In my heart of hearts, I want all of my kids to learn how to cook – not just make cookies, but prepare a meal. However – as with things like crafts or cupcake decorating – I’m not terribly patient when trying to cook with my kids!
I’m constantly looking for little things that I can have them do with my supervision and instructions but very little direct involvement, and here are two things of that sort that are working well for us right now:
A friend introduced me to these “raw” tortillas that you cook on a hot griddle for a brief time on each side, and we love them. They’ve seriously been the reason that tacos have been on the menu a whole lot more in the past year!
My kids love cooking them, and it’s something that I can hand off to them to do with my supervision but not involvement for the most part. They just need to be lightly browned on both sides, and it’s definitely teaching my kids a lot about timing in the kitchen. (Plus, it’s great practice for flipping pancakes, which is not something I’ve been able to hand over due to a tendency to crowd the griddle with pancakes.)
Proud momma alert: The picture above is of my 5-year-old cooking them for our supper last night – flower crown and sparkle skirt not required but then again she did do a really great job!
I want to teach my kids how to “cook without a book” but, um, how do you do that? I don’t really know how I learned except by repetition! One thing I’ve started doing is teaching them to measure by feel by doing “invisible measuring”:
In the photo above, my 9-year-old was helping make the mixture to pickle onions for our tacos. I had her measure the vinegar in a measuring cup, and then for the honey and salt, I had her set the measuring spoons on the counter next to her but use them only as a reference to eyeball the amount.
She needed 1.5 tablespoons of honey, and I told her to look at our 1.5 T measuring spoon and imagine that she was filling that up as she pour the honey straight into the vinegar. She did the same with the 1 teaspoon of salt that was needed, though I had her pour that into her hand first to visualize the measurement and then she put it in with the liquid. (Full disclosure: this made her really nervous but I know this was something that didn’t need to be precise. We aren’t doing this with cakes and cookies – in fact I make them weigh their flour for that!)
I think that this will be a stepping stone to helping them learn how to cook by feel and taste. It’s all theoretical at this point!
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Welcome to Springs Bargains, a service of our real estate business, Circa Real Estate Group! I’m Carrie, and since 2008 I’ve been sharing free and discounted ways to eat, play, and enjoy life in Colorado Springs.