I’ve decided I’m going to have more “formal” cooking lessons for K.
She loves to bake and has taught herself to follow recipes. Over the summer, she’d get the urge to be creative in the kitchen on those days when she didn’t have anything in particular to do. Often I’d come home from work to find various types of cookies sitting on the kitchen counter. And when I’d ask for everybody’s input on what was needed from the grocery store, her answer would just as likely be “flour” or “sugar” or “vanilla” as it would be “lunch meat” or “shampoo.”
K often has been around when I cook, but unfortunately for her, I’m one of those people who is happy doing things myself rather than asking others for help. So I think I’ve dropped the ball there, not taking advantage of an eager student right under my nose.
But I’m going to try to change that. I’ll give her a more active role in meal preparation (not just the cleanup) and let her do things — even though it means they may not always be done to my satisfaction.
Before my most recent grocery shopping trip, she said she wanted something different to take to school for lunch than sandwiches (she can’t buy a lunch at her school). Pasta salad was her answer. She loves it. So we spent some time making a pasta tuna salad and even packing up servings for each of us to take in our lunches — her to school and me to work. I don’t use a written recipe for it, so she was unsure about amounts of certain ingredients. But now she knows that sometimes cooking is about using your senses and adding whatever or however much looks (and tastes) good. And following the old rule of adding a little at a time keeps you safe, since every cook knows you can always add more, but you can’t take it away once it’s in there.
So we started with something simple. And if we keep it up, she’ll be off and running in no time — adding menu items other than dessert to her repertoire.