Kitchen Time With the Kids

Peanut, like a lot of kids his age, wants to help in the kitchen.  I figure blind adults have to be able to cook, and Christine Ha demonstrated that blind people can be excellent chefs, so I’m supporting him in this endeavor.  I’ve found that, at this point, it takes a LOT of patience–he’s not sure of himself, so he’s slow.  I’m hoping with the right tricks, tips, and tools, he’ll get faster and be able to be a real help in the kitchen and maybe on a start to being a master chef himself.

This week, we made Garlic Chicken Stir Fry using Sara Welch’s fabulous recipe from The Recipe Critic; you can find it here:  Both kiddos were eager to help.  I’m not sure how to help Peanut be successful with measuring spoons at this point, so I had Sprout measure the ingredients for the sauce and make it while I put Peanut to work cutting up vegetables.

Peanut cutting PeppersWe have a special kid-safe knife that Peanut’s using in the picture at the left.  Since he’s still using his fingers to figure out which end of the knife is “up,” so to speak, it was good to have a knife that would cut peppers well but not little fingers.  I explained to him that on this knife, the bumpy side goes down.  The knife doesn’t have a sharp point, so I jabbed it into the pepper for him so he could cut it in half; he tended to saw the pepper into pieces rather than cut it like you would with a sharp knife.

Peanut was fascinated by the feel of the pepper and by cutting it into different shapes.  Unfortunately, this meant it took him a really long time to cut up the pepper, so we’re going to work on efficiency in the future.  We made faster work of the mushrooms; I cut off the tips of the stems next to him, and he was great at figuring out how to orient them tactually to cut each mushroom in half.  It definitely worked better when he pushed down on the knife rather than sawing at the mushrooms, but he preferred sawing.

Since Peanut wants to do more in the kitchen, I’m looking for tips, tricks, and tools to help him out:  he wants/needs to be able to use measuring spoons, measuring cups, and real knives.  I have a food holder from Pampered Chef to help with the cutting, but I would love tips on how to help him figure out which end of a knife is the sharp part *without* feeling the cutting edge and hurting himself.  Do you have suggestions, ideas, or favorite products?  Please leave a comment on this blog to help Peanut’s cooking dreams come true!


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