Being a chef and a mom, it is probably a natural progression for my kids to be good eaters and helpers in the kitchen. I can’t tell you how impressed I am when I see their little lightbulbs go on after I teach them a new technique or have them combine flavors that they really enjoy. This Mother’s Day, try something different and get in the kitchen to cook something special with the kids, or have Dad help them make you breakfast in bed! My kids did that one year and I felt so guilty eating in bed by myself. I ended up taking the well-prepared breakfast tray, flowers and all, and sat at the table with them, because to me, Mother’s Day is about spending quality time with my boys… and my sweet-tempered mom who would kill me if I didn’t mention her.
Cooking with your mom can either leave you scratching your head wondering why you signed up to do it in the first place or creating priceless memories that will instantly put a smile on your face when you look back upon them. Here is why you should consider strapping on your apron and get cooking in the kitchen with your loved ones…
I remember while growing up, there was always a story behind a passed-down family recipe that briefly allowed me to step back in time when my mom would talk about it. I was literally getting a family history lesson while my mom and I bonded over food. You never know what you might find out about your favorite aunt that you can use to bribe them with later.
Mom would tell me which family members used to make the best recipes and the secret ingredients that they used. Trust me, I took good notes. Don’t lose those recipes, they are worth gold!
Mom always made things interesting when she liked to gossip or maybe share things that would have been better left unsaid to a teenager. Although, things can get a bit entertaining when you get a little older and you start combining cooking with drinking wine. Just keep her glass full. You will laugh so hard, you might just pee your pants.
Between my sister and myself, I was the one who woke up early and raced downstairs to help my mom in the kitchen during the holidays while my sister remained sleeping until around noon. After a few years of early holiday cooking, I gained confidence in making our traditional recipes and in creating my cooking techniques. Now I have my own variations of our traditional recipes and have started some new traditions as the family dynamics have changed over recent years. However, some things still remain constant in my home, like watching the Thanksgiving parade while I’m making Thanksgiving breakfast and starting dinner or watching football and slipping into my most comfortable yoga pants after eating every last bite that your jeans would allow you to before popping open.
Making mistakes is part of learning. It didn’t matter whether I cracked egg shells into a batter or put in an extra cup of sugar because I read the recipe wrong, it was about spending quality time with my mom. With my boys, they love to taste test everything and want to be a part of every single step. I know that our time spent cooking together makes an impact on them when they tell me that they told their friends what we made and how good it was. Connecting in the kitchen has come full circle for me, and just fills my heart.
Photography by John Sloan
Recipes From Our Kitchen to Yours
There was a lot of love, laughter, dancing and singing while my mom and I cooked together. What she served on our plates was every ounce of her love and it is something that I will never forget. Now my boys and I are shaking our tushies, singing at the top of our lungs and putting all of our love into our dishes. It makes me so happy to think that I am creating these fantastic new memories with them.
Here are a few of my recipes for you to create memories of your own with your kiddos in the kitchen. I hope you enjoy them as much as my boys and I did!
Yields 4 servings
-3 Prosciutto slices, cut into bite size pieces
-1/8 cup Red onion, sliced
-1 1/2 Roma Tomato, sliced
-1 cup Parmesan block, shaved
-1/4 cup Prepared Pesto
-2 tablespoons Basil, chiffonade
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Place flatbread on a sheet tray. Spread pesto all over flatbread.
-Top with tomato, red onion, prosciutto and then parmesan.
-Crack eggs onto bread and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes
-Cut into 4 wedges and serve.
-Pour fruit juice in champagne glass 1/3 full. Top with champagne.
Frozen Yogurt Fruit Hearts
-3 cups Greek Vanilla Yogurt
-1/4 cup Blueberries
-2 Strawberries, diced small
-1 Kiwi, diced small
-2 tsp Pistachios, chopped
-2 tsp Cocoa Nibs
-1 tbsp Lemon Zest
-1/4 tsp honey
-Take a third of the yogurt and mix with lemon zest, set aside.
-Take a third of the yogurt and mix with cocoa nibs, set aside.
-Take a third of the yogurt and mix with honey and pistachios, set aside.
-In a heart-shaped silicone mold, fill 2 hearts with honey yogurt, 3 with coco nib yogurt and 3 with lemon zest yogurt.
-Top the cocoa nib yogurt with cut strawberries
-Top the lemon zest yogurt with Blueberries
-Top the honey pistachio yogurt with Kiwi
-Freeze for 2-3 hours.
-Remove from mold and serve immediately.
To find more of Christy’s delicious recipes, visit eatlocaltogether.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chef Christy Angerhofer is the CEO/publisher of Eat.Local.Together — Gainesville’s Farm to Table Resource Site — and is the assistant director/executive chef at North Florida Regional Medical Center.