Macaroni and tears

From the editorEver try talking a 12-year-old boy through cooking a box of macaroni and cheese? As we juggled the deadline of this month’s issue and the premiere of Chicago Special Parent (which hits the streets July 14), my son called to say he was home from tennis camp and couldn’t find anything for lunch. Never mind that I did the grocery shopping just a day before and filled the cupboards and refrigerator with food. He wanted macaroni and cheese.

He’s never had to cook a day in his life, so by phone I started on a lesson that I should have started years ago: how to cook. It went pretty well until he called me back to say he had boiled the water for 10 minutes and what was he supposed to do with the pasta still in the box? The ordeal had me in fits of laughter and tears. Laughter because something so easy turned out to be so Three Stooges comical (and yes, he burned the pasta because he had boiled away most of the water.) And tears because I wasn’t there to help him.

If only I had this month’s column by registered dietician Christine Palumbo years ago. She offers great tips for getting kids involved in cooking early. In fact, this month’s issue is all about tips and ideas to help you make the most of the rest of your summer with your kids.

The best month of summer is upon us. Go have fun.

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