I have allowed my kids in the kitchen from the very beginning, which literally meant that it often looked like it had rained tupperware lids and pans. As they got a bit older, they were often helping to measure ingredients, load the dishwasher or help cut vegetables. Those early days were the best. I loved the big misshapen chunks of cucumbers that were often found in our salads.
A quarter of a century later and I now have mini sous chefs that are apt to teach me a thing or two. I also have three left at home that are between 6 and 11 years old. Gone are the days of chunked cucumbers as our salads are beautifully presented when the kids help out.
It is such a joy to see their love of the kitchen.
I believe that the more time people spend in the kitchen, the more willing they are to experiment, be creative and even taste foods that they would not otherwise have tried.
I am going to try something new with my younger children. I have long appreciated the monthly meal planning and even the bulk freezer meals. At one time, myself, a friend, and several family members got together one Saturday every month and prepared 20+ meals each that were to be frozen. We did this for several months. We found that when we bought in bulk and prepared it all at once, not only did we save time but we also saved a LOT of money. Our meals typically ended up averaging $10-12 for a meal for six.
I miss those days. I miss going into the freezer and pulling out an already marinated and prepared roast or an enchilada dish or even a delightful soup. I now have two deep freezers that are filled to the brim and although I enjoy cooking, I do not always enjoy coming inside from working on a project and having to prepare dinner. While I like being able to grab something and throw it into the oven, I also dislike buying pre-made, packaged food – unless it’s pizza (smile).
I am thinking that it is time to introduce the younger children to a once a month cooking program. I’m thinking that they, along with their closest homeschooling friends, could pick a freezable meal each and we can walk them through preparing that meal for the freezer. If they do this alongside their friends, they will experience what all of us mothers have come to appreciate so much – fellowship in the kitchen! I can also imagine how delighted they will be when they get to pull out their meal from the freezer and pop it into the oven to serve to their family one night during the month.
Yes. I think we need to do this.
I will keep you posted.