Sunday, October 19, 2014

She's A Seven Year Old With A Business Plan

Making banana bread all by herself

Joy has shown an interest in cooking from birth.  Or so it seems.  She has always been my little shadow.  "Mommy, can I help make dinner?"  Which has transitioned to "Mommy, can I make dinner all by myself?"  She's seven.

Today she and Lizzy were discussing their futures.  Joy said that she wanted to own a restaurant.  I suggested that maybe she could be like a family friend who runs a catering business out of her home.  That way she could work from home, work on her own schedule, and take time off when she has other things going on.  She loved that idea.  Except she wanted to take it even further.

She grabbed a piece of paper and told me to take notes so she would have all her ideas written down for when she's older.

She wants to have a catering business but she also wants to teach cooking classes.  Classes for kids, classes for women who are like her mom and get married with few kitchen skills, classes for couples that end with a date night eating their prepared food.  Her list goes on and on of how she is going to do this, some of the dishes she wants to teach, when she would teach them.

I sat there looking at her across the breakfast table and could see that this was real for her.  She really wants to do this.  She probably will.  Every day she asks me if she can make a new recipe for things that leave me shaking my head because they are not normal kid things and are made from scratch.

They may have looked messy, but they sure were good

Last week she asked if she could make banana bread.  I said sure but that I didn't have time to help her.  She made the entire thing on her own and it was good!  Like really good.  Last week she also asked if she could make chocolate covered pretzels, which were also better than store bought.  She and Lizzy made it together.

Rolling out crackers and poking holes in the dough

This afternoon she asked to make crackers.  From scratch.  I found a basic recipe for saltines, but she wanted to flavor it up.  She added fresh chives and various other herbs of which I didn't pay attention to.  I tried one of her crackers and I just looked at her, "Joy, you're scary.  These are really good.  I would buy these and eat them."

Did I mention that she's seven?  A newly turned seven year old?

Two weeks ago she made spaghetti and was all set to make her own pasta sauce from scratch when I told her there was an open jar in the fridge.  She was grabbing the canned tomatoes ready to whip up some marinara sauce because she had a recipe in her cookbook from the library that told her how to make it.

Reading through a cookbook from the library
all ready to make marinara sauce from scratch

As I've watched her grown in skill and confidence over the past year, I've realized that I need to just step back and let her go.  Forget the mess, forget the inconvenience.  This is a real gift she has and the best thing I can do to help her is to give her free reign in my kitchen.  To step aside when she asks to cut up the chicken even if it's raw meat, to hand her the cake mix box and say "Have at it.  Call me if you need any help."  To let her try her hand at things that I think are too hard for her, to let her add her own special seasonings to spice up the recipe.  To let her watch the Cooking Network even if I think it's boring.  To encourage her passion.

Because God has clearly given her a gift for cooking and I want to let that gift grow.

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