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It started as soon as my sons could toddle.  If I went into the kitchen, they followed. Navigating the triangle became increasingly difficult as they got older and would get under my feet more often.

Cries of “I help!” led to one or both boys sitting on my counter top and dumping ingredients into a mixing bowl. Chocolate chips, flour, sugar, oil, oats, whatever I could trust to not go flying across the room. Or at least would clean up easily enough if it did.

The obvious progression – the boys soon began asking for particular meals they loved. Sometimes in advance, but often not.

And now here we are. The dreaded teenage years. AKA: The Hungry Years. Sure enough, my two boys got the memo informing that they need to eat 24 hours a day and grow more than one inch a month. What’s a mom to do?

Turn cooking over to them, of course.

Sure, I could spend my entire life chained in the kitchen making hot pockets, pizza rolls, cakes, fruit platters, cereal bars, waffles, pizzas, grilled cheese, tuna melts, egg salad, pot roasts, meatloaf, chicken wings, and anything else that might strike their fancy.

But, why?

They need to know how to eat for when they leave my nest. And by eat I don’t mean warming up Campbell’s in that warped plastic bowl. You know the one.

Imagine my surprise when my youngest took my idea and ran with it! He’s become quite the chef. He knows more about cooking than I ever knew. He lives for Rachel Ray.  He’s taught me the glory that is EVOO. Apparently cooking spray is sub par – who knew?

Recently, he talked me into purchasing a garlic press. The meal we made two nights ago needed garlic and I hear of whoop of joy as I’m reading out the list of ingredients.

“Garlic? We can use our new garlic press!”

He’s sort of taken over my kitchen. If by “sort of” you read “shoves me out-of-the-way and does it all himself while muttering how he can’t understand why his mother doesn’t know the difference between dicing and mincing.” (Really, it’s just cutting, right?)

His latest request? A manual food processor. Next thing I know he’s going to be asking for a Kitchenaid mixer! (Because I don’t want it. Not at all!)

Here’s my pampered chef – Chef Joram. I’m crazy proud of him.

Pampered chef Joram

He's a pampered chef already - even wears his microfiber towel like Emeril!

–Lady O

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