Saturday, February 16, 2013

Guest "chef"

One handed egg cracking

 Last week, Youngest and I were discussing skills he needs when he grows up, cooking being one of them, especially for a new Eagle required MB (merit badge) for Boy Scouts.

"Oh, I don't need to learn how to cook. When I go to college, I'll live at home and eat your food, like Oldest and Only do. Then I'll get married, and my wife will cook. If she is ever gone, I'll eat sandwiches, cereal, and microwaveable meals," he says with a smirk.  Note: Making Mac and Cheese in the microwave, fixing a bowl of cereal, and using an MRE while on a Boy Scout campout, does not count as cooking. 

Only's spaghetti
Youngest went on to dig himself a deeper hole and before he knew it, he was suddenly in charge of dinner: pancakes from scratch, bacon, making the buttermilk, making homemade maple syrup, and scrambled eggs. For his first REAL meal, he did okay. None of us died.  He learned how to crack eggs with one hand and admitted "It's really hard to multi-task when cooking!"

Youngest's Popcorn chicken
Before the end of the meal, each child picked a night they would cook for the family. They just have to get a list of their needs to me. Dave said he was going to get his mom to make his, but we told him that was illegal and against the "rules."  Ha!  So far, the kids have done well with minimal help (not counting cooking instructions with Youngest), but it's really hard to sit back, wait until they get home from work and start cooking, but they have met the challenge well.  Only made homemade spaghetti sauce  and Oldest did some searching on his own and came up with his own menu and found a recipe he wanted to use. Only protested he chose fish because she can't stand it, but I reminded her that if she refuses to eat what someone else has prepared, it can be offensive and rude.  All she has to do is try it, and she can always refuse seconds or request a small portion. She ate what he had prepared.

It has been rather interesting to see my boys in the kitchen.  Things I assumed they would know because they grew up here, they don't.  Makes me feel like I've really messed up because I've not done this sooner or required them in the kitchen more regularly. Only has been in the kitchen with me regularly, she usually comes in to see how she can help, so she knows what it really takes and I have much confidence and appreciation for her.
  • Mom, we don't have any black pepper  (it's in the pepper grinder for fresh pepper, not in a McCormick jar).   
  • Where do we keep the big flat cooking things?  You know, the things you put cookies and bread on.  (Oh, you mean a cookie sheet?).  
  • How do I broil something.  Isn't it the same as baking? 
  • Where is the salt container and how do I fix rice
  •  There's a difference between dry and liquid measuring cups! 
  • You mean I can't use the same cutting board for meat as I do for veggies?
  •  How am I supposed to measure the pepper from the grinder (as he attempts to shake the pepper from the grinder into a measuring spoon)
  • Oops!  Guess we're having really brown bread - wasn't thinking to check it.
 I have learned a few things: My family has much to learn, we hang out in the kitchen more while the guest chef prepares the evening meal, and they seem to actually look forward to when they cook!  If I do help, it is to as an assistant or to answer questions. I hope to move them into doing grocery planning and shopping on a budget.  I've clearly begun this a little too late in their lives, but it will be okay. 
Oldest Fish Dish
 I had to laugh when a friend of mine told me about her son who is in the Marines: 
 Sounds soooooo familiar! Then i got calls from my new Marine, Mom, how do you: cook tuna out of a can?, cook a precooked chicken breast, make mac-n-cheese....scramble eggs! I LOVED Laughing a full minute before I would tell him how!  Celeste

Did you teach your kids how to cook, do you feel they are prepared or on their way to being prepared to be on their own, and how did you do it?  What age were they when they joined you in the kitchen?  Is there anything you would have done differently?

1 comment:


It is never too late ... good job.


ps. I did teach my girls to cook ... comes in handy, as they now invite me over.