Teaching children to cook.

If my mother was here, you would have heard her say ” thumpineyum kondu kallu eduppikkuva”  ( there is no direct translation, loosely translated it means that it is a sin to make little children to do some work, when their body is so tiny)

I function better when I follow my routine. I am so used to packing kids’ school lunch everyday before I leave for work, but I just don’t know what to cook for them when they are at home during school holidays. Sending creamy pasta in their thermos to school was no big deal. But if I cooked that and left it in the bowl for them to eat at lunch time, the sauce would get thicken, pasta gets really soggy and they won’t eat it. To make my life easy, I told the kids to fix their own lunch.

I warned them about leaving stove unattended, went through the fire drill (stop, drop and roll), and told them, if there is a fire, my house and contents are covered by the insurance, but I won’t get new children, so I don’t want them to do anything to save the house, I just want them to save themselves.

I know many of you would think I am really being stupid and children and stove shouldn’t mix. My niece ( step) started cooking when she was 4. It is her job to cook dinner for the family every Thursday. When she was 4, she made peanut butter and jelly sandwich and everyone ( including her grandparents) ate that for dinner. When she was 7, she knew to take the meat out of the freezer before going to school and cook a roast when she came back from school.

I used to cook before Amma came home from work and knew to clean everything and leave the kitchen just the way Amma had left it in the morning.

Yesterday when I came back in the evening, there was a banana pineapple cake on the kitchen counter. My youngest told me that she noticed the bananas in the fruit tray are going off and that there was some left over pineapple in the fridge, so she decided to bake a pineapple banana cake.  ( She used 3 eggs, 1/2 cup butter, 3 eggs, 3/4 tin of crushed pineapple, 3 ripe bananas, 1 1/2 cup self raising flour. Mixed it all up and added a bit of fresh cream to get the batter consistency right and baked at 180 degrees for 30 minutes)

My son made Chicken peri peri for dinner. He mixed two tablespoon of chicken peri peri powder with vinegar and salt and marinated the chicken in it and then slathered some mayo over the chicken and baked it. Instead of adding oil to marinade, I prefer to use mayo, as it makes the meat very tender and moist.

Each day, as I leave home, a part of me is terrified of all the untoward things that could happen. Then like Amir Khan, I tap on my heart gently and say “all is well”

4 thoughts on “Teaching children to cook.

  1. I understand what you say. I am the same too.
    My daughter and I baked together, that way we shared chores and I am always there.
    It has been her habit to give out brownies to her teachers and friends every Christmas.
    Initially I would be looking over her shoulder, but for the last several years, I let her do it on her own. Sometimes a friend would come over and they baked together which would freak me out thinking these kids will be chattering and forget about what is going on in the oven. But so far it’s been fine.

    • Mona: My sister is 50 years old, she doesn’t know how to boil water even now. ( I am not joking) I think, learning to cook is just as important as learning maths and science etc. I guess, as a mother, I will always be worried about all that can go wrong..

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