Cooking Up Memories

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When you were a little kid, do you remember being in your mother's or grandmother's kitchen?  Did they let you help roll out the dough, stir something on the stove, or clean out the bowl that held a magical batter?  The smells and textures that you find in a kitchen are magical to a child and hold memories that no other room in the house will ever hold.  My grandmother was an absolute pro at having the patience it required to show me how to make snickerdoodles and even at 91 years young (this month) she still has the patience to show me how to make her coconut cakes that, until now, she would make and sell every single Christmas to the same loyal fans.  My children have always loved to help me in the kitchen and when they do, all of the fond memories of helping my grandmother swirl around in my mind and I am 5 years old all over again.  Is it easy to have children in the kitchen with you?  Of course not, and sometimes if you are in "go mode" it can be something that can become less than a delightful event.  My advice to parents is that when this happens, make that the time that you opt out of letting them help.  My middle root has always been the "egg cracker".  There is something about cracking eggs on the side of the bowl that makes him happy, and the fact that we have our own chickens makes it even better.  He can go out to the coop and grab a fresh egg or two and, if he is lucky, it might just be a double yolk.  The tiny root is my waffle batter mixer.  She loves a whisk better than any child I have seen.   Listen, guys, they make a mess, and yes it is extra work. It takes twice as much time to clean up the waffle mix on the counter and dig out the broken pieces of eggshell that most every time has fallen into the bowl of cracked eggs, but when the alternative is a kitchen without memories, I'll take the mess any day of the week. One day I had scooted a chair over to the counter so that the tiny root could help me mix up her favorite nutmeg and cinnamon waffles and right in the middle of mixing, she lost her footing in the chair and fell like a sack of potatoes into the floor.  Luckily, she is apparently made up of primarily piss and vinegar and didn't get hurt, but after a few more falls over the course of weeks, I started trying to find an alternative to using a kitchen chair or narrow stool.  After all, I want our magical cooking memories to stay pleasant and less bruise-inducing, but where was I going to find a stool with a seatbelt?  One afternoon while I was surfing Pinterest in search of a recipe for stone soup, I happened upon a photo of a child standing happily at the kitchen counter helping her mother prepare a meal.  She was standing on a step stool that was unlike anything I had seen before.  I quickly abandoned Pinterest and made it my mission to find out where I could find the stool, and where it had been hiding.  It didn't take long to find out that the elusive stool of perfection was hiding at Fisher's Hand Craft.  Mike Fisher established his Etsy shop in 2015 and has been making cooking with little roots easy for moms and dads everywhere with his amazing safety toddler stool.  This stool allows the child to quickly and easily climb into the frame and up the steps, right into a frame that allows them to feel secure with rails around all 4 sides.  The best part is that as the child grows, you have the option to adjust the height, making it comfortable for your child as they grow.  When I contacted Mike to ask him a few questions regarding the stool, he was more than helpful to help me, and when it arrived at my doorstep, I quickly opened the package with tools in hand ready to assemble, but low and behold, it was FULLY ASSEMBLED.  Now listen up.  Lean in really close because I'm about to fill your brain with a little knowledge about me, and I don't want anyone else to know.  Assembling a product is the bain of my existence.  Yup!  I suck at it.  I blame it partly on the fact that I am incredibly left handed and no matter what the directions look like, I always seem to do it backward.  I blame the rest on the fact that I am often so impatient and ready to get to the finish line, that I never open the instruction booklet, and instead, I wing it by looking at pictures on the front of the box.  I want you to take that information and stuff it deep down inside, and try your best to never access it again.  M-kay!  I pulled the safety stand out of the box and sat it at my counter and within seconds, the tiny root was in it and having lunch at the bar. 

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It is super sturdy but very lightweight and easy to move around.  I would venture to say it even weighs less than my dining room chair and also lessens the chance of a traumatic brain injury by at least 90%, which in my opinion is a selling point all by itself.  Needless to say,  it made the process of making lasting memories with my children in the kitchen much less worrisome that someone would fall and get hurt, and we could focus more on the togetherness that cooking with one another creates. Let your kids in the kitchen with you.  If they put too much salt in the dish, they will notice it and learn from it.  If they create a mess on the floor, try and remember that it's nothing that a broom or mop can't fix.  The messes can be wiped away but the memories of happiness are a gift that lasts a lifetime.  Live, Love and Grow Roots!