A few years ago, when Emma was having trouble with fractions (which is bigger: 2/3 or 3/4?), the director of her school–a very smart woman, whose advice, on the rare occasions I seek it, makes me think for just a nanosecond that the $24,000 tuition is worth every penny–suggested we cook together. We do, I assured her. No…really cook, where Emma does everything, not just assist or grease the pans. So we started Friday Cooking School. On Thursday nights, after homework for the week was done, we got under the comforter and went through my recipes, picking an entree and a dessert to make for dinner the next night. After school on Friday, we went to the one or two grocery stores needed to get all the ingredients, and got to work.
To this day, we plot and plan our Cooking Schools, usually under the covers, the bed piled with cookbooks and recipes, the TV tuned to The Food Network, and now that it’s winter we have a fire going, too. Sometimes we invite friends (mine and hers) to join us; usually it’s just our thing. Often, when I think Emma is on iChat, I find that she’s scouring The Food Network web site for recipes we can try together, or that she can now make on her own.
So many life lessons learned:
- The importance of reading directions carefully.
- The importance of reading ALL the directions before you begin doing anything.
- Number of ounces/tablespoons/teaspoons in a cup/pint/quart/pound, etc.
- If you mess up, chances are you can fix with a little creativity, imagination and know-how.
- How to double–or halve–a recipe…and fractions and mixed numbers.
- Learning relative values of fractions.
- Learning patience with each other, and letting mommy teach without saying “I know” over and over.
- Learning how absolutely wonderful mommy is (because I am not above pointing out that I’ve taken the whole afternoon off to do this, and what other mommies are doing that?)
- Loving doing anything together.
Here are some of our favorite things we’ve made: