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Cooking with Papa

A few weeks ago at my Monday night writing group, we talked about the word should. There are so many things we feel like we should do, but why? I think the last year of a pandemic has made me more likely to give up on things I think I should do. I wrote a whole book about living each second to the fullest and not getting sucked into the never-ending inbox, but now I question whether it really matters if I spend the first 2 hours of my day up before the sun to get in all the things I won't do if I put it off.

Now what in the heck does the word should have to do with cooking with papa? Not much. Other than I was thinking that I should spend some time cooking with my daughter this weekend.

It took Tori all of 5 minutes to convince Papa that he should help her bake brownies when he came over on Saturday. And the way they should cook was in constant conflict. Neither were extremely dissatisfied with the other's point of view, but neither were they doing things entirely Tori's way or entirely Papa's way. Each one, however, thought the utensil they should use was correct. In the end, concessions were made by each (and the brownies turned out great).

The brownie recipe from the back of the Hy-Vee cocoa can called for a saucepan and that's what Papa wanted to use, much to Tori's disappointment. She, of course, thought they should use the KitchenAid mixer.

But they worked collaboratively. Reading their ingredients, mixing together with Tori's most favored kitchen utensil, a whisk, and creating delicious brownies. Those brownies that Tori thought should have chocolate chips in them. And Papa made the concession for those scattered on the top of the brownies.

Once the brownies were baked and still almost too warm to eat, the first bites were good. Papa thought they should go with some ice cream (although we never did get any). In cooking and baking, there are, of course, things you must do, like wash your hands. But as for the shoulds, does it really matter if you use a saucepan or a big pot, a whisk or a stand mixer? Each of the bakers on Saturday got the end product of a delicious brownie, despite being in almost constant conflict about what tools and procedures they should use in the kitchen. Today, I challenge you to let go of your shoulds and try things just a little differently. You might surprise yourself and wind up with a delicious outcome.

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