One of the best things you can do with your children without spending a fortune is simple: The ancient and noble art of cooking. The human race wouldn’t have lasted very long without this art and yes, that’s what it is, an art.
Whether you’re a kitchen novice or a master chef, there are plenty of ways to express yourself in the kitchen.
Why should I cook?
Cooking from scratch is by far the best way to make sure your kids are getting healthy food, packed full of nutritious goodness. After all, if you put all the ingredients together yourself, you avoid those nasty little surprises that pre-packaged foods contain. Like the dreaded preservatives, hidden salts and sugars, even weird things that are numbers or abbreviations not names. Most people don’t even have a clue what they are.
Anyway, forget all the serious stuff, what’s far more important is that it’s fun and a wonderful bonding session. Whether you have one child or a whole tribe, you and your children work together to create a taste sensation. What a sense of achievement too. I mean, to take some basic ingredients and watch them transform, almost like magic into something you can touch, see, smell and taste, wow! It truly is an activity for all the senses.
I’m on a budget and I need some fun time with my kids, what shall I do?
Food is cheap fun. Yes, okay so food can cost as much or as little as you want it too. If you buy some flour and some yeast you can make some wonderful homemade bread for mere pennies. Then if you chuck in another few dollars, you can take some tomatoes, throw on some onions and mushrooms and cheese. You can even add some meat too if you can afford it, or veggies if you’re not the carnivorous type and there you have a home-made pizza just the way you want it.
Novice Cooking Tips
Start with something simple. The last thing you want, is for it all to wrong and be ruined. That doesn’t help your confidence, or your child’s. If you’re not an expert, that’s when your cunning comes into play. Just sneakily practice it a couple of times while they’re in bed or at school, so you’ve got it cracked already. That way you’ll have the confidence to guide them and be sure they’ll get an encouraging result.
Always remember that cooking is an art and just like any other art, it takes practice. You will very rarely cook something perfectly the first time, so, practice makes perfect, as they say. I also find that recipes are just a guide. Everybody’s taste is different and your oven definitely isn’t the same as the chef who wrote the recipe, so you don’t have to follow it exactly.
For example, when I started to make my own bread from scratch, it was okay to start with but it was a little heavy. So, over a few tries, I adjusted the amount of water and yeast I used and cooked it at a slightly lower temperature. Then after maybe six or seven tries, I was prepared to take the Pepsi challenge with any bakery. The point is, please don’t give up or lose heart if you make mistakes. Just enjoy the beautiful and exciting experience of, cooking with your kids.
Barry S. Brunswick is an author. You can buy his books on Amazon:
Dreamland Part 1 – The Fabric of Dreams
Dreamland Part 2 – The Masters of Light
The War of The Turnips
Barry Brunswick’s Tall Tales – A Short Story Collection
Inner Outer – A Poetry Collection