Here in New York we have one more week until our kids go back to school. It’s that time of year when I feel like I want to get organized. I want to be efficient and and make plans that will help the school year get started smoothly. And, of course for me that means thinking about food!
One of the biggest challenges I face is breakfast. Cold cereal is just so darn easy, and Rosa has a couple of favorite brands that are at least semi-healthy. But, I know we could be doing better on the nutrition front.
I’ve learned from my work as food editor at Parents that I’m not alone with my breakfast quandaries.
As I often do, the other night I was thinking about what I should have for breakfast the next morning. I surveyed our provisions. We had some slightly bruised but still fragrant peaches and a half-loaf of rustic bread. Bingo. A breakfast bruschetta began to take shape in my mind. Toasted bread, diced and macerated peaches with a touch of sugar and basil… perfect.
Well, almost perfect. I knew I needed a “glue”, a base for the bruschetta, something to marry to the bread and the fruit. Fresh ricotta seemed like just the thing. If I had been really ambitious I would have made my own from this terrific recipe. Instead, the next morning I picked some up and put together this summery treat.
Can I admit that, by nature, I’m one of those moms who gets a little too controlling in the kitchen when I’m cooking with my kid? That I have to work hard to relax and not freak out if a little flour gets on the floor? “It’s okay!” I tell myself. “This is a great learning experience. Rosa is picking up new skills, learning to appreciate food, and what’s more, this is good bonding time for the two of us!” With all of those benefits what’s a little flour on the floor or egg on the face (literally)?
Sometimes that internally-directed pep talk actually works.
Children's Chef Suzy Scherr
And since I started collaborating with children’s chef Suzy Scherr I’ve evolved even further. Suzy teaches Rosaberry’s kids cooking classes, and she is such a passionate advocate for bringing kids into the kitchen that even I am swayed. Cooking with kids is the best thing ever! In fact, Rosa and I have been cooking quite a bit together from this book.
I asked Suzy to tell us about her experiences with kids in the kitchen, at what age kids can start cooking, and why we should tolerate the mess and welcome kids to the counter.