My little boy Adi has always loved to cook. When he was about a year and half old, he would stir gravies (with KG or me carrying him), help sort the greens and roll out tiny rotis (and did a pretty decent job too!). During his London nursery days, he would often choose the kitchen area for his role play activities (one of the few boys who chose it) and would ask us to buy him a kitchen set for home. I cant remember why we never bought him one - maybe it was because he would anyways play with the kitchen utensils all the time. During summer, he would be out in the garden, baking cakes using mud and water and we had to pretend to eat it and of course, love it.
I remember an incident when we were at Malpe (he was 2 then) and we had my family over for breakfast (it was my Dad's 13th day function). We had idly's for breakfast and Adi wanted to serve everyone. When he was done with the serving, he came to me and very solemnly said 'Mama, I want to be a cooker when I grow up' :) At that moment, it seemed very funny and we all had a good laugh :). I didn't realise then that he was quite serious about it!
When we moved to Ipswich, Adi's nursery and then later on his school, would often make them bake cookies, cakes, etc and Adi would want to bake at home too. So weekends would be baking time and we would make cookies and cup cakes. Adi would help beat the eggs, mix the batter and then lick the vessel clean :) Every morning, he would go to the kitchen and eat the cookies or cakes that he had baked. Like before, he would always want to help in the kitchen with the chopping, stirring and cooking.
When it came to TV, he would sit and watch cookery shows along with me without once asking me to switch to a kids channel. In fact, it was only cookery channels that he would let me watch without making a fuss - if I had to watch anything else, I had to beg, plead, bribe, threaten until he let me :) Masterchef India, which according to me was quite a pathetic show, was his favourite and he would insist on watching the whole episode (I have avoided browsing channels while Masterchef India was on quite a few times!!).
Back in Bangalore, his love for cooking continues. On weekends, he works along with our cook Anu and does small bits. And if I am cooking, I let him assist with chopping vegetables (I give him a not so sharp knife) or anything else that I think he can do without harming himself or making a mess. Adi is now religiously following Masterchef Australia Season 3 and even has an opinion on who should win the elimination round!! Since it airs at 9 PM which is past his bedtime, I record the program for him (sometimes) and let him watch the next day.
I dont think I miss having a daughter with Adi around :) He helps me shop for outfits (gives a very honest opinion and if he says 'no' I dont buy!), cosmetics (even tries the lipsticks and perfumes on himself!!), shoes (he tells me which ones to try) and now gives me company while cooking too :)
Today we made leek & potato soup and Adi chopped the leeks and then blended the soup :)
This was a few days back when Adi helped mix the cutlet batter and then made the patties:
I think I have some old pics too - when he was a toddler. Will look for them and post on a later day :) Until then, am gonna enjoy cooking with my Masterchef :)