I was recently contacted about Bon Appetit's new online series called Out of the Kitchen, which showcases how face-to-face interactions are vital to the success of notable chefs, restaurateurs and food influencers in the culinary world. I was challenged to think about the importance of face-to-face communication in the home kitchen environment, and gladly took on that challenge. My girls have been cooking with me since they were teeny tiny. At first it was just mixing ingredients in bowls and lining muffin tins with liners. I've always known that cooking with kids was good for them, but over the past few weeks I really have been noticing just how good it is for our relationships. I've been bothered lately by how drawn to screens we are - one wants to watch rainbow loom videos on an iPad while the other wants my phone to do a "puzzle" app and I'm on the computer getting a few minutes of work done. No one is talking to each other - it's like we are zombies staring at these rectangular devices. So I've made a point of doing real puzzles on the floor, building with blocks, or cooking together when we have free time.
Lately when we cook together the girls work together surprisingly well. Quite a change from the toddler screaming of the recent past. They're taking turns and sharing. My oldest is helping her little sister. We are working together and talking about what we are making, but also about other important things that are going on in our lives. And laughing hysterically together when mom accidentally gets sprayed with blood orange juice.
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