Since I'm new, I'll start with an introduction. My name is Denise and I am a Mom with 6 kids. I've been married to my high school sweetheart for 22 years. Our oldest is 21, married with his own baby. Our kids still at home are 18, 10, 8, 3 and 1. I've always encouraged my kids to be individuals, but one of the unexpected side effects of that encouragement has been that I have very picky eaters. Unfortunately for me most of them are picky about different things from the others. It can make for some really interesting meals. I try to be accomodating, but I am not above telling whomever reminds me that they "don't eat" whatever I've just put on the table that they are free to fend for themselves or starve.
It seems like I've been cooking my entire life. I grew up the oldest kid in a single Mom household, so cooking fell to me from an early age. By the time I was 10, I was regularly making dinner most nights. We didn't have a microwave and most convenience foods were not in our budget, so I learned to cook mostly from scratch. The Betty Crocker Cookbook was my best friend and the crockpot was one of my favorite tools. I still use them both at least a couple times a week.
Although I don't have to rely on them to cook for the family, I have also taught my kids to cook from a young age. Stirring batter for cookies or even pancakes is a favorite toddler activity in our house. Even the one yr old gets into the act. Cooking together gives us quality time and they feel a great sense of accomplishment when they see the finished product.
Next time I'll share some of my strategies for accomodating picky eaters and some fun easy things to do with the kids in the kitchen.