The boys and I recently read Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It struck me as I read of this boy who was breaking his own team of oxen at the age of nine and bringing trees from the forest for firewood shortly thereafter that perhaps my children are capable of a bit more than cleaning the bathrooms and making their beds. Not that I am planning on subjecting them to a life of all work and no play, but they are getting to the age that they could be a bit more help around the house to the benefit of us all. So today I announced that they would begin to be responsible for cooking lunch. Each older child will have a crockpot meal they will learn by heart and on their assigned day they will fix their meal after breakfast in the morning so it will be ready by lunch time. I chose the crockpot so they could eventually do it independently without me having to worry about hot stoves, though I haven’t chosen all of the recipes yet and some might require I small amount of preparation by me.
Isaac, being the first-born, started today with great enthusiasm. He was assigned one of their favorite meals: lentils and rice. He measured well and only spilled a little and the meal came out just right. There was not one grain of rice or one lentil left over from the double recipe he made. He was quite satisfied I think with his work and enjoyed receiving (with a bit of prompting) thanks from his brothers. Gabriel sweetly told him, “Isaac, thank you for cooking.” Isaac said thank you for the thanks and Gabriel answered back, “I love you!” The boys all thought that was funny.
Stephen and Jack are eager for their turns. Gabriel I’m sure will not want to be excluded, so perhaps on Thursday we will have sandwiches for him to assemble. So wish us well, and if you have any easy (and forgiving) recipes for the crockpot send them on!