Pushing the beaters into my mixer was guaranteed to bring at least one small person into the kitchen. A little like how the cat responded to the electric can opener.
No, exactly like the cat’s response.
So my four-year-old son appeared at my elbow right after I clicked in the beaters.
Impressive. The process to make sugar cookies cut into shapes with cookie cutters took longer. But I would teach him.
We mixed our cookie dough. “Now, we start with a ball, like this.” I scooped a handful of dough from the bowl and rolled it in my palms.
He watched intently, his nose drawing closer and closer to my hands. Yes, he was being a good student.
“Then I put the ball on the counter.” I set it lightly on the flour I had sprinkled out. “And then we use a rolling pin to flatten the dough.”
His eyes were glued to the dough. I rolled out the mixture into a smooth thin pancake and let him press the cookie cutters into it.
He selected a star. “That one looks like an explosion.”
What a creative idea for a cute little guy.
“I’ll do it this time,” he told me after the first batch was transferred to cookie sheets.
Maybe I was training a future chef. He took initiative and had obviously absorbed my careful directions.
He grabbed a handful of dough from the bowl and squeezed it hard.
“Well, you might not—“
Too late. He slapped the crushed dough onto the counter and began pounding it with the side of his fist until the mixture surrendered into an uneven flat lump.
For me, baking cookies is about the aroma and flavor.
For my would-be little chef, apparently it was more about hand-to-hand combat.