Juggling Act

Me & Grandma: Teaching my daughter to cook

Blogger Mae Israel is spending the next year teaching her 15-year-old daughter how to cook, with the help of her mother, sisters and aunts. She’s using “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School” cookbook as a guide. She’ll be writing an occasional series of cooking lessons appearing on Mondays.

Join her, and offer encouragement to both of them.

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 Lesson 5: April 12, 2010:

The aroma of the chicken meals sizzling in aluminum foil tucked in the campfire floated through the air, teasing the Girl Scouts who had worked hard to prepare their outdoor meal.  A dump cake –  canned fruit, cake mix and butter – was already in the Dutch oven, ready to be placed on the hot logs. Members of my daughter’s Girl Scout troop were on their  first of three planned weekend camping trips this spring. With some guidance from the leaders and several chaperone moms, the girls pitched their tents and cooked their food, the old -fashioned way.
 

 

 

 

Lesson 4, March 22, 2010:

My daughter was so proud of the mashed potatoes she prepared for dinner that she ate a third helping. I thought they were tasty, too. She put  her meal of barbecued chicken, mixed greens salad and the potatoes on the dinner table with pride. I could see — and hear– her growing confidence about how to approach tasks in the kitchen.

 

 

  

  

Lesson 3, March 8, 2010:

My daughter loves rice, and has been eating it heartily since she was a toddler, particularly the spicy versions prepared by a former babysitter from Ghana. She is so fond of the jambalaya-like dish that Miss Bea always had some cooking when we visited during the years my daughter was growing up.

 

 

 

  

Lesson 2, Feb. 22, 2010:

onionsIf eyes could injure and if knives had any life at all, my daughter would have easily wounded the one I asked her to use for our lesson on chopping. I had to convince her that she wouldn’t chop off her fingers if she held the knife firmly and slowly cut the onions. So I put my hand over hers, showing her how to grip the handle and then hold the onion in place with her other hand. I’m a lefty-my daughter isn’t- so it took every ounce of my concentration to use my right hand to pass on a bit of knife confidence.

 

Lesson 1, Feb. 8, 2010

IMGP0080My daughter looked suspiciously at the pieces of chicken breast as she dusted them lightly with sea salt and pepper. As she picked them up, she shuddered slightly and grimaced. “Mom,” she asked, “why do we eat animals?” My daughter and I are on a one-year cooking journey. I’m teaching her, with the help of my mother and “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School” cookbook, how to prepare delicious and healthy food. I’ll be honest, I haven’t been an adventurous cook over the years so I’ll be learning some new things, too. My sisters and a couple aunts have promised to spend some time with my daughter in their kitchens, too, so that she’ll learn some other family specialties.


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