I picked up the idea from a very good friend of mine, Wen. The idea is to make the kids learn how to cook and prepare meals. I think it’s important for both girls and boys to know how to cook. This summer, the kids will cook at least 10 dishes. That does not count frying something from a can. They will be responsible for picking out and buying the ingredients, preparing and cooking the food. They get to choose what to cook. I will only be there to supervise them.
Why are we doing this? First of all, I want them to learn a basic life skill – cooking. Anywhere you go, whatever you end up doing, you will have to cook, for yourself, for your family. Now is a good time to start learning. Secondly, the experience will (hopefully) make them more appreciative of the effort it takes to put a meal on the table. So the next time they feel like complaining about something, I hope they will remember how it feels to be on the other side. Thirdly, I want them to be more involved in household chores during the summer. They don’t get to do much during the school year because of their hectic schedules. But during the summer vacation, they will have to go back to their assigned chores. I believe that doing household chores builds character and fosters the spirit of doing things for each other.
The first dish they chose to prepare was Sinigang na Baboy. Sinigang is a Filipino dish with a sour soup. Viands commonly used are pork, fish and shrimp. For this dish, the kids chose to use pork. We went to the grocery to buy the meat and vegetables. Following the recipe that I use, the kids worked together to cook this dish. Of course, it would have taken less time and effort if I had done it myself. But the point was to make them learn to do this on their own. This was the finished product.
There wasn’t enough soup because they left the pot uncovered for some time. The vegetables were not uniformly sliced. But it tasted good. They’re learning and having fun while doing so. Pretty good start, I would think.