My post Tuesday about Kmart's new line of kitchen stuff and dinnerware from cooking show hostess Sandra Lee made me think about cooking shows in general and what a big part of our lives they've become. Our moms had Julia Child....we have shows for every possible type of cuisine and style of cooking.
I pretty much learned to cook from Nigella Lawson and Alton Brown, with a good dose of America's Test Kitchen thrown in. Both my parents are good cooks, but neither were too interested in passing on their knowledge. I've turned into a pretty good cook, or as my daughter calls me "best cooker ever."
So now that my kids are old enough, I'm letting them help me in the kitchen as much as they can. Giving them the ability to cook for themselves is really important... it will keep them from relying on processed foods to feed themselves when they are adults...and all the health and budget consequences that can bring.
When kids are little, they can stir something, dump in pre-measured ingredients, or toss a salad. When they are older, they can do pretty much everything that doesn't involve knives or heat. My 7-year old has made bread, pancakes and muffins pretty much by herself.
If you're new to cooking with your kids, baking is a good thing to start with because it's pretty much measure, dump, and mix...and kids really like eating whatever treats you create together! As they progress, it can be harder to let them do more because they can make a major mess or a mega-mistake that messes up dinner. What I try to do is relax my "control freak" muscles and let them learn. After all...someday they might be the ones making me breakfast on a Saturday morning!
Do you cook with your kids? What are your favorite things to make with them?