I sit here at the computer while my 17 year old makes homemade chicken noodle soup from scratch without a recipe. Life is good.
I did not really start cooking until she was about 8 and I realized that if I continued that way we were going, she would only know how to warm stuff up. She would not really know how to cook, with recipes or without, because I mostly just put stuff together that needed to be warmed up. So I started watching foodnetwork and realized that I loved to cook. When Devin was 10, I made her responsible for one meal a week. She could take the easy route of prepared food like canned soup every once and awhile, but I let her know I wanted her to learn to cook. I got a couple of cookbooks specific for children and off she went. She made pad thai as one of her first attempts. From there she took off and I am so proud that she makes stuff up, cooks without a recipe and trusts her ability to combine ingredients. She makes all kinds of meals now and rarely follows a recipe.
She is really great at asian sauces. Over time, we have tried all kinds of recipes that we find in magazines, cookbooks or from watching America’s Test Kitchen. I am working on a cookbook complete with photos of the preparation and final dish so I can print and bind it as a reminder of our favorite “family” recipes.
it just does not take that much effort to build family traditions, empower your kids to be self-sufficient while building their confidence. A little thought, a little planning, a little creativity…..I cannot say how much I have enjoyed cooking for and with her these past 9 years. I am proud and thrilled to know that she will grow up to be a skilled, creative and accomplished cook.