Parenting is always teaching me something new about myself. Or at least, reminding me of the shortcomings I thought I'd already overcome. Patience in the kitchen is a big challenge for me. It can be hard for me to let Amaya do her thing when it would be so much faster to do it myself. She wanted to make cookies the other day so I pointed her at a stack of cookie books and told her to pick a recipe. When she picked out Black and White Cookies from Big Fat Cookies by Elinor Klivans, I was enthused. They are a childhood favorite of mine and I have never tackled them before. But of course, the whole point was that Amaya wanted to make the cookies.
I worked hard at letting her do most of the work. She enjoys measuring out ingredients and cracking the eggs. I almost added a few small things but she caught me, and reminded me that she was making the cookies. I was there to provide support. Amaya doesn't enjoy using the hand mixer that much, but she likes to get things started, and then hand it over to me to finish off. She does like to taste the dough, of course. We discussed the use of almond extract and lemon zest in the recipe and what we thought about their flavor in the dough. She's a thoughtful taster and was surprised to discover that she liked the flavor of almonds in the mixture even though she doesn't enjoy eating the nuts. Amaya scooped all the cookies and I managed to minimize my constructive criticism and let her enjoy the process.
I did make the chocolate glaze while she was off doing something else. I just couldn't help myself. She got back in time to mix up the white glaze and then we frosted those cookies. Amaya's goal was to get as much chocolate on each cookie as she could. They were perfectly imperfect and she had a glorious time making it happen. I was even able to stifle my my inner chef and enjoy the messy expression of cookie love right along with her. Once the glazes had set we shared a big fat cookie, even though it was almost dinner time. Ironically she decided that the white halves were her favorite. I decided that making cookies with Amaya was one of my new favorite things to do.