Not long ago our usually excellent (by that I mean distinctly average) meal planning plunged to a new depths. You know those days when all plans unravel and change. Well, on one such day I came home from work, just after 5pm, and was greeted with having to whip up a meal for the 6 of us. You know, just like that. I don’t mind, I love to cook.
But, throw into the mix it was a Thursday and the cupboard and fridge we low on stocks what would I cook? Easy, every dads best friend – pasta. I produced a beautiful, Michelin Star restaurant standard spaghetti carbonara in about 20 minutes. Onion, bacon, egg yolks, Parmesan cheese (or cheddar if like us you like your carbonara distinctly English), salkt, pepper and of course spaghetti. Simple.
This week the eldest (14) girl got to make us all a meal. It was chicken Kievs and chips. The Kievs were frozen but she did make her own oven chips (let’s call them Italian potatoes to give them an edge). It was a perfectly enjoyable and tasty meal. The following night it was the turn of the 13 year old. Now, I thought the plan was cottage pie (i.e. shepherds pie but made with beef mince instead). However, on getting home it was to be carbonara and I was making it. “Oh no I’m not,” I insisted in pantomime fashion. I set about instructing the 13 y/o how to make this simple, yet delightful meal. First, chop the bacon into small pieces…..this is where it went wrong.
After 10 or so minutes the bacon was still being chopped and the meal was still as far in the distance as England winning a world cup. I had to step in. So I helped (read took over). I diced the onions, chopped the garlic and got it all going in the pan. Put the spaghetti on and then showed her how to seperate the egg yolks. She grated the cheese and then when it was all ready I put it together. Kind of a team effort in the end I guess.
My point is I have failed as a parent here. I should have been teaching them these simple cooking skills for a while not and haven’t – probably because they show zero interest in learning them and you can teach somebody who doesn’t want to be taught. But I still have failed.
So, in a not-so-new-years-resolution style I am determined to show them how to cook simple, hearty, healthy, balanced, delicious meals from scratch and not simply removing a pizza from a box and putting it in the oven.
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