Family kitchen time

4:21 PM

This is my favourite time of day. The four of us gather in the kitchen. The sun is setting so we turn on a few floor lamps and maybe the lights on the Christmas tree that we still haven't taken down. The kids are 5pm-calm, which is a world away from 1pm-hyper. We slowly pull ingredients from the fridge one by one. Onions and garlic, of course. A bottle of white wine? Maybe! "Honey, do you have plans for this sausage?" I ask. "Just save a piece or two for something else I have planned." He says. There's usually a pot of boiling water or a toasty skillet. Maybe the oven is preheated to 400 for sweet potato fries, or 185 for keeping falafels warm. Maybe tonight we'll use our flat top racelette or the BBQ for a beer can chicken...

Unless it's "mommy needs some alone time" night, making dinner is a family affair. We don't go by the women-cook-and-men-grill philosophy. We don't even think the kitchen is off limits for kids. Oliver has been chopping veggies for well over a year. He whisks. He flips. He blends smoothies. Dakota mostly eats.

In fact, the majority of photos I have of Dakota are her eating.

 The photos of Oliver "eating" are just him holding food that he's too distracted to eat.

So we chop and whisk and plan and test, as a family, and less than an hour later we have a fantastic dinner for four - plus leftovers for tomorrow's lunch! We want our kids to be comfortable in the kitchen, able to feed themselves and their future loved ones, and balanced in their relationship with food. Oliver will ask "You gunna blanch those Mommy?" in regards to raw vegetables for Dakota. And she... well, she'll sort the spicy buffalo chicken out of her chopped salad and simply devour the cabbage and kale and other greens.

Kitchen time is family time.

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