The family that eats together stays together. We have all heard of that before. But I would like to say “The family that cooks together stays together.” Wondering how to achieve this, when eating together itself is an impossible feat?
My family loves to cook – every one of them, including my 10 year old son and 14 year old daughter. They have been cooking since they were 7 or 8 years old. My husband and I love cooking together during weekends and that’s probably how our kids got interested in cooking too. We started involving them as our little helpers, peeling potatoes for aloo parathas, shredding carrots for easy wraps, preparing salad plates with cucumber and tomatoes, etc. We started planning meals that could involve them in helping us, and slowly, the interest set in. Even our favourite family shows are cooking shows. The last season of Master Chef Australia and Junior Master Chef were watched till the grand finale with nail-biting excitement.
Then came the part of allowing them to cook with fire… though I was very scared and skeptical about allowing them anywhere near the gas stove. I started by giving them a big talk on fire safety, gas leak, do’s and don’ts and other precautions. Then I let them work alongside me with watchful eyes supervising them closely. I soon gained confidence that they can handle the stove efficiently, though they are still not allowed to cook anything in my absence. Safety is of utmost importance and we cannot take a chance with that. You have to make sure they strictly adhere to the rules of safety.
Now, what if I tell you, that together, my kids can whip-up a 5 course meal all by themselves; and mind you, it won’t be a simple dal, rice and subzi. It’s got to be German, Italian or Mexican themed, with a salad, 3 main courses and a desert. My daughter can bake a mean chocolate cake, wonderful melt-in-your-mouth donuts and beautiful cupcakes with the passion of a keen baker. From researching for a recipe, watching cooking videos to get the nuances right, my kids do all the planning before embarking on the day’s cooking project. When it comes to cooking, even their ‘Tom and Jerry’ sibling rivalry disappears, and they are like two musketeers who are partners in crime and whose only mission is making that dinner ready, without giving out the secret…
So here come some of our family favourites:
Vanilla-and-chocolate Zebra Cake
BBQ Chicken: The All-Time Favourite
Homemade Apple Pie
Fresh Italian Salad
Chicken Fried Rice