Before I tell you what I planned to share about cooking, I just had to share this little tidbit. The other day I opened the fridge and found this well preserved paper airplane lounging around. I didn't know these things could spoil if not stored at proper temperature. Surprising.
Well, here's the real story. One evening a week Aubrey has dance class. The class is just far enough away that I can't drop her off then come home and go back to get her. I have to wait in the parking lot which is actually a great time to be able to read or prepare lessons or whatever without interruption.
Anyway, I've been trying to teach our oldest son about cooking and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to have him help with things. He is 12 and we've always had him (and everyone else as age allows) help with cooking jobs like peeling potatoes, cutting chicken, cooking pasta etc but he's always had mom or dad right there.
Since I am now gone during the pre-dinner hour I thought it would be perfect to set things up and then allow him to put his cooking skills to good use and help put dinner together. Josh or I usually get home to help finish things up, but this gives Bryce a chance to really do some food prep without relying entirely on Mom and Dad.
Honestly, so far it hasn't gone too well. We had unintentionally blackened chicken one evening. We had really really tender pasta another (ugh) but I am willing to deal with mishaps while he learns. I think it is good for him (and we had a sweet neighbor across the street constantly available just in case he sets the kitchen on fire).
This past week I put chicken in the crock pot in the afternoon so all that was there for Bryce to do was to cook the rice. I explained that he needed to measure 3/4 cup of rice four times and put it in the rice cooker and then needed to fill the pot with water up to the #4 line on the side of the pot. He said he understood.
When I got home this is what I found.
The pot was full almost to the brim with rice because he had filled the cup four times...but instead of using the 3/4 cup cup (?) that came with the rice cooker he found a measuring cup and filled it but it up; it bears nearly 3 cups when full. Since he couldn't see the #4 on the side with almost 12 cups of rice loaded in the pot, he slid the rice away from the measuring side and then poured the water in until it filled to the correct line. He started the rice cooker and went to do homework (ha ha, in my dreams).
So, when I got home there was a steaming vat of crunchy, gross rice on the counter. It wasn't exactly appetizing. We laughed about it and then promptly measured out rice together with the big measuring cup (so he'd know for next time for sure). Round two of rice was great and dinner went off without a further hitch.
I expect we will have more mishaps as time goes on. But I also expect that by the time this little guy heads off on his own he will have a pretty good feel for kitchen workings. He may not be a master chef, but he will be able to put together a meal or two so as to impress his lady friends and win himself a wonderful wife. At least that's what I'm going for (chuckle, chuckle).
What things do your kids like to help with in the kitchen?