Buck Reed, The Supermarket Gourmet
I was thinking about this month’s article when my three-year-old niece mentioned that July was her birthday; she informed me that she would be four this year. I like Gabrielle. I guess at that age it’s hard not to: she plays a good game of Uno, laughs at my magic tricks, and she is a pretty good eater. When I say pretty good eater, I mean she eats what is put in front of her. She keeps the fussing down to a minimum, and she can actually hold a conversation.
Teaching your kids how to cook is important. Why teach your kids how to cook? The easy answer is: So they can eat. A better answer would be that it is something that you can both take an interest in and even share with one another throughout your life.
The first place where a young person might get a good understanding of “results follow procedure” is in the kitchen. A practical application of math can be found there. For instance, it is one thing to go over multiplication problems in a classroom, yet it is quite different when you are doubling a batch of chocolate chip cookies.
The kitchen is also home to a whole new vocabulary for your little sprout. You would be surprised how quickly they can pick up terms like roll, pat, and vent, as well as the difference between macerate and marinate or bake and roast. Most likely, if they can relate to learning how to measure ingredients, follow steps in a recipe, and so on, they might find it easier to relate to other subjects.
Also, there are rules in cooking. Not only are there set rules for cooking and baking procedures, but there are safety rules as well. Learning and obeying these rules might give your child an edge in becoming a disciplined, well organized adult.
After you have spent some time preparing a meal with your youngster, take some time to sit down and eat with them. I know this sounds like a widespread idea, but The Supermarket Gourmet is sad to report that it is not. There are people out there who do not think sharing a meal with your loved one is a big deal.
In my last job of teaching, my boss actually made a rule that I was not allowed to sit down with my students and enjoy the meal we made together. I say there is a big difference between eating and dining. Eating can be done out of a can, standing over a sink; dining is a shared meal with good conversation and proper table manners. Thus, even if you don’t get to cook with your kids as much as you would like, at least take the time to eat with them.
When I say eat with them, that means turn off the television and put the cell phones down and relate to each other the old fashioned way: face to face.
How did I find out that Gabrielle’s birthday was in July? She told me over dinner.