Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cooking 101

It's been hard to figure out how to teach the girls the cook due to several factors. First, with 100+ degree summer weather, we tended to stick to hearty cold salads most of the time. Second, with three girls and limited kitchen space, it was hard to figure out the logistics. Third, they each have varying skill levels and abilities. Fourth, by dinner time, I'm just a tired mama who want to put a meal on the table. So, I gave it some thought. Serious thought, because some of my best memories are of cooking with my mom and grandmother.

The more I thought, the more I remembered the things that I could first cook and one of the very first was macaroni and cheese out of a box. I figured this was a great way to begin, so I bought some organic varieties and introduced the girls to the instructions on the back of the box, which was hilarious because they'd read the small print and not the bold print - as in the main verbs, such as Add, Stir, Sprinkle and Combine. And they'd read part of the instructions, stop, figure they needed to do something, but not read the rest in order to figure out what that might be.

Part of our lesson also involved what the abbreviations TBS and tsp. stood for, lessons on caution around the hot stove, how to stir effectively, other crucial information about food safety and hygiene, what boiling meant and that it took several minutes for a pot of water to actually boil.

The process was fun and confidence-building for the girls and they thought their results were delicious. This was the first time they'd ever had mac and cheese from a box since I always make it from scratch.

Blossoms ending was fitting for her. "Mommy, should I keep the box?"

"Why?" I asked.

"So I can know how to make it again."

"Honey, what did the macaroni come in?"

"I don't know," was her befuddled reply.

"How did I buy it when I was at the store, did I scoop out the macaroni into a plastic bag then pour it out everywhere?"

"Yes," was her answer.

"No, that's not how I bought it. I bought it already in the box. When I buy it again, it will also come in a box. It will look exactly the same as the box you are going to throw away now, just like when I buy the same kinds of cereal."


Anonymous said...

An important life skill, especially for your oldest who will in theory have less time with you at home. How about you work 1:1 with each girl on a certain day/time during the week? Less people in the kitchen, they learn, and you get an extra set of hands.

Anonymous said...

Yes, along the same lines as anonymous... I have 3 kids, and I homeschool them. They are ages 15, 12, and 11. I give each an evening when they are responsible for dinner. They plan, I buy ingredients, they are responsible for making the meal (with me as their assistant if necessary). As they get older I help less. Maybe an arrangement like that would work for you as well? My 11-year-old daughter (who was adopted from China as a baby, incidentally) is actually the most comfortable in the kitchen and is the one I trust to make us dinner if I am not home.

Shecki Grtlyblesd said...

Okay, that's funny. I was thinking the same thing and came to comment and found not one, but 2 people beat me to it! I love the way you had them all learn at the same time, but maybe having one help you on Monday, one on Wednesday, and one on Friday would make it easier on you.

Shecki Grtlyblesd said...

Oh, and I totally have a "save the box" story from Hannah.

"Mom, I need to take a bag to school."
for what?
"To put in the trash."

After a while, the light bulb went on, and I remembered that she had a field trip, and the teacher probably told them to bring sack lunches, but she literally had no idea why she was going to take a bag to school to throw away.