Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sunday Supper with Parker - Debut

Several weeks ago I realized Parker (12) hasn't been in the kitchen much lately (well he's there, but not cooking). Josie (4) was doing more cooking that Parker. It got me thinking that Parker should cook an entire meal at least once a week. I talked with him and he agree. He really likes to cook, he just likes to do it his way. (Where does he get that?) He isn't into following a recipe and likes to make new things. Often I don't feel I have the time to redo a meal just in case things don't turn out. So we discussed planning the meal, making it nutritionally complete, having the ingredients before he starts cooking, etc. We also decided Sunday supper was the best meal since I'm usually at the radio show in the afternoon and he's usually done with his homework by Sunday. I suggested he start out with something he's already created, he apparently doesn't mind following his own recipe. He suggested he double it so he'd have lunch for school on Monday. Good idea.
Sunday suppers is about...

  • giving Parker space to create with a medium that is important to all of us - food
  • working on my control issues, especially in the kitchen, I am not a huge control freak, but I do tend to be the boss in the kitchen and by making Parker's cooking evening on the same evening I'm usually away from the house it ensures I won't take charge
  • ensuring Parker has the tools to make his own food choices and be able to feed himself well when he's out of our home (I know he's only twelve, but the last twelve years have gone by so fast, his time for moving out will be here before we know it)
We spent Saturday evening with friends celebrating Brian's birthday. It was so nice we didn't leave as early as we should have so Josie crashed Sunday afternoon/evening. She was just on the couch "reading" a book to herself and the next thing we knew she was out. We could only wake her up enough to open her eyes and then immediately nod off again. When she finally woke, she was ravenous and ate three helpings of Parker's meal and declared him "awesome" and the meal "delicioso". She said Parker should cook more often. This made me realize there is another point to all of this...
  • there is something extremely satisfying about feeding people and having them truly enjoy a meal and I want Parker to know this feeling, often
The Spicy Mac and Cheese recipe is on Parker's blog (he added steamed veggies - corn, peas, carrots, and green beans) and here is one way to make sweet potato fries.
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
2 medium sized sweet potatoes (peeled or washed well with peel on, sliced)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon iodized salt
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
1/2 teaspoon za'atar
pinch of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place all ingredients in a glass or metal container with a plastic lid and shake, shake, shake (keep hands on the lid to make sure it doesn't pop off). Once the sweet potatoes are well covered, place them evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Cook for about 30 minutes. Watch them to make sure the don't burn. If all your fries are not the same size, you may need to take some out earlier and let others cook longer. It is nice to rotate them a time or two during the cooking to make sure all sides are cooked evenly. If you have some people in your house who like their fries crispy and some who don't, play around with cooking time and/or heat. Sweet potato fries are great alone or dipped in ketchup. We recommend unsweetened ketchup or habenero ketchup for those who like a little more spice to their life.

For more thoughts on tweens/teens and cooking, check out Susan's recent post. I adore her blog and sometimes think she can read my mind. She always seems to have just the recipe I need or is musing about something I can relate to, check her out - and don't let the "fatfree" part scare you off, her food and photos are fab!


Loretta said...

Parker is amazing, but really, how could he not be with you and Rob as parents. This dinner looks delicious, and I think I will have to try to make this sometime soon for my family. Way to go, Parker!

VeganLinda said...

Aw!! Thanks! :-)

Can't wait to see you this weekend. Seems like it has been forever!