Watching Jamie Oliver on the Food Revolution show brings out an important aspect of cooking, among other things, and that is to really get into what you are doing (the cooking part) and SMILE. This is what Jamie told the young boy who was interested in cooking. Just to enjoy the process. So many times we get overly-concerned about getting the ingredients in just the right proportions, and being very precise about our cooking methods, that we forget to enjoy what we are doing!
Jamie has so many lessons in his TV programs, but I thought this was a very important one to teach our children – to enjoy the process of cooking.
There are different types of cooks. Some are more experimental than others. Being creative and coming up with different combinations is part of the fun of cooking. When children are young, they love to combine ingredients to see what they will do. Even combining baking soda and vinegar and seeing the results is an activity that interests children. As an adult you can explain what is happening. You can tell them that it is the carbon dioxide gas formed from mixing the two together that causes the bubbling and foaming. The resulting foam and fizz from the reaction is often used in school projects to demonstrate the eruption of a volcano.
Some recipes need to be followed closely. For example, when you are baking cakes from scratch, it is important to follow the recipe carefully, but you can still smile. As you spoon the flour and sugar, notice the texture, and yes, even the feel. The entire process of combining foods and seeing the end result can leave you with a great sense of satisfaction.
Think how enjoyable working with bread dough can be. Children love to punch, knead, and roll the dough. Then to see, smell, and taste the end product is the ultimate experience.
These are some of the pleasures of cooking at home with your child. Here are the times he or she will remember. Make it enjoyable. Let them know it is OK to touch, to feel, to taste. And make sure you convey your interest and excitement in what you are doing. It’s contagious.
Here’s how Amy Houts, author of new book, “Cooking Around the Country With Kids-USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities” shows you how to get your kids cooking all across the country.
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