Friday, November 11, 2016

Encouraging Others in the Kitchen


I tend to work later on Thursdays as DH has the day off (mostly), and can do any drop off or pick up needed. Last night he even made dinner and it was ready when I got home. He had thrown a bag of boneless, skinless, chicken breasts in the crockpot, took a few out and shredded them and added BBQ sauce, then put in a smaller crock to simmer and stew. He also attempted coleslaw. DH loves coleslaw on pulled chicken or pork style sandwiches. It looked, good, but my first bite was so disappointing. I asked how he made it. He didn't know why it had such a heavy taste. Unfortunately, he thought coleslaw was just a bag of cabbage, mixed with mayonnaise.  I explained there is more to the slaw dressing than mayonnaise, and I attempted to correct it by stirring in a bit of cider vinegar that had some sugar dissolved in it, and a bunch of black pepper. Stirred around and thinned out, it tasted much better. 

DD2 is just taking an interest in learning to cook. I know at 15 she should be well past learning, but better late than not at all. She's attempted a few things over the years and has proclaimed herself a failure in the kitchen. Not always one to read a direction twice, she has skipped steps in a recipe, like omitting salt, or adding 3/4 of a cup of something when it called for 1/4. I'm not a good role model there as I often just guesstimate, but I've been familiar in a kitchen for 40 years and you get familiar with how ratios work in baking and cooking. She has ingredients this weekend to make red velvet cupcakes for her friends and wants to give making curry a go by herself on Saturday. I say, welcome to my kitchen.

Besides being a basic skill every human should have. We all have to eat, and often the lack of time and energy pushes me to pick up take out or fast food. Having others take on the load once in a while for me means we are turning to those more expensive and less healthy options less and less. Sometimes smiling and just appreciating the effort goes a long way in encouraging more help. Next time DH's slaw will be better and over time DD2 will get a better comfort level baking and cooking. 

The picture above is from 4th of July three years ago when DD2 was 12. She makes a desert every year for the cabin with some red, white, and blue theme. I thought it was an appropriate picture for Veterans Day. Thank you to all who served. We might be a nation of people without our crap together right now, but you exemplify what a great country we can be. 

10 comments:

  1. It is never to late to learn a life skill. I still learn new things every day! To me the best lessons in the kitchen are the mistakes. You learn to fix the error or toss it and start over. I have done both, repeatedly! I am pretty sure I had to scrape the bread on some very over toasted broiled cheese sandwiches a couple of night ago. (Used the last of the bread so the tossing and starting over option was off the table)

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    1. My bad is hard boiling eggs. I forget and over cook them often. My older two are pretty good in the kithen, leanring out of being broke, but happy they left home withth e basics so I think youngest will only get better.

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  2. My son is learning new recipes from a student cook book my Mum's bought him.
    Arilx

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    1. Good grandma gift. I think soups stews and currys are goof beginner dishes. Frugal and easy to correct.

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  3. The following instructions part is the hardest for new cooks. Even veteran ones screw up - Mom made banana bread a few weeks ago and it turned out quite tough, then she realized she forgot to add the egg :) It still tasted good though. And she has been cooking for 60 years!

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    1. I've omitted eggs on multiple efforts.

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  4. Much better to learn when you're genuinely interested than be forced into it. I didn't start sewing until I was 40, I loathed it at school!
    Good luck to your daughter. xxx

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    1. I'm trying to learn crocheting now. You must have the sewing gene though as your clothes are terrific.

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  5. In our house, the only comments to the cook allowed at dinner time are positive. He who criticizes either cooks or buys dinner the next night. Afterwards, (post-clean-up) we might "de-brief" ie: if you felt the pie crust was tough, you might have handled it too much. Turns out, when you show appreciation to teenage cooks, they are their own worst critics, and try to figure out what went wrong. One ds is in a cooking class in which cooking/baking a recipe used in class 1/ week at home, with pictures and at least two critique cards is required. The hardest part is getting the siblings to crticize! They skirt the issue by saying stuff like "Thanks, made the house smell nice."

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    1. I like your house rule but I know I'm guilty of pulling a face that gives it away. Practicing is the only way to get better though. Your kids sound sweet.

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