Freebird Kitchen

By Sarah Bohn, CFB content contributor
We’re all getting back in the busy rhythm of school, work, after school activities, housekeeping, chores, volunteering, and the list goes on. If we aren’t careful, we’ll blink and it will be Christmas. We’re only one month in and you may already be asking yourself: “How can we etch out some good family time? How can we be intentional about teaching our children about the gospel? How can we equip them for day to day life in this ever changing and increasingly crazy world?

Whether your children or grandchildren attend public school or are homeschooled, there comes a point where it is our job and calling as their caregivers to teach them more.

I recently heard it put beautifully by a mom of three: “When you imagine your children leaving your home when they are grown, what sort of disciple will they be? What skills for being a steward of their life will you have equipped them with? Have you prepared them to share the gospel? Imagine what sort of disciple you want to send out into the world and that’s where you should begin with your children’s education.”

Wowza. I don’t know why I had never thought of it that way. I am raising disciples to continue the work of Christ. What do I want them to know? What skills do I want them to have to help them on this holy endeavor? My full list is lengthy but I thought it would be fun to share an easy one with you. I love to cook and I think it is one of the most critical skills a human being can have. I love to eat as well so there’s that. I also feel it is one of the easiest ways to share God’s love with others. God gave us flavor out of love. I want my children to have not only the skill of cooking but the delight and worship that it brings as well.

I know what you’re already thinking: the mess, the helter-skelter attention of a kid, the chaos of an ingredient strewn kitchen! Yes, Jesus is going to have to take the wheel for this to work. I had to remember back to when I was a kid. How did my mom teach me? With patience and not exploding any and every time I spilled, didn’t listen, or added the wrong thing. Her patience enabled me to learn and love it. My mama teaching me to cook has allowed me to show selfless love to my family and friends enumerable times. Whether it is a cake for someone who is grieving, taking a meal to a new mom, cookies for Celebrate Recovery, or any food that I will never taste but my soul will be nourished by. This is what I want to send my children out into the world with.

A few Fridays ago, I gave this fun idea a whirl. Every Friday we have Family Movie Friday®️. Last Friday we watched the 1960 Disney version of “The Swiss Family Robinson”. In it, the youngest brother Frances, ever the trouble maker, gets ahold of “coconut bombs.” In the movie, these are an actual explosive weapons, but my four year old heard “coconut bombs” and thought it sounded like a magical patisserie. She said “Mama! What if we made those out of chocolate!?” I had been waiting for the right time to try my “get her to love cooking” scheme. This was my chance. I said, “OK.” And I have to tell you it was one of the most fun activities I’ve ever done with her. This is how the activity went:

  1. Have the child participant imagine something they’d like to make (in our case coconut bombs)
  2. Have them describe it. How does it taste, smell. Is it hot or cold? Crunchy or soft? Etc etc.
  3. Once they’ve described their imagined confection to you, portion out some ingredients both wet and dry into bowls. I didn’t want to just put bags of ingredients in front of her because it would be hard to measure and there could be too much waste. This way, if their dessert is a flop in flavor, you’re not left with a ton of it.
  4. Have different size bowls, measuring spoons and cups etc.
  5. Explain the rules. These were ours: “Esther, you get to be the chef. You are going to measure how much of everything you think your recipe needs. I’m only here if you ask for my help and to put this in the oven (if you’re baking). Otherwise, it’s all you but you will have to help wash whatever dishes you dirty up.”
  6. Let the kid decide on the amount of everything, measure it out and mix it all themselves. Even if it’s going to be a mistake. Let it happen. This is a time to learn. I know it’s hard to not take over but their delight is so worth it. Plus they’ll learn the important difference between one teaspoon of salt and one tablespoon ;)

Can I just tell you that Esther LOVED this and I did too. To my great relief and delight, her coconut bombs were delicious!

I hope this inspires you to have fun and try out being a “Freebird” in the kitchen with your kids too. If nothing else I hope this gets you thinking about the disciples you are sending out into the world and how you want to equip and grow them.


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