Cooking 101

It is that time of year again--the farmstands and CSA are full of local veggies and fruit. Last week I made two yummy quiches and a blueberry buckle for dinner.

Later I had a chat with a young adult who confessed that she didn't know how to cook anything. I began to brainstorm a weekend cooking class for her that would provide her with the basics. The girls and I created a list of what they think every young adult should leave home knowing how to cook. Here's the list for her to pick from:


a fail-safe chocolate cake
pie crust to add sweet or savory and how to do that
Grandma's biscuits
yeast bread

assuming she can put together a good salad
red sauce (and Grandma's meatballs)
white sauce & roux to make the stand-by mac & cheese
roast chicken
a basic soup

This list is very basic, but includes some of the building blocks to more complicated meals. It gets at the basic sauces, roasting, soup, basic yeast and quick bread baking thus different types of leavening, working with chocolate, and pie crust. It doesn't include working with beans which I think would be important, but not in a first weekend.

I am happy to say that my girls could do just about all of this--the roasting of a chicken might be new but they know how to read a recipe and have enough foundation that I think they can make just about anything. I'm considering some sort of winter project with them that ensures they can indeed do all of this and maybe actually go a step beyond. It would be a major gift for them!

So--what would you include on a winter cooking school for kids list? What do you want your kids to be able to make when they are out on their own?

Quiltin' Mama  – (August 23, 2012 at 10:25 PM)  

We frequently talk about this at home. My kids are 12,16,18 so it has been fodder for years now. " What could you make for yourself if you had to?"
Being involved in Scouts heavily and cooking at Genesee Country Museum has afforded them all ample opportunity as well as at home. Basic eggs and grilled cheese are the standbys for new Boy Scouts to learn - most have no idea how to do anything at all. Realizing that a pancake can be burnt and raw all at the same time is just a few awakenings . . .The Teens Cook and College Cooking by Megan and Jill Carle have been very appealing to my kids. Clear, concise and attractive recipes. We also take for granted that my kids know the basic purpose of things like eggs, Flour, Baking soda etc.. how to measure dry and wet. So many little things. Your list looks great and the Youth will be lucky to learn from your family.

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