I was having a conversation with @scatteredmom a little while ago about what people allow their kids to do in the kitchen. She was reacting to a teacher who didn’t want her students doing much in a cooking lesson.
I remember taking Home Economics in Grades 7 and 8. We did cooking and sewing, very little about learning how to budget for a household, which would have been useful – we did sit around a table learning the proper order for washing dishes. Yep.
When we were cooking we had a recipe to follow, that’s was that. We had to go to the pantry and collect the ingredients we needed, we had to do all the chopping and mixing, following the instructions and hoping our end result was edible. I remember making spaghetti sauce and s’mores, but I’m not sure what else we did.
I used to cook with my mother and grandmother, but I think most of the cooking I do these days I learned on my own, just by doing. When I’m not rushed cooking is something I enjoy doing.
During my maternity leave I would sit the baby in her vibrating chair and talk to her while I cooked. She seemed to enjoy watching me, so it didn’t surprise me when she started asking to help. I’ve written about that here before. She watches me measure out ingredients and helps me pour, she loves to stir, when I make macaroni and cheese she helps me grate and lately I’ve been letting her crack the eggs – in a separate bowl, and she understands the first thing you do after cracking eggs is wash your hands.
It would never occur to me to make my cooking a hands-off activity for her. When you cooking you learn by doing, and memories are made in the kitchen amid the mess.
Floor can be swept, counters can be cleaned, and watching your kid tell her Daddy proudly that she helped make that it absolutely worth the extra time.