Back in the spring, one of the preschool mothers compiled a cookbook of my daughter and her classmates’ favorite recipes. It was an adorable mix of real recipes and the kids’ versions of recipes, and it made the perfect parting gift for both the graduating kids and their kind, generous teachers.
My girl shared her mac and cheese recipe, which I just recently realized she thought was “mackin’ cheese.”
We’re having my daughter’s favorite dinner tonight: mackin’. As in, “Mom? I love mackin’, but it’s even better with the cheese.”
— Amy Flory (@FunnyIsFamily) July 13, 2014
Here’s her recipe:
Lily’s Mackin’ Cheese
You put pasta in a pan with hot water.
Then you put butter.
Then you can mix it.
Then you let it sit for a little bit, like this long (about the length of your finger), then you put the cheese in it.
This recipe book was published in May, and she’s still muttering like Milton from Office Space that she forgot milk in the directions. Considering there were several hilarious recipes included in the cookbook that sounded like, “Go to the store. Buy the thing you want to eat. Eat it,” I think she did a great job.
Now, my kids spend quite a bit of time with me in the kitchen, but I didn’t know she could practically make mackin’ cheese on her own. I wondered, how many other favorite recipes could my kids make without my assistance? I mean, they’re five and seven, and I can’t be cooking for them forever.
Over bowls of cereal (See! They are self-sufficient!), I set to finding out. I started with my incoming second grader.
“Hey, Graham, what’s your favorite dinner?”
He got excited. “Butter noodles,” he said. “Oh! Do I get to pick dinner?”
I chuckled. “Ha! No. How do you make them?”
He looked confused. “You don’t know?”
“Dude. Of course I do, but I want to see if you do.”
Lily, my kindergartner, got into the conversation. “Oh! Oh! Like my school cookbook!”
“Exactly,” I nodded.
Graham began thoughtfully. “Okay…um, okay. You take pasta, plain. You put butter on it. You put it in the microwave. You let it cool. Get a fork. Put it in the bowl, and eat it.”
At first, I’m disappointed that he doesn’t know that pasta is cooked on the stove, but then I realized he was describing how he reheats leftover noodles for himself. And he did it pretty well. Butter noodles are easy, though.
“Nice job,” I told him. “Now, what’s your favorite dessert?” I thought he might choose ice cream, or something equally as simple, and then this happens.
Graham’s Banana Crumb Cake
- Other Stuff
- You make the dough with eggs, flour, sugar, and something.
- Then you mix it.
- Then you put mashed up bananas in it.
- Then, the topping. It's crumbs and you kind of make it like the dough, but with butter and flour and something. Sugar?
- Then you pour ½ of the dough in a pan.
- Then you put the crumbs on it.
- Then you put the rest of the dough in.
- Put it in the oven and cook it for an hour. At 350 degrees?
- When it's done, take it out.
- Get a fork.
- And a plate.
- Let it cool.
- Eat it.
You guys, we had only made that banana crumb cake once. I mean, it was the previous week, but still. He had so many of the details right, I was mad impressed. Here’s the original recipe from Cookies and Cups for comparison. Maybe I’ll stick to Crock Pot recipes, and let Graham bake with y’all.
I’ve heard that kids are more likely to eat foods they help prepare, and I find this to be especially true when it’s cake for dinner. — Amy Flory (@FunnyIsFamily) July 10, 2014
After Graham impressed me with his attention to detail, it was Lily’s turn.
“Okay, Sis,” I probed. “What’s your favorite dessert?”
“Chocolate chip cookies!” was her enthusiastic reply.
Smiling, I encouraged her to continue.
Lily took a deep breath, and began.
“Well, I don’t remember how to make the dough, but you make it. Then you put in some chocolate chips, and kind of cut chunks of dough out, and put it on a thingie, and put it in the oven. Then you take it out when it’s time to, and then you let them cool, and then eat them. That’s all.”
You can find the actual recipe to the very best chocolate chip cookie you’ll ever eat HERE, but really, she’s not too far off track. You do need to do all of the things she said, and may I suggest pairing these perfect chocolate chip cookies with some mackin’ cheese?
Do you cook with your kids? What are their favorite recipes?