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ds(12) wants to learn how to cook

(15 Posts)
mimsum Wed 24-Jun-09 09:35:57

ds1 has surprised me by asking if he can learn how to cook during the holidays - he breaks up three weeks before his siblings so I was wondering what on earth I was going to do with him ...

Can anyone recommend a good, basic cookery book which is pre-teen-boy-friendly? He's basically vegetarian but will eat fish and doesn't like anything "mushy" ...


flamingobingo Wed 24-Jun-09 09:40:50

Can't you just let him help you in the kitchen every evening?

Mine have been learning how to cook since they were born! As soon as they can stand on chair they've been 'helping' me. Oldest is only 6, so can't use the cooker on her own, but is really good at knowing what to do when with some meals, and just needs help from me with the hot stuff. As does DD2 (4). They can both bake a simple sponge cake on their own - just needing me to stick it in the oven!

Just include him with everything you do. Choose recipes together from BBC Good Food website, which lets you choose recipes according to difficulty (as well as loads of other categories).

mistlethrush Wed 24-Jun-09 10:06:47

Second FB - ds has been 'helping' since he was 14mo... so at 12 I anticipate that I'll be able to leave him to it.

Ds is now 4 and particularly likes making pizza (and eating it) which is easy to do. Also helps with bread regularly. CHopping up veg for different things (we have a food chopper that he can just about use and keeps his fingers away from the blades - and a special knife that won't cut skin for some reason). Risotto is another easy thing to cook that he likes.

Rose Elliot appears to be connected with this book - she is a really good vegetarian recipe writer to look out for

and this one looks good too

mimsum Wed 24-Jun-09 10:35:41

well it's all very well being smug but that's not going to be very much use right now is it? <tongue in cheek emoticon>

actually ds1 did "help" when he was little but the novelty wore off pretty quickly and as he's got TS and AS, I've learned to pick my battles and frankly until he wants to learn to do something, I steer well clear!

he likes reading and I thought if he had a book of his own he could do his own stuff rather than relying on me all the time - I'll have a dig through amazon

sadly risotto is definitely in the mushy category so although the rest of us love it, we'll have to wait a long, long time for ds to cook it for us!

mistlethrush Wed 24-Jun-09 10:48:02

I thought I had been quite helpful and linked to two books, one of which is collected by a vegetarian cookery writer that I know is good, and the other specifically aimed at the sort of age range your ds is. However, if that's not good enough, do feel free to ignore helpful suggestions. You can hardly call pizza mushy.

Lancelottie Wed 24-Jun-09 10:48:46

We have this book, which might be aimed at slightly younger children, but doesn't have too much wimpy stuff about going and getting an adult -- just tells you to take care with the hot/pointy/boiling things. It's about my level of cookery...

All the recipes so far have been vv tasty, and quite a few are veggie.

flamingobingo Wed 24-Jun-09 10:54:41

Oh FGS! I was only trying to say what can be acheived by children just being involved in regular cooking, rather than making it a specific learning thing.

Won't bother next time!

Hope he enjoys whatever you do work out for him.

claricebeansmum Wed 24-Jun-09 10:56:40

DS (12) likes to cook too. Sam Stern books are excellent - they are "proper" recipes and quite a bit of variety and because Sam Stern is a young lad DS sees this as acceptable.

TrillianAstra Wed 24-Jun-09 11:11:59

<puts on teacher voice>

You over there, stop being smug about how you've taught your children to cook from the minute they could sit upright and just answer the question for the situation as it stands.

And you, OP, don't be over-sensitive and thank them for the useful suggestions that they did make.

<takes off teacher voice>

The BBC Good food website is very good and useful. You can set DS loose on there and print off recipes that look good to put into a folder. As well as learning to cook you should go round the shops together to buy ingredients so he knows about shopping/budgeting etc (I would say getting the right cuts of meat if he wasn't vegetarian)

mimsum Wed 24-Jun-09 11:29:10

grin TrillianAstra

sorry MT and FB - I've re=read my second post and realised I'd forgotten to thank you for your suggestions - thought I had, that'll teach me not to preview before hitting submit <slaps self>

although I thought the tongue in cheek bit was a bit of a clue that I wasn't being serious?!

on a philosophical note, there were all sorts of things I thought ds would be doing now based on what he was doing or liked when he was 4 or 6 [sigh] ... just goes to show you can't necessarily expect everything to go to plan

mistlethrush Wed 24-Jun-09 11:53:13

Mimsmum - if you had continued with what you've said now, I'm sure we'd both have taken the toungue in cheek bit more seriously wink - however, the way it read it didn't come across like that! I've glanced at the Sam Stern books - they do look good too - however, I don't know how many vege and fishy recipes they will have in - which is why I recommended the ones I did.

For pizza we normally do our bread dough in the mixer, but you can do it by hand anyway - flour, 'quick' yeast, 2tsp salt, warm water (not hot - will kill yeast) - add sufficient water to make a dough and knead. For pizza dough I add 2tbls olive oil - and stretch and push it out on a pizza stone (or baking tray) Pizza topping - fry off onion, add 2 tins chopped tomato and herbs if required - simmer until reduced. On top of the tomato you can put whatever you want...

mistlethrush Wed 24-Jun-09 11:54:19

Oh - btw, ds tells me he is going to be a superhero when he is bigger - so I do know that there are things that he is telling us now that won't happen when he is older grin

Libra Wed 24-Jun-09 11:58:12

I second the BBC Good Food website suggestion.

DS1 cooks for us a couple of times a week when on holiday from school. He finds the recipe online (once he has got up!), emails me the list of ingredients, then I shop on my way home from work and just hand them over when I walk in the house.

You can search by ingredient or type of cuisine.

LouLovesAeroplaneJelly Wed 24-Jun-09 12:12:42

Start with the basics. My dad is a chef and we were not allowed to cook until we could do all the basics (my life was like an apprecticeship). Make sure he can cut properly etc. Teach him to clean as he goes. Let him help you. E.g. He can make the salad etc. I know it is mundane but there is no point him making a roast if he cant boil an egg. Buy a basic cookbook. There are some good ones out there aimed at boys and uni students. Very simple good food.

BCNS Wed 24-Jun-09 12:21:12

DS2 (10) want to be a chef.. he come in the kitchen with me to help peel and chop etc he comes round the shops with me and help choose the food.. and help grow veg in the garden.

what I did with the ds's which they found fun was give them £10 and tell them they could choose what they wanted to cook, they were to get the food, prepare and cook for a family of 5! LOL.. they had a whale of a time..seriously loved it.. and with the basic skills they already had.. we had a beef roast with yorkshires etc and a fruit salad with a lime and kiwi dressing!

ds2 has collared me to show him how to make pofiteroles over the holidays.

I think it's more about learning to know the basics, getting good knife skills, knowing what tastes go together, knowing lots about food etc.. and the cooking just comes with it.

why not ask your ds what he would like to know.. and set to it.. it's great 1-1 time !

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