There's a new iron chef in town!

Benjamin is my aspiring chef. I know I've said that before, but between him and Jakob, they could probably put together a pretty decent spread. The other day, we were outside and Ben came in...he does this and it is usually to find food. Well, this time was no different except that he was going to make it, not just open and eat. He began with two sticks of softened butter, added some brown sugar, a couple of eggs which he himself cracked quite well. This was eventually followed by what looked like about a half cup of baking soda, some salt, flour, rice krispies and finally paprika! We didn't selvage the entire batch, but we were able to dig out the baking soda and paprika and add a little more flour, vanilla and chocolate chips and had some pretty darn good cookies.

Two days ago, I was making scalloped potatoes for dinner. Ben is always eager to help prepare, so I told him he could arrange the potatoe slices on the bottom of the dish. He of course wanted to do the slicing. I was using a mandolin, so obviously I said no way. Benjamin is very persistant, but he was not going to win this one...I've cut myself on it, so I told him it was too dangerous and that if I let him use it he would cut his finger off. I moved it from him several times, as I said, he's pretty persistant. I was finished and turned to take the milk off of the stove and pour it over the potatoes (5 seconds or less). The mandolin was on the prep table, Ben was walking away from the kitchen. When the milk was poured, I noticed that there was a potatoe sitting on top of the mandolin. Ben hadn't made it far when I asked him if he cut himself. "Yes" he practically whispered as he was holding his hand. I looked and he had sliced right into his pinky finger pretty deep. A finger cut can bleed pretty good, and this one was...I think we filled four paper towels before we got a bandaid on. I contemplated stitches, and for some reason my good sense didn't win this one because we stayed home and opted for the bandage route. (not my wisest choice!) He's not very good at leaving bandaids on. We're still rebandaging about every 3 hours or so, and it still bleeds pretty heavily when not bandaged. The doctor has seen it, and of course it was too late to stitch or glue, so the bandages are our only option.

Today, he successfully peeled 8 apples, sprinkled them with flour and sugar, helped make the crumb topping and put an apple crisp in the oven. He was so pleased with himself..."I did good didn't I?" Absolutely. He gets a little overeager to pour ingredients in, and any measuring device will do, so my challenge is just to get him to slow down. He is totally all about cutting things up, and always wants to use a knife. Fortunately, I have several kids' safety knives that he gets to use, although he is certainly figuring out that they do NOT cut as well as the big ones! Oh boy oh boy! I just love it that he wants to be in the kitchen with me.

Yesterday he was mad at me...he has been lately, because it's not his birthday, he doesn't get to go to school and he's not big enough to sit up front. He insists that he is 7, not 3! He didn't want to do anything with me...not color, not watch TV, not read a book, NOTHING. He did concede and play a cookie monster computer game with me, which he thoroughly enjoyed, and then he laid down next to me and fell asleep. I guess next time, I'll see if he wants to bake something. The time that he and I get 2-3 times a week is going to be good for both of us. We'll see how long it takes him to stop insisting he is older than 5! He is excited about the fact that when he turns 4 we'll get to have a new baby. He's also informed me that my tummy is getting fat, and I told him it's because there is a baby in there, and he still thinks that is pretty crazy. "And he'll come out when I'm four?" By the way, according to Ben it is not a is enough he said. :)