I highly recommend Fanny at Chez Panisse: A Child's Restaurant Adventures to parents who want to educate their children about what they eat. The book is a story all about food: where it comes from, how it's grown, how to eat it (with fingers!) and how to cook. Truthfully, at nine, Sparky considered himself a bit sophisticated for it, but we sat down and read together how Fanny grew up inside stock pots in the kitchen, learned to eat halibut baked in fig leaves and was solely responsible for raspberry inspection. The charming story was rescued from being twee (at least, for Sparky) by a full-color illustration of the famous fire at Chez Panisse. After the the story is a short illustrated cookbook.
So I sent Sparky off with the book and the mandate to find us something for lunch, but couldn't resist peeking over his shoulder...raita? no,...cornbread? NO,...quesadillas? OK, quesadillas...but look, there's a pasta with garlic and parsley...No? Ok...roast potatoes and garlic mayonnaise? Sigh, OK - what about calzones? Calzones! OK!
I had previously frozen a quadruple batch of Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day pizza dough, most of which had gone into pizza bites for snacks, so I pulled out the last batch and thawed it on the counter. When it had softened, I set Sparky to kneading the dough, which (I noted with not just a little pride,) he did beautifully without any direction. Almost any pizza dough recipe - or purchased pizza dough will work here.
Still, we happened to have a lovely knob of goat cheese as called for in the recipe, and we made do with string cheese for our mozzarella: after all, Sonoma and its garden-fresh foods are very far away. I think both Alice and Fanny would forgive us.
After working his fingers near to the bone, Sparky decided to pour himself a cold one (in this case, an Izze Blackberry soda I'd been saving) and dig in.