Most of the time I make dinner without his help. It's a lot faster that way. But sometimes he sees what I'm doing and asks to help, so I come up with various ways that he can be involved. Tonight it started with the asparagus - he handed me each stalk of asparagus from the container so that I could slice off the leaves. (Those spiky things are leaves, right?)
He was clearly interested in doing more, so we pulled the stool up to the counter so he could get to work. He broke off the tough ends of each asparagus stalk, brushed them with olive oil, and sprinkled salt and pepper over them. (As he pinched the salt I'd poured into his palm and sprinkled it over the asparagus he commented, "just like snow!")
I put the asparagus in the broiler, and we moved onto the salmon (this recipe). We started with the same method - Squeakles brushed them with olive oil and sprinkled them with salt and pepper. We then sprinkled on some ground rosemary (which, by the way, I highly recommend buying cut up in a jar - it's just as fresh tasting as fresh rosemary, doesn't go bad, and is so much easier), placed lemon slices over the fish, sprinkled freshly squeezed lemon juice and white wine (with a bit on the side for Mommy to drink), and then finally sprinkled some capers on the top.
While the salmon cooked, we ate the asparagus fresh out of the broiler while standing at the counter. Squeakles devoured at least six stalks and only stopped when there was no more to eat. The salmon only took ten minutes to cook (and actually, should have been cooked for slightly less time because the fillets were somewhat thin) and were ready the moment we finished with the asparagus. I moved Squeakles to his high chair and brought him the salmon cut up over a bowl of leftover basmati rice from the weekend. He took one bite and said "I looooove it!"
My job is done.