Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Scotty in the Kitchen

Lately Scotty has been showing an interest in kitchen work. He sees me making something and he drags a chair over from the table to "help".

Oh, he's so helpful!

Here he is helping with the pancakes.

He also likes to help make bread. This usually involves getting flour all over the kitchen floor. But, the bread is good.

And like all my boys, he really likes to help eat the bread!

Our house is quite small, so when something comes in, something goes out. In order to place a Christmas tree, we had to move out a side table. The table is wooden and round and has a leather top. It also has a small drawer, almost like a secret compartment. My mom bought it for me many years ago at an antique store in or near Sutter Creek in Northern California.
I temporarily moved the round table into the kitchen. It's not terribly convenient to keep a large-ish round table in kitchen that is shaped similarly to a bowling alley. It's about 10 feet wide and 27 feet long, for the mathematically inclined. That's not a lot of width to be plopping furniture in the middle of it!
But Scotty totally moved in. Here he is, the day that I realized that he was making a nest right there. As you can see, he is painting and he has already unloaded all his play food and pantry containers. (He keeps a play shopping cart full and once or twice a day he takes everything out and lines it up on the counter, the kitchen table, or his new work space. And then I come around and sweep it all back into the cart and push the cart over to the back door and then it starts all over again.)
It turns out I really like having him playing there at his table. We each perform our duties. I made this pie. He made a mess.
But the table has been helpful in other ways, too. It's lower than the counters, and the perfect height for kneading dough, as it turns out. So a few times a week, I clear off his toys and wash it down and sprinkle flour over the top. I roll out cookie dough for cutting out, or I knead dough for bread or cinnamon rolls. I'm not much of a baker, in actuality, but it's been very nice having it right there. I've seen gourmet kitchens where the homeowners have installed marble counters at a lower height, specifically for baking, and I've always thought, you know, what the hell? Turns out they were right!

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