Friday, March 22, 2019

Yes, Any 4-Year-Old Can Sous Chef!

Turn off that TV, and throw open those baby gates: It's 4:00 PM on a school night and time to cook family-style!

Now cooking is praying twice, so don't let your hangry little ones miss this holy hour. If Baby's napping: wake-y, wake-y to the stickiest room in your home.

And remember, chef, the more kids you line up down that counter -- just crowd them in like a family pew on Sunday -- the more mysterious nutrition they will cram into your holy feast. Oh, how our God works in mysterious ways. Just look down your row of sweet surprise babies. Mysterious ways.

If your preschooler can open a child-safety-locked kitchen cabinet, she can chop an onion. Yes, any 4-year-old can sous chef!

Cheerfully cheer as your little ones chop, chop, chop! Oh, you are worried and anxious about so many things, dear chef. Let them at that board with tired eyes and clumsy hands. Do not their guardian angels stand near?

Let's claim the dinner victory! Shepherding little lambs through holy family cooking hour might tempt you to lose your joy. But we need to get our domestic church choir singing, so the joy, joy, joy, joy can fill our kitchens!

And yet, pious parents, can the Lord be glorified by crumbly meatloaf and soupy sauce? Bless your heart, no more than He could find delight in unplated bananas or microwaved nuggets. Let your food be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Do you want your baby boy -- see how heartily he rips kale from stalk to pot! -- to grow up strong and moral? Then train up this child in the way he should go, which clearly means thou shalt not put that butter direct from fridge to microwave. How virtuous the parent who remembers to pull a stick of butter from the fridge to soften two hours before dinner and finds a secret place to keep it on the counter where little fingers won't sample it and then remembers to actually put it on the table.

Can you feel the joy of cooking family-style?

The plating of your little one's meal reveals the purest vision of a parent's soul. Will your children enjoy a merry meatball mouse leaping green bean hills? Or does runaway gravy escape a gloppy abyss? Do not be weighed and found wanting in the artistry of family dinner, chef. What will little Joseph's plate tell the world of your eternal destiny?

And finally, dear parents, let this truth be declared in our homes: Thou shalt use every utensil, cup, bowl, pot, and plate in the house for meal preparation. Better a millstone around your neck than to leave a container untouched or a cabinet unemptied during family cooking hour.

Be blessed, chef. Be blessed.

Food for thought: Is it actually unholy for parents to serve their children unplated bananas and microwaved chicken nuggets? In addition to cooking, what are some other areas of parenting that might be easy for us to confuse "Pinterest Perfect" with holiness?

*Republished October 2019 at

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