the rolls (and licking the spoon!) was her favorite.  She drizzled, dolloped, plopped, and smeared.  There is no right way to dress a warm cinnamon bun, which was a relief to both of us.  

But the best part of it all was when she ran to tell her brother and sister that she had made everyone breakfast.  It was empowering for her …and for me! Everyone doted and she and I high-fived.  We cooked!  It was YUMMY. Nothing burned and no eggs exploded. Success!  


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