I am teaching The Teenager how to cook.
He’s quite possibly flying the nest next year and bit by bit, I’m teaching him valuable life skills, such as:
- If you hang your towel up after a shower rather than leaving it in a heap on the floor, it will dry!
- If you lock the door after coming in late, we might not be burgled!
- If you bring the tower of bowls and plates down from your bedroom, you’ll make your long-suffering mum very happy!
It’s taking a while and we still haven’t cracked the loo-roll dilemma (i.e. replace an empty one) or the milk carton angst (when it’s finished, it doesn’t go back in the fridge, d’uh).
But I live in eternal hope.
Today, he was deep in thought, sprawled out on the sofa, fingers flying across his iphone keypad as I was trying to type up some uni notes for my first dissertation meeting.
‘Mum. Muuum. Mum. How many calories in an egg?’ he asked.
‘I don’t know.’
‘I. Don’t. Know. Why?’
‘Well, I went to the gym this morning – see, look, muscles (obligatory muscle flex), I’ve got 1367 calories left to eat. Minus the protein shake. Plus the jelly snake I ate on the way home from school.’
‘That’s nice dear.’
‘It says here on my app that I should cook scrambled eggs with four slices of brown bread, no butter. How do I make it?’
I talked him through it. Twice.
‘I hate cracking eggs.’
‘Most people do.’
‘Can you help? Pwwwweeeaaassse?’
I abandoned my not-going-anywhere proposal, sighed deeply for dramatic effect and joined him in the kitchen. A carton of eggs lay decimated on the counter. There were four left un-bashed.
I demonstrated what he had to do and he massacred the remaining ones into a bowl.
‘Put your bread in the toaster. Heat your frying pan up, put in a drop of oil and wait for it to get warm. There. Now!’
‘Use the spatula. Spatula! Not the ladle. No, and not that one, that’s a potato masher.’
‘Mum, spatula is a funny word, isn’t it?’
‘Erm, yes, I guess so.’
I showed him how to sweep the eggs gently around the pan, then handed control to him. The eggs were pummelled into submission, not daring to become anything else but scrambled eggs.
Finally, all was assembled. He splattered the resulting meal with tomato sauce, grabbed a drink and ate it all within two minutes.
‘Mum! Mum. That was ace (a surprising, new word in his vocabulary). And it only took two minutes! Result.’
And with that, he tapped his food stats into his app, put his empty plate in the kitchen and sauntered upstairs.