One of my go-to meals is fried rice. I like using the wok because it’s easy to clean, and fried rice will accommodate whatever veggies are in danger of going bad. I bought some baby bok choy because they were so cute, but had no specific recipe in mind for them. Three weeks later they were looking uh-oh; I had to shed a few outer leaves, but they were spared the indignity of going into the compost bag unused when I chopped them up for fried rice.
Yesterday I was getting a fried rice dish ready in time for Hubster’s return from work, and Kidlet climbed up to the kitchen bar to talk to me. “Whatchoo doing,” she said. Crap, I thought. Do I have time for a conversation? I took a deep breath and decided to “be present,” like one of the books I’m reading suggests. So I asked, “I’m cutting up veggies, do you want to help me?” Her eyes lit up! Evening is often when my attention span makes a mad dash for the trees; sadly, if I’m paying a lot of mind to Kidlet after 6pm it’s usually because I’m trying to gently guide her into Bed Time. She jabbed at the air with an index finger and said, “Sure!”
I set out the small cutting board in front of her, handed her one of the re-usable compostable knives (made of what? I have no idea) left over from her birthday party last Fall, and quickly demonstrated how to slice a mushroom. She had at it. After a few moments of observation, I demonstrated how to hold a knife specifically. She improved her grip and made better cuts. I took a video of her slicing up one of the mushrooms (see below).
My friend Emily posted on my Facebook page that her thee year old son uses the Wavy Chopper to cut produce every night. I want to get one of these child-friendly knives because next month, Hubster wants to take this eating at home experiment a veggie big step forward by having us do the “Eat to Live” diet. He told me about it, and basically: it’s a LOT of vegetables, emphasis on micronutrients, totally vegan (Hubster eats a vegan diet), a lot of salads and steaming, and did I mention a crapload of vegetables? I actually love salads and have been wanting to incorporate even more vegetables into our diet, so this sounds like a good practice. Hubster’s plan is to lose some pounds; I am drawn to the simplicity of it. Right now I’m very interested in getting adept at simple, down-to-earth meals – like the ones my mom cooked.
I’m giving myself March 1st to eat out if I want – then on March 2nd we’ll continue eating homemade and Eat to Live meals for the following six weeks.
Kidlet will be able to help me cut up all these fruits and vegetables we’ll be consuming! She was happy to assist and be a part of making dinner last night, so might as well include her in the process every day. It’s an activity for us to do together, and as far as I’m concerned, it beats having to draw cats (eek!) or cutting up construction paper into a thousand little pieces.