A couple evenings ago, my husband and I picked up our son at preschool. As always, he came running to us, excited to go home. In the car, he asked if we were going anywhere for dinner. We reminded him that we were having chicken and "Conner potatoes" as he had requested.
One of my son's most requested dinner side dishes is roasted yams. They are remarkably simple — flavored only with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. (Before he was born, my husband and I would enjoy them with a little chipotle pepper spice too.)
As we pulled into the garage, my son declared that he wanted to help make the potatoes. My heart leaped from my chest.
It has been a little while since we'd cooked anything more than pancakes on the weekends together. Truth be told, I have been so busy with work lately that I am scrambling at dinnertime, and my son seems eager to watch a cartoon or play with his toys before dinner. As a result, cooking together has been sadly neglected. But that night, he asked to be a part of the process, and I was overjoyed.
All I did was slice the potatoes. He poured (er, dumped) on the olive oil and the salt and pepper. He stirred everything and placed them in a single layer on the baking sheet.
It is such a simple task, I know. Why even comment on such a mundane experience, right? But I think that's the point, really. It was a reminder of how easy it can be to pull him into the kitchen, to spend quality time together while preparing a meal that is nourishing for the body and the soul.
And I hope it's a memory (and a feeling) that will remain with him. Maybe one day, he will even make "Conner potatoes" with his own kids and impart the same joy of cooking, food and family.