Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The First Cooking Lesson

My Mom could never be accused of being in the run for Ms. Susie Home Maker. She was not much of a cleaner, or cook when we were growing up, my sister and I did all the house work, mom worked full time. When she did cook, she thought everything had to be well done. Now her Idea of well done was black as charcoal. When I moved to SC , and would come home to visit, my hubby and my favorite joke was, "we didn't need an alarm clock to tell us it was time to get up, mom's smoke detector would wake us up." (True story).
So it was left to my Dad, and when I married my ex hubby, his Mom, to teach me how to cook, thank goodness, they were both excellent good old country cooks.
I am not a chef by any means but, people love to eat my cooking, my children come home, just to get mom's food, and my friends and other family members have always come to my house to eat. I do the Holiday dinners for our big family, and all of them can't wait for Thanksgiving and Christmas to come around, because I always try to make one favorite for everyone who comes.
Between my hubby and myself we have taught all our children who wanted to learn how to cook. So now my five adopted have decided they all want to learn how. I promised them that when school was out we would start their lessons. So Sunday was our start day. I asked who wanted to be first, and my 9 year old, Ariel Yelled the loudest, so on to the lesson.
Ariel is a bright girl, she learns fast, and retains things well, so I knew she would do well. I had already decided to do Country Style Steak, but I let her decide what sides to make along with it.
I got a notebook and put her name, the date etc. Then I told her to write out her menu.
She had the steak of course, rice and the gravy from the steak, corn on cob, black eyed peas, and biscuits....Yummy.
We started with the basics, she put her hair back, and washed her hands with soap and water, put on her apron that I had just received from a freebie. Mom is a stickler for cleanliness in the kitchen, no one will ever be afraid to eat something I cook.
I taught her to boil the meat to make it tender, then roll in flour and fry, all the steps to make the best Country steak ever. After each step I had her make notes, so she could go back to her notes anytime, or her siblings could, to recreate the meal.
I taught her what to cook first until last, so it would all come together at the same time. I was so proud of her, she was diligent from first to last, breading the steak, adding the ingredients for the delicious gravy, measuring the water and rice, adding a pinch of sugar to bring out the sweetness of the corn. She was awesome!
Now to plate and table, you should have heard the oohs and aahs, her brother said, "When I grow up I'm always gonna come to your house to eat, everyone ate until they were stuffed.
Was that the important thing in the cooking lesson? I say an absolute NO WAY!
The important things were, the time we got to spend bonding together, the pride she gained from seeing she could do it, the accomplishment, of starting something and finishing it, most important of all, THE MEMORIES, she will have.
I was so glad that Ariel was the first one to have a cooking lesson. All foster children have some sort of baggage they carry, hers is never feeling like what she does is good enough. She can make straight A's and still feel inadequate, tell her she is beautiful, and she doesn't see it, she did good at this, or that, no she could have done better. Not this time! Her chest stuck out, a big smile on her face, she was proud, and as her Mom and teacher, so was I.
Talk to my heart, tell me something memorable in your life, I would love to read your story.....

1 comment:

Marie said...

What a wonderful memory you created for your daughter. And one I'm sure she will never forget! But,please, next time you get my mouth watering for such a delicious sounding meal, PLEASE post the recipe too!!! LOL