Archive for April 30th, 2012

April 30, 2012

Teaching Jess to Cook (looks different than teaching Josh)

by Belinda Letchford


Last week I wrote the process we are going through to help Joshua be a better cook.  I thought I’d share, just quickly, what this skill looks like for Jessica.  Last week she was my cook’s helper.

Jessica has a much bigger repertoire of recipes that she can call her own than Joshua does.  She can open a recipe book and give it a go.  She still has questions occasionally but if I wasn’t in the house then she’d work it out.

The task I gave Jess for the week was to write up the weekly menu – using what is in the freezer and pantry.  We had built up an overflow and I like to have the occasional week where we buy very little and make do with what is in the cupboard.  Sometimes it means we have to be inventive, other times we just dig in our recipe file to find something to make with the ingredients on hand.

She was also responsible for Daniel’s birthday dinner main course as I was out late afternoon at Netball with Nomi.

As we train our children in life skills we need to be constantly on the look out for ways to continue to develop their skills.  Cooking the family meal gives opportunity to learn far more than just cooking skills:

  • Plan the menu and shopping list
  • Plan a menu using what is on hand
  • Plan a menu to a budget
  • Consider nutrition when planning meals
  • Cook a two course meal and have everything ready at the right time
  • Understand freezer meals or crockpot meals that can be ready for busy times, or ready to give to those in need
  • Plan a celebration meal – cook a celebration meal (include setting the table decoratively)
  • Understand and cook for various allergies
  • Consider how the food looks on the plate, experiment with garnishes and cake decorating

So if you have kids who excel at chores around the house is there an aspect where you can stretch them, teach an additional step or skill, or lift the standard of ‘well done’?  There is always more to learn.

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