Much to my delight, my son Charlie, age four, shares my culinary orientation. To my consternation and mild shame, he's far more of a stickler for detail (and presentation) than I am.
Yesterday we made chocolate chip cookies with his friend Jonas. Jonas, a little more typically, was mostly interested in eating the finished product. Charlie, however, stood attentively by my elbow while I mixed the batter, taking the occasional turn himself. We washed our hands and used them to finish mixing, then balled up portions of cookie dough and put them on the sheet. I merrily shaped and dropped fairly round clumps, just as I've been doing for the past thirty-odd years.
But Charlie inspected my balls of dough, then shook his head in slow sorrow. "We want to make them nice, Mommy," he chided, and carefully reshaped my cookie lumps into perfect spheres, or as near perfect as one can get with sticky cookie dough. "Here, I'll do the rest," he directed, and I stood back while he filled the sheet with meticulous orbs.
We baked. We appreciated. We ate. Then we googled culinary programs for kids. How much of a discount do you think we could get at the CIA if we apply five years in advance?