Sunday, November 14, 2010

Learning to Cook Again

Much like having a kid, Project food blog has been all about getting me out of my comfort zone.

Jake and I were married for 6 years before we had Amaya. We were practically living a hip bachelor's life. I remember when we lived in the city we would hop down to the corner ramen shop just because we felt like it. Or we would go to a movie that started at 9pm. We would even occasionally stay up late talking with friends.
Oh, we were so young.

We had the silly idea that this might continue when we had a kid. We thought babies just slept all the time and hardly cared about anything except loving you.

It's funny how something as simple as labor and 8 pound baby changes everything.

When I did start cooking again, much much much after having her, every baking project gave new meaning to the word "project". She refused to be left alone in her chair while I patiently sifted and mixed. She hollered to be picked up and played with when I just wanted to eat something that required a little saute-ing instead of microwaving. I spent many nights cooking with her strapped in the baby carrier. As she got older her hands got too close to the hot stoves and sharp knives.

We brought her to restaurants and left terrible impressions. I distinctly remember one difficult dinner which climaxed into a glass of spilled ice water all over the table and the floor. Her frustrated cries echoed through the dining area while we argued whether or not we should get dessert (I'll give you one guess as to who thought we should).

Now she's much easier at restaurants. Mostly. And we're a little wiser. But she's still just as wiggly and whiny while I cook. She's like me; the smells and sounds of cooking make her think she needs to eat. Now. Unfortunately, her mother is the slowest cook in the world. So she starts opening the fridge, rummaging through the cupboards, asking me for candy. The only way to keep her quiet is to let her in to my place of peace: the kitchen.

I generally don't like cooking with anyone unless it's just about me helping them. If I'm in charge, I hate thinking of things for them to do. My brain is running through the processes and splitting it up with someone who isn't just completely in sync with my thought pretty much ruins the whole experience for me. Jake and I can work side by side when we're making a meal we know all the parts to by heart. My mom and I found a syncopated rhythm when she was here last. But generally, it's so hard for me to turn a cooking process into a conversation rather than a monologue. And when I'm cooking with my daughter, that's exactly what I have to do. Even worse, I have to monitor what she is doing, because she's good at finding a way to mess up my vision of food.
But that's what having a kid is all about. Including them in your space even though they mess it up a little. And then you figure out that the little bit of inconvenience is much more interesting.


When I'm old and she's still young, we'll be cooking Momofuku dishes side by side, and I'll probably talk about these days like it was a new discovery for both of us. I probably won't remember that I scolded her for eating the baking powder. I'll probably think we loved every minute of it.

The one thing I'll remember that I know will be true, is that she learned how to cook from me.

Superfood Smoothie
If you’re familiar with Odwalla Superfood, that’s what this tastes like. Exactly. Clean, pillowy thick, and unidentifiably fruity. I think the strongest fruit is mango once you know it’s in there. I’ve substituted nectarines and plums for peaches with the same result. We experimented and made it into popsicles. Yes! Who doesn’t like a green popsicle?
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 peach, sliced and frozen
  • 1 Cup mango puree (frozen is better)
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 tsp Spirulina
Blend up all the fruit first, then add the Spirulina (while running the blender). Blend more, and serve. If you have to add juice, I would say apple juice. Just a touch. (This is unnecessary if you have the super cool blender that your mother-in-law left you when she moved, you lucky dog.)
Voting for Project Food Blog opens on Monday, 11/15/10. If you liked my video, click HERE (or on my badge from the sidebar) to vote for me and 23 others. I’ve seen some excellent videos already so be sure to check them out. StumbleUpon


rebeccasubbiah said...

wow love your blog and this clip is so cool great job

Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

I think it's perfect just the way it is. I don't think it's supposed to look like the Food Network Channel.

Sonya said...

thats the bestest video!! awesome job mariko! and AMAYA!! and great tips too!! i totally agree about asking them to help and then they'll leave, if i let me daughter help a little she's satisfied, but not so satisfied if i act like i dont want her there.
i'm voting now!

Maryea@HappyHealthyMama said...

I love your video! I can totally relate--my little one wants to put her hands in and taste whatever I'm working with, too. She's eaten flour, ground flaxseed, she doesn't care. :-)

Maria said...

Hey Mariko,
I really liked your blog before, but after the video I love it even more :)
You have NO reason at all to feel self-conscious, your daughter is the cutest and I love how you interact with her.
Happy sunday to you.

brhau said...

OMG your daughter is too much! Charming video, and superfood is one of my favorites (Esme's, too).

The Actor's Diet said...

i love seeing little kids with green smoothie moustaches!

Jessica said...

Love it! This round was so difficult! But your video is super cute!

Lizzy said...

Oh count me in too...My daughter is extremely addicted to any kind of foodie moustaches

Lori Lynn said...

She is a hoot! Love that the icy pop has tentacles (I think?).
Good luck!! Happy to give my vote.

Heather said...

I'm only a minute 39 through this and I'm dying laughing. What a wonderful video!

Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot said...

Your daughter is too cute for words! I love the angle of your video and how it's full of useful tips about cooking with your kids. I'm a perfectionist so I totally understand it's difficult to relinquish control to let kids help too. Good luck in the challenge!

sippitysup said...

Too, too cute. I need a side kick like this! GREG

emme @foodsamba said...

I loved it Mariko! Amaya is the cutest little thing :)...and totally reminded me of my daughter with the whole touching and putting iin mouth thing hahah!

Lisa~Koreanamericanmommy said...

My dad swears by spirilina (sp). Your daughter is gorgeous. And you did a fine job with the video.

Savory Sweet Living said...

First of all, your daughter is so beautiful and super natural in front of the camera. Like mother, like daughter! I love that you gave tips on how to get your kids involve with cooking. It is very informative and you did a great job! Good luck!

Joan Nova said...

Beautifully written post and I like the way you way you went in/out with narrative and the actual event. And, yes, she's right...sometimes chocolate looks like poop. :)

Good luck.

Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen said...

How adorable! Way to try and integrate your daughter into the process in a safe and fun way. Looks like she had fun too! Good luck on this round!

Alexandra said...

LOL. This made me laugh. I love it! And with this, my votes are all used up.

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

I LOVE every bit of this!! What a great concept, and so funny! You have a vote from me!

My entry combines stop-motion animation, makeshift music videos, some very off-key singing, my cheesy sense of humor, and enough tips and tricks to empower you to make over 27 different cheesecakes! Come see if you'd like :)

Chef Nurit said...

Mariko, I know what you mean with having kids in the kitchen whether in their baby chair or trying to help... It can be so hard. Oh, we could share stories all day! (And this is why people CANNOT compare having pets to having kids!!!!) My kids changed the way I cook with others. Like you, I don't have much patience and prefer to cook by myself but I do want want to cook with my kids. I learned to be patient, flexible, to give up control... It was hard but it gets easier.
I love how your daughter loves to taste everything--she is so adventrous. I'd encourage her to keep it :)
And, may I suggset... I noticed her cutting board slips when she cuts on it. Place a wet (paper) towel or sticky placemat under it to keep it in place. It's much safer.
And, good luck!

Dee said...

OMG! This is TOO adorable!

jentinyurbankitchen said...

Your daughter is super cute! And she does say the funniest things. :) So sorry to hear about the lost chocolates & the lost articles in your room at #fbzfest. :( It was still great meeting you in person. I'm so glad we ended up at the same table! :)

Indie.tea said...

Kids have a way of absorbing one's attention and life, don't they? I can't help but play with little ones endlessly at family parties.
If I ever do have kids, I'm sure they'll be the fussiest eaters on the planet though.
And, your superfoodie smoothies look so green and yet sound so delicious.

From Buenos Aires to Paris said...

What an adorable little chef you have!! I'm sure she 'll be a great cook in the future. Lucky you did this....It is a treasure!! In some years, when your daughter turns 15, like mine, you'll watch this together and you'll cry ( with hapinness!) Vote!

Jun Belen said...

You and your adorable daughter were just wonderful. Simple, informative and entertaining. Wonderfully done!

Lawyer Loves Lunch said...

Adorable! I wish I could vote twice as props for your patience! I hate sharing the kitchen with the hubster. I have no idea how I'd be with a kid :)

David said...

Welcome to the cooking world. I vote for you. Fabulous video

Daydreamerdesserts said...

Your daughter is such a cutie... so adorable! Great job with the video!

Reeni said...

This was so cute! I love that you included and made it about your kids. And your daughter is hilarious - loved when she was using her elbow on the dough.

Amy Kim said...

Thank you. This was so refreshing and REAL! Great advice on not cooking dinner with toddlers (I've been thru it)....who needs to deal with all that at everyone's witching hour?? :-)

Great post (as usual) and great video! Both you and your sweet daughter are naturals!

Diana@Spain in Iowa said...

Mariko, I loved this! Being a mami you were transparent and right on! Voted!!

Angela said...

I LOVE your little foodie Amaya! She is such a sweet helper! You should definitely make these videos a regular on your blog!

This was my foodbuzz blog project favorite!

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