Closer Look: Cooking

The things that can make mothering and homeschooling so special is that one has time to spend with one’s children. We get to know our children as they grow. We watch them as they learn to master all kinds of skills from reading to riding bikes or driving a car. There is an intimacy we share that comes from sheer time spent together in everyday things like cooking a meal or raking leaves. - Marty Layne

I have many wonderful memories of the times I’ve shared creating meals or baking favorite treats with my family during the holidays. Since we are homeschoolers, we have had plenty of time each season to slow down and have fun as we prepared for upcoming gatherings with families and friends. Our times together in the kitchen have provided us the opportunity to visit, experiment with chemistry, explore other cultures, investigate math, develop family traditions and so much more.

While visiting the local library this week I took a quick trip to the cooking section to see what I might find. I found several, but a few looked interesting enough for me to check out. I brought home Emeril’s There’s a Chef in My World!: Recipes That Take You Places by Emeril Lagasse; The Kids’ Multiculture Cookbook by Deanna F. Cook; Kids Around the World Cook! The Best Foods and Recipes from Many Lands by Arlette N. Braman and I was happy to see they still carried two of our favorites, The Little House and The Boxcar Children Cookbooks. I also brought home Making great gingerbread houses : delicious designs from cabins to castles, from lighthouses to tree houses. We always make our gingerbread houses out of canned frosting, graham crackers and candy, but maybe if I leave this book laying around for a few weeks we’ll attempt something a bit fancier this year!

Whether you are cooking an every day meal, exploring other cultures, or planning your upcoming holiday meals, I hope some of these articles and resources are enjoyable! Bon appetit!

Articles

Older Kids Do-It-Yourself Group Activities for Teenagers – Cafi Cohen

Gourmet Clubs
If you have ever joined an adult gourmet group, you know the basics – theme, time, place, cooking assignments. Any interested teen can organize a phone/e-mail list of teenagers, decide on a theme, find a site (usually a home), and set a meal date. Research recipes at the local library. Depending on the theme, participants either (1) cook at home and bring a meal contribution or (2) cook at the meal site. Either way, everybody eats! It need not even be a meal. Instead, build gatherings around appetizers or dessert.

Five Steps to Unschooling – Joyce Kurtak Fetteroll

There’s oodles of science in cooking. Why does heat make the white of an egg turn from clear liquid to solid white? What process turns liquid cake into poofy air-filled solid cake? Don’t worry if you don’t know the answers.

Self-Directed Learning by Cafi Cohen

Why is it important to encourage self-directed activity? Because self-directed activity leads to self-directed learning. Examples from our house included drawing, reading, hiking, re-arranging furniture, cooking and baking, planning meals, working with educational computer programs like Sim-City, corresponding via e-mail, caring for pets, fixing things around the house, and cycling.

The Homeschool Kitchen – Christine Gable

Amidst the incomplete sentences, algebraic equations, hands-on history projects and baskets of laundry that miraculously seem to multiply in the course of a homeschooling parent’s day, there is the ever-present need to feed a hungry family. Wouldn’t it be great to open the pantry or fridge and have inspiration strike at mealtime?

Join me for cooking ideas and nutritional tips that rely on basic whole foods; we’ll create tasty meals from that same old, uninspiring cupboard stock. With family-friendly recipes and hints, before long, young and old will be measuring, chopping, sauteing and stirring together!

Supplements Are The Key! by Lois Szymanski

Canning and cooking become adventures in home economics. Grocery shopping becomes an adventure in couponing and comparative shopping.

The Things I Really Want My Kids to Learn - Sue Smith-Heavenrich

I started thinking about this the other day when a friend asked me, “What do you think every girl ought to know?”

“I’ve got guys,” I told her, “but I think I’d put ‘making your own lunch’ at the top of the list.” Knowing how to make a tuna sandwich or whip up a pot of macaroni is as important as knowing how to divide fractions. Maybe even more important.

Fortuic Acid by Natalie Mortensen

He was quieter than usual at lunch, staring across the table at his brother Kellen, eight. I wondered what was brewing behind those large blue eyes. Silently he slid out of his chair and into the kitchen. He began rummaging in the utensil drawer. He picked out the largest wooden spoon he could find, hopped back up to the sink and began to stir.

Kellen moseyed over. “Hey, Tristan,” he asked, “what’s that gonna be–fortuic acid?”

I looked up from sponging off the table. Fortuic acid?

For the next half hour both boys asked for supplies for their concoction. Tristan, on the verge of learning to use a knife. successfully cut up celery and half a banana. Kellen chopped the more difficult carrots and walnuts into minute pieces. After he had used a quarter-size measuring cup to fill the glass four-cup measure, he turned to me, a smile on his face.


Resources

HEM Recipes - The Homeschool Kitchen – Online!

The book lover’s cookbook : recipes inspired by celebrated works of literature and the passages that feature them by Shaunda Kennedy Wenger & Janet Kay Jensen

Kids Cooking in the USA - Recipes from all 50 States

A-Z Homes Cool Cooking Kids’ Recipes

Homeschooling on a Shoestring Recipes

Cooking with Kids Videos

Food and Literature from PBS

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