This January when I sat down to do some planning for the next semester I decided that I needed to just schedule some things that I kept aspiring to but never accomplishing!
One of these was to have the children help in the kitchen more and particularly to get the older actually cooking a meal on a regular basis. When I made my menus, I planned with that goal in mind scheduling one big kid to cook supper each Wednesday.
In the past I’ve tried to have someone help every night and have quickly stopped having anyone help due to the quarreling over whose night was whose etc. This new schedule of having the little boys help on Tuesdays when the bigger two are at choir practice and one big kid cook on Wednesday has worked much better. I get one day to cook myself (Monday), Thursday is for leftovers, and S cooks Friday (he’s better at fish and vegetarian cooking than I am) and on the weekends (as has been our practice since marriage).
I’m trying to have the older children cook the same two meals for several months and build up a repertoire of meals they can prepare from start to finish. Their birthdays are coming and I am planning to give them special notebooks to use for recording their recipes.
Two weeks ago Mouse had the chance to cook Honey Mustard Chicken…
- Honey Mustard Chicken
- Green Beans
Honey Mustard Chicken:
- Four Chicken Leg Quarters- thawed
- Spicy Homemade Honey Mustard (basically something on the heat level of Grey Poupon, mixed about half and half with brown sugar or honey)
- Brown Sugar
- White Vinegar
Mix together 1/4 cup mustard, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 3 tsp salt, and 2 T white vinegar. Place the chicken in a glass baking dish. Pour the mixture over and turn the pieces of chicken several times to coat them well. Bake at 375º F for 35-45 minutes or until browned outside and fork tender.
- 2 Pounds frozen cut green beans
- Several cloves of garlic
- Enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a heavy skillet
- Salt and pepper to taste
Pour olive oil into a heavy skillet and heat over medium heat, add slivers of pealed garlic and stir until the garlic is fragrant. Add the frozen green beans and stir until they are well coated with oil and garlic. Add a 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water, cover and turn down to low heat. Cook until tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Mouse fixed the whole meal, with very little input from me. I checked in with her from time to time, to make sure she was keeping the project moving along, and stood by to assist while she made the green beans as it was a new technique for her. She took a good bit longer than I would have but supper was only about 15 minutes late so that wasn’t too bad.
This is always a popular meal round here. The children make “sushi” by wrapping bits of chicken skin around rice and vegetables. All of the chicken, rice and salad was eaten and enough green beans were left to make a nice snack for Daisy the next day.
I will have her make this meal again to improve her speed and technique.