potatoe onion and knife on cutting board

Learning the Kids to Cook

It hit me like a tidal wave. “We’re having the kids for an overnight Friday, so let’s have them cook supper for us,” she said. I thought about it. Images of cut fingers, burned faces, spills, and food on the kitchen floor, and broken glass came into my mind. Then I told myself “If you don’t start teaching them to cook now, how else are they going to learn?“ So I set about finding recipes that would involve multiple steps and the use of heat and sharp knives. I settled on honey crusted chicken tenders with mashed potatoes and gravy and broccoli. Of course I hovered over my granddaughter as she chopped first the  onion, then the potato. But I told her how to hold the knife, and the onion, to keep the fingers out of the way of the knife. She did very well with no injuries. Yeah, she was slow, and of course dear little brother had to point out the contrast between her chopping and the chefs on TV. But she did a good job and we were all proud of her. Next, after boiling the diced potatoes, it was his turn. He worked with fierce determination and a potato masher, combining potatoes, onions, butter, salt and black pepper into wonderful mashed potatoes. Of course they both started the process by peeling the potatoes; nobody gets to escape that chore. Little sister? Well she did artwork, of course, keeping out of the way of knives and heat! By the way, the meal was delicious!

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