Friday, March 9, 2012

Harry Cooks

I have an embarrassingly huge collection of cookbooks. Unless someone figures out the secret to eternal life really soon, there is absolutely no way I will ever make every recipe I want to make from my cookbooks, never mind all the recipes in them. I was hoping that my family wouldn’t notice that the majority of the bookshelves in our house are filled with cookbooks, but it seems someone has noticed my obsession, and that it may be contagious. His name is Harry, and he is 8.

Every Thursday, Harry gets to go to his school library and check out three books to bring home. He is a voracious reader, so you’d think he’d choose, um, some reading material. But for all of 2nd grade, he’s been checking out cookbooks. And no, the school library does not have hundreds of kid’s cookbooks; it has a dozen. And Harry has checked them all out multiple times.

The minute he gets home, he takes them out of his backpack and pages through them while lying on the floor in our front hall. After an initial perusal, he asks me for sticky notes, and then (just like his mommy) he sticks a note on every page that has a recipe he likes. Then he puts the books on my desk and asks me to order the ingredients. I attempt to schedule at least a meal or two for the following week, but it can be tough to work around swimming and chess and Sunday school…

I’m not a particularly patient person, so I must admit that “cooking” with an 8 year old is sometimes trying. Harry finds it all very exciting for the first 10 minutes, and then he’d prefer that I cook while he checks hockey scores on the iPad and call him when dinner’s ready. But that’s not very appealing to me because if I’m cooking by myself, I’ve got thousands of recipes in my own cookbooks I’d rather be making. But sometimes it works out just fine. Recently we’ve been on a roll. Last week “we” made cod with a parmesan/breadcrumb crust and his sisters loved it. And tonight “we” made Chicken Paprikash that his Dad and I really enjoyed.

I get a real kick out of his addiction to reading recipes and looking at photos of food. I hope it sticks.