One of my favourite memories growing up, is when I would help my Mum cook. Mostly it would just be things like cakes or pancakes. The pancakes were probably my favourite to cook because I got to use the frying pan and would pretend I was a famous chef. Although as far as eating goes, cakes win hands down.
Carrying on this tradition, my wife, SO, and I have made it a regular activity that we cook with our son, Jay. Unlike cooking with my Mum, we tend to cook meals together as a family. We have done desserts or cookies a couple of times, but we don’t really make cakes and things like that very often. Largely because I’m the only one who really eats cake. Yes, I have eaten a whole cake by myself on occasion (over several days that is). And cookies aren’t something we like to have too many of around the house because Jay and I do tend to pig out on them, and we have become much more conscious of our health and weight. I talk about Jay’s weight issues here.
As a result we tend to focus on meals for our family cooking sessions. In general we let Jay choose what to cook, with the idea that if it’s his choice he’ll be more interested in completing it. Which normally works, but there are still occasions when he’ll start and then get distracted by other things, like TV or games. Most of the time he’ll complete the meal, and we try to make it a fun activity for all of us.
It doesn’t work all the time though, and there are times when we get frustrated with him. But that’s just something you have to deal with when working with a child.
One of his favourite things to cook is pizza, which we do completely from scratch. Meaning we make the dough ourselves. It does get a bit messy though, which I think may be why he likes cooking it. On the other hand, he really does love pizza, and his favourite topping is pepperoni. He does pretty much all of the work, with SO and I assisting with things like measurements, and making sure the sauce is evenly spread. If we didn’t we’d end up with clumps of sauce in some areas and none in others, mostly because he wants to do this part quickly and get the toppings on.
Other things we’ve made with him are pasta and salad, where he will boil the pasta and cook the sauce. Okay, salad you don’t cook, but he does like to chop up the ingredients and toss the salad.
We are trying to get him to cook other things, but the problem with that is that he isn’t familiar with a lot of the other foods we want to cook, so it’s a bit of a work in progress there.
Overall, I find cooking with Jay a great way to bond and have fun together. Plus we get good food, and Jay learns a valuable skill. He’s already mentioned several times that he wants to open his own restaurant, although I’m not sure how he’ll do that and be a scientist and a basketball star at the same time.