Thursday, April 10, 2008

learning to cook

Here are some pictures of our beautiful girl Lizzy (9) doing what she loves to do: cooking a meal for the family.

She's making Vietnamese Summer Rolls, with rice paper wraps, rice noodles, avocado, cucumber, carrot, fresh coriander and smoked salmon (not our cheapest shopping week). The recipe is from her favourite cookbook, Kids' Cooking, an excellent collection of meals that are fun to prepare and actually taste good!

I'm determined to send our children into the world prepared to look after themselves. Young women and even young men (gasp!) who can clean, cook and wash their own clothes. It's hard enough adjusting to the responsibilities of adulthood without the necessary skills. And I've heard you have to start boys early if you want them to wash their clothes as young adults.

So a year ago we started a new chores schedule: as well as regular jobs like setting and clearing the table (which receive no financial reward), every week the older two children vacuum their rooms, put a load of clothes into the machine (Lizzy, who's old enough to stand on a crate and reach the clothes line, hangs hers out too), and help with an outside task like sweeping or weeding (pocket money depends on these chores).

They also do a cooking task. Ben (7) makes muffins from a packet, Lizzy (9) makes a meal and/or a dessert for the family (I deal with hot pots and sharp knives). Pocket money can be highly motivating! But I think Lizzy would cook, pocket money or not - it's a hobby she's come to love.

Meanwhile, Lizzy and I are discovering something which women have enjoyed for many centuries: a lovely female companionship of the kitchen.


Louisa said...

Hi there, I found your blog a little while ago and have been enjoying reading it. Thanks in particular for your tips on age appropriate Bibles for kids - I found that very helpful and insightful. Haven't posted a comment until now (perhaps a little shy?) but just can't resist saying GOOD ON YOU! My husband was raised in the kitchen with his mother and he now LOVES to cook and finds it a very relaxing way to wind down. He would cook 90-95% of all our meals (I am the baker of the family) and I treasure it! At the end of the day I find cooking exhausting but am very happy to do the dishes - a perfect set up. So well done on including your son in this training, he may well one day make a lucky lady all the more luckier by being able and willing to contribute the household chores in a way he actually enjoys (which will no doubt make him happy too!)

Jean said...

Don't be shy!! I love getting comments. I know what you mean, though, I'm always shy about leaving comments on other people's blogs. Thanks for telling me about your husband and you - sounds like a great arrangement!