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Does you au pair cook?

(24 Posts)
kittywise Mon 22-Sep-08 14:29:07

Either for the dc's or the whole family?

Just wondering if I should start introducing the idea to mine!

jurahasfoundthehiggsboson Mon 22-Sep-08 15:25:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kittywise Mon 22-Sep-08 15:59:36

hmm, food for though, s'cuse pungrin I did mention it earlier today and she looked rather alarmed. She's very sweet and tries hard but isn't what I would call proactive.
If she hasn't learned to cook then there's not a lot I can do about it. i guess i should ask her what she would feel comfortable doing

jurahasfoundthehiggsboson Mon 22-Sep-08 16:28:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OneLieIn Mon 22-Sep-08 16:31:27

Nutella on toast!

Seriously she has started cooking pasta and sauce which is for the DCs.

Weegle Mon 22-Sep-08 16:40:55

Yes - Monday night is AP's cooking night. We all eat together so she cooks for the whole family. She chooses what to cook (from her book/internet/my recipe books) and adds the ingredients to the weekly shopping list. It's basic, but perfectly edible and she's improving. Several other nights a week she will help me with meal preparation (when I ask) and from that she's learning. It's working well with this one who is keen to learn to cook. Our last one (well discounting the disaster!) was willing but not actually very good! So she was best being asked to do things like peel potatoes! I managed to teach her one meal well before she went home and that was quite an achievement!

CatMandu Mon 22-Sep-08 16:43:05

I had three au pairs two couldn't cook, one said she could and I was really looking forward to it. The first thing she did was chicken which was uncooked in the middle. She wasn't allowed after that.

Issy Mon 22-Sep-08 16:53:47

Yes, very well. I produced a one week menu and a weekly shopping list and she cooks to that. We're into our third week now and so will try to extend it to a two week menu, incorporating our au pair's ideas. After some early discussion we shifted our schedule to a Hungarian schedule: a large meal in the middle of the day and a smaller meal in the evening. So now our au pair cooks a 'proper' lunch for DH, herself, her partner (we have an aupair couple) and, if I'm working from home, for me. We all eat it together and generally save some for the DDs for their tea. DH and I then have a light meal in the evening which I cook throw together.

So far it's working well. I'm only home for lunch a couple of days a week but I need the least food! It's rather civilised for the adults to eat lunch together and leaves the evenings for both couples to be alone together.

kittywise Mon 22-Sep-08 17:14:04

I went down a little while ago and said "so,what are you going to cook for us then,aupair"? [wink}

She has picked out something from the Able and Cole book. The meals there are simple and easy to make. Oh I've a Nigella express too, must show her that!

googgly Mon 22-Sep-08 17:38:22

imo if you can read you can cook. Jamie Oliver is pretty user friendly. I often get my aps to make pizza with the kids, so they can spread the sauce on and sprinkly the cheese and whatever else they want on it.

HarrietTheSpy Mon 22-Sep-08 19:08:46

Pizza is a really great idea...

I've horded some old Annabelle Karmel's my friend was going to get rid of - they have photos. When the time comes, I thought this might help...

DadInsteadofMum Mon 22-Sep-08 19:12:35

Ap cooks, last one was French and struggled with bland food for English kids, she kept trying to make it interesting. Current AP is Dutch and copes very well with bland food.

She only cooks for Dcs, sometimes she eats with them sometimes with me in which case I cook.

ingles2 Mon 22-Sep-08 20:51:07

not really,... I would make spag bol etc etc and ask them to reheat with very very clear instructions.
I had a german AP who gave herself terrible food poisoning (camphlyobactor) sp? with meat she hadn't cooked properly. That put me off slightly when I realised she had no idea about food hygiene and safety. It's worth printing off the food standards sheets about it and going through with your AP

Julesnobrain Mon 22-Sep-08 23:10:14

ha ha LOL AP's cooking . My last AP's idea of a meal was raw carrots smothered in tomarto ketchup and current AP has just eaten yet another jar of American giant pickles, with 10 slices of processed cheese DH brought for his burgers.. yuk! and a loaf of bread.. that was just for lunch !! however if she made our meals I would be the size of a house, completely skint and would probably look like a pickle. No thanks I couldn't cook when I was in my early 20's and have found they can't either.. So unless they show an interest I wouldn't ask.

HarrietTheSpy Tue 23-Sep-08 09:52:44

Jules
It sounds like you're also a fan of Costco from what you just described. LoL giant pickles and the cheese!!!

WHere is your AP from?

kittywise Tue 23-Sep-08 17:13:59

Well she is cooking now, it smells rather nice, chicken with walnuts and butternut squash a la Able and Cole. I'm sure the kids will refuse ithmm. I'll have to shout at them!!

Ooh it's "dinner time"!!!

Simply Tue 23-Sep-08 19:48:45

That's a good point ingles about food hygience, thanks. Good to see you, btw! smile

My current ap cooked tea for us tonight, her second meal. It helped that I was working at the kitchen table at the time so was here to help as needed. It was great and boosted her confidence I think. I know that she may take longer than I would and she is learning but I'm keen to encourage her. I'd love for her to cook for us all and it's a good way of her eating food she enjoys so long as it's something we can all eat, too.

ingles2 Tue 23-Sep-08 21:35:17

<mini hijack>
Hi Simply grin
How are you? New AP?

cheapskatemum Tue 23-Sep-08 22:14:57

So far she's cooked lasagne - her suggestion - and DCs loved it. Tomorrow she's cooking tortellini, which are rather helpfully on offer at Morrison's this week. Last AP cooked us lots of German specialities, which we ate with relish.

Simply Tue 23-Sep-08 22:17:22

Hi ingles. I'll e-mail you now so we can catch up on news a bit!

blueshoes Tue 23-Sep-08 22:27:36

No. The last aupair made it clear she was not good at cooking. Dh and I are quite particular that we will only eat food cooked to a reasonably high standard, so quite prepared to cook it ourselves and we do. Having said that, current Swedish aupair is cooking the family Swedish meatballs tomorrow - awaiting with eager anticipation ...

Kitty, cooking for a family (as opposed to just herself and dcs) can be quite intimidating if your aupair is not used to it. I cook 4 adult portions per meal and it is definitely something that gets better with practice, especially re: cooking the right amount per meal to avoid wastage or excess leftovers.

I imagine menu planners are in the minority to begin with amongst mnetters. So to expect an aupair, who is not familiar with British ingredients, to choose menus in advance, do a shopping list with an estimate how much pasta and ingredients to buy/cook for 5 meals a week is quite a lot to ask. But who knows, you might get lucky smile

ingles2 Wed 24-Sep-08 10:46:45

Good point about wastage Blueshoes...
we once had a male AP for the summer. I asked him to cook spaghetti and left a sauce to go with it. Anyway it was one of those monster packets of spaghetti and of course he cooked the entire packet for himself and the 2 dc's. When I got in, every single bowl and colander in the house was overflowing with cooked pasta. I'm not joking it was everywhere!
The look on his face was a picture and it still sends the dc's into fits of hysterics every time we have spaghetti grin

kittywise Wed 24-Sep-08 11:43:11

Well meal was successful yesterday. She could follow the recipe well and it was very nice to be able to hang around with kids rather than cooking.

You are right blueshoes about helping ut with quantities etc. I gave her pointers and will let her look through the book and decide what she would like to do smile

blueshoes Wed 24-Sep-08 11:54:59

hi kitty, that is great. It sounds like the way forward. Envying you smile

lol, ingles2. They do add colour, these young people, don't they? 'Remember the time xyz did such-and-such?' - hilarious, even though not so at the time ...

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