My son has decided to add cooking into his long list of interest so of course being the mom that I am, I always wonder “how can I turn this into a homeschool lesson?” Now I know everything is a learning experience but I always wonder how can I get th most out of this for him. He is interested so what kind of things can he learn from this experience.
The night before he said to me that he wanted to make me lunch the next day. I hate to admit it but a sense of fear did come over me especially when their was a slight argument over why it’s important to pre cook the rice before putting it in the frying pan to heat up and eat. After that hiccup, he pulled out the rice, olive oil, garlic, the spices he wanted to use and the frying pan. He felt he was prepared and all he asked of me was to take him to the store to get some meat to add to his dish.
While his planning is going on my little one was also planning what she wanted to do. I refer to her as my quiet learner. Sometimes I wonder if she is really picking up on stuff then all of a sudden she will talk about something that she has learned and reminds me she is always listening and learning; this was one of those times. To clarify, she is in no means a quiet person just a quiet learner and lucky for her a quick learner. She told me she also wanted to make me lunch and her menu consisted of scrambled eggs on gluten free toast with mustard and dill. Although I love mustard I did make a tiny suggestion for mayonnaise which she was fine with, thank goodness!
The next morning I took them to the Produce, Meat and Bread store. While there my son quickly asked questions about the different types of steak he saw and chose the cut he wanted. He decided he only needed one and knew the exact one to pick. We went over to the Produce store and he picked up celery to add to his stir fry. My daughter decided she had enough stuff at home and didn’t need anything from the store.
When we got home I went through all the instructions for cooking. We talked about the importance of hand washing, what we should cut up first and the proper way to handle and cook meat. It’s almost refreshing for me to teach them these things because it reminds you that there is a lot to think about when planning a meal and most of it does become second nature but ultimately if we are teaching it to our youngins we have to be aware. You almost become a robot while cooking not thinking about all the different steps you have to take.
We worked hard and well together. He got his rice on first and he figured out that he should get the onions and celery going in the frying pan with the olive oil to soften them up and while I cut the celery he started cutting the meat. I was very worried about him working with a such a sharp knife but those worries were quickly vanishing when I noticed how careful he was and at ease with the piece of steak. He even trimmed the fat off it! He started telling me how he wanted to be a butcher when he grew up and he was excited to learn that his Papa used to be a butcher and could help teach him all about meat and cutting of it. Note to self, call Papa.
After everything was said and done my son produced quite a lovely lunch. We sat together after and talked more about what he had learned and I of course told him how proud of him I was. It really was a tasty little dish and he even had suggestions on how to make it better the next time. One being, seasoning the meat before we cook it. Glad he noticed.
The next day it was his younger sister’s turn. She did a little less in the kitchen but was very active in the process and planned the meal exactly how she wanted it. Instead of scrambled eggs, however, I did convince her that fried eggs would sit better on the bread and she was so in awe when we were making the fried egg. She was amazed that an egg could do so many different things. It can be boiled, scrambled, fried and turned into an omelet PLUS it bakes Mommy? Yup, the amazing egg! She too was well organized in the kitchen and the one ingredient she wanted on that was tomato and of course it’s the one ingredient I haven’t decided if I liked BUT for her, I did it.
After the ooh’s and awe’s of cooking, she too made me a fantastic lunch! And the best part, was the tomato which she sliced up all on her own! It added a nice taste with the egg, dill and cheese and I may even enjoy it for lunch again soon. If my kids keep up with their love of cooking I may just never have to worry about cooking again. Then of course my other daughter said “I want to make an omelet for lunch tomorrow Mommy but for me, not you.” So much for that.
What are some of your favourite meals to make with your children? Do you prefer baking?