Teaching your Child to Cook over the Internet

How to teach your child to cook

As a mother I taught my three kids the basics of cooking at home in our kitchen. They learned how to peel, chop and cook fresh vegetables. I taught them how to select and cook different meats. Standing in our kitchen showing them how to do things came natural to me because it seems like I’ve been in a kitchen my whole life.  The boys stuck with what interested them, mostly freezer to oven type food. The older boy learned more as he got older and moved out of the house. I guess he started wanting a little variety in his meals. He’s a quick learner and thinks logically so he didn’t have much trouble using what he already knew to figure out what he needed on new things. My younger son is now eleven and is happy with whatever you put on the table, but does know how to fix some of the things he wants. He’s still learning such things as using something other than pre-sliced American cheese in grilled cheese sandwiches.  Part of the fun of teaching is seeing them learn by experimenting.

The thing that is new to me is how my daughter is learning to cook things she hasn’t had experience with. She already knows enough to fix something different every day of the month, but there are things that for one reason or another she just never learned to do on her own. She is now eighteen and has moved out. When she wants to cook something she isn’t sure of she sends me an instant message.

Instant messaging is something I’ve recently learned but learned quickly when I started getting messages like “how do I bread pork chops for the oven when I don’t have bread crumbs?”  or “what goes into your peanut butter cookies?”  When she is in the grocery store I get picture messages of products asking if it is the right thing or the right size.

I have run into a few problems while trying to explain some things. If she were standing in the kitchen next to me it would be easy to show her how much I mean when I say “a dab” or “a smidge”, but when typing I have to think about something that is equivalent. Telling her how much cornstarch to use for thickening the liquid in her crock-pot was a challenge. 

Among other things, I have managed to teach her to make her own bread crumbs, make gravy and cooked dried black-eyed peas, all in instant messages.  It’s a new world we live in today and as a parent I’m learning to adapt. When I was calling my mom to ask how to cook this or that I never imagined one day I’d be teaching my daughter the same things in ways that hadn’t even been invented yet.