My Daughter Lainey is four years old and I love her. She occasionally gets sucked into television and once she tires of cartoons she absorbs Create. Create is the travel, crafts, and cooking network of PBS, WGBH Boston, channel 44.3. Now, every time I cook, Lainey thinks we’re on TV.
I was in the kitchen washing dishes one day and getting ready to make some banana bread. Soon Lainey wanted in.
“Tell them that your kid is here and is going to help cook,” Lainey directed from the doorway.
“My daughter Lainey is here,” I said in my best chef voice.
Lainey sauntered into the room with her chin held high, and shook her hips a bit.
“Hello,” Lainey said in a shy voice and looked toward the fridge where, apparently, the camera crew was hidden.
She held her arms high and I lifted her onto the counter. “I want to stir!” She demanded.
Narrating aloud, I broke the egg, mashed the bananas, and portioned the sugar and oil into cups that she poured into the mixing bowl. In another bowl Lainey dumped in portions of flour, baking powder and soda, and was soon covered in white dust.
“Napkin,” she ordered.
For a moment I stopped narrating and Lainey reminded me to do the show again. She stuck her finger into the batter to taste, smilingly approved, and then sang a verse of "Puff the Magic Dragon." She held my wrist as I poured the batter into the pan, and then licked the spatula clean.
Lainey smeared the messy counter with a wet paper towel in a gallant effort to clean, and then stomped off to her room to play.
After seeing all the spilt ingredients, I worried that the banana bread would fail. Minutes passed and our home filled with wonderful aroma. The timer rang and Lainey and I ran into the kitchen. Soon we were biting into what Lainey described as “the best bread ever.” And I agreed.
I’ve encouraged Lainey’s culinary curiosity. We visited , on Mass Ave, and smelled the spices, and went to Ace, on Mill St, to check out the spoons and bowls. She made chicken soup once at her school and talked about it for days. She loves tossing around a pizza dough, or concocting her own recipes, like flour, mustard, water and Nerds. We cook happily together nearly every night. The preparation of food is simply appealing. I guess that’s why it makes for good TV.