Thursday, July 5, 2012

I Couldn't Have Planned it Better

I have five boys.  That means that someday I will probably have five daughters-in-law.  I want them to like me.  But mostly, I want them to thank me.  My goal is to raise some darn good husbands for them, so they will be more likely to visit us as much as they visit their own parents

My first step in Operation Awesome Mother-in-Law started in the kitchen.  What woman doesn't want a husband who is not just capable, but willing and able to whip up a yummy meal at a moment's notice?

This, of course, means that in order to learn how to cook, they have to help me cook. Every one of my kids has been helping me in the kitchen since he was old enough to stand upright. It isn't always easy. It almost always means a whole lot more time devoted to one little recipe. And it always means a big, fat mess. You can't learn to crack an egg at age three without getting a shell in the bowl, or miss the bowl all together.
You can't learn to help mix banana bread batter at the age of one and a half without flinging batter across the counter.

You can't learn to flip a pancake at the age of five without a pancake landing a little off kilter and halfway off of the pan every once in a while.

Let's just say, I have to clean up a whole lot of extra mess when the kids help me cook.

I'm perfectly OK with that.  Not just because it means I will sometimes get breakfast in bed.  Or that I have many people to choose from when I need some help getting dinner on the table.

Every once in a while, I get to pay them back.  For all of the mess they create.  For all of the time I have spent.  For all of the patience I have needed.  For all of the bite marks I have on my tongue.  I get to pay them back.

Tonight we had lasagna for dinner.  Turken, as usual, asked if he could help me.  He was in charge of putting the pasta sheets on and sprinkling the meat over the cheese layer.  I was finishing up, spreading the sauce over the top layer of pasta.  He stuck around to watch.  I had put the pasta sauce jar upside down on the table to get the last of it out.  I reopened the jar, and shook it over the lasagna to get every last drop.  Well, my hands were a bit slick from the cheese and meat, and I dropped the jar right onto the lasagna.

I use the no-boil pasta sheets, so it was a harder landing than it could have been.  The lasagna cracked, and sauce went flying.  All over the table, and most hilariously, all over Turken.  I couldn't help but laugh.  Uproariously.  Bent over, stomach hurt laughing.  While poor Turken cried and cried, pulling his shirt away from him, sobbing that there was sauce all over him.  Every time I looked at him, I laughed harder.

As soon as I could breathe, I went and got a rag to clean him up went and got my camera.  He has been in this family long enough to know that when something like that happens, the camera comes first.  However, he was not happy with me, and wouldn't let me take a photo.  He went and cried into the corner as I held the camera, begging him to turn around.  I finally felt guilty enough realized that I wasn't going to get my picture until I got him on his way to cleaned up, so I got a wet paper towel and handed it to him. 

Sure, I had a mess to clean up.  Tomato stains to get out of a yellow shirt.  But, man, it was funny.  And worth it.  He has made so, so, so many messes in my kitchen.  I am not too ashamed to admit that I do like a little payback.  Sometimes.

He recovered quickly and ate three helpings of the lasagna.

All is well.

Have a lovley day!


  1. Your little helper is adorable!!! So glad you shared that story it is good to laugh! And quick question do you like the lasagna you use, my kids love my lasagna but it takes forever to make. I have thought about the no boil before but have not tired it yet.

  2. Thank you! I make lasagna frequently now that I found these Barilla no-boil pasta sheets. It takes me all of 10 minutes to put together, as long as I have pre-cooked meat on hand. With the no-boil, you do need to use more sauce than you normally would. I actually just use the lasagna recipe on the side of the pasta box, adding or subtracting a bit depending on the ingredients I have. The kids love, love, love this lasagna.

  3. Payback doesn't get to happen often here, but yes it is funny when it happens :)

    Don't get me wrong, I make messes just usually only gets me and/or the kitchen. It can be fun cooking with the kids in the kitchen, my girls love to help!

    I have not used the no boil pasta before, but I have thought about trying it.


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