Monday, 14 January 2013

I've said before that my endless drive to and from work affords me time to think. This week I've been going over business ideas and I keep coming back to teaching kids ( and adults if they want) the basics of cooking. Too many families rely on quick foods and takeout to get a meal on the table. I'd like to create a program where I teach teenagers five fairly simple recipes that will make them self-sufficient in the kitchen. They can cook for themselves when left alone and hoefully take over at least one meal a week to help out their parents.
I forced this on my children at an early age, 12, I was working deadly retail hours and felt that I shouldn't have to come home and make dinner as well. I assigned one meal a week to each of my fabulous four. I'll admit that some took to the task more enthusiatically than others. Jess loves to cook. Her first meals were simple but dinner was on the table and it was quite tasty. Jenn wasn't interested in learning to cook. If I left clear instructions they would be followed but creativity didn't come into it. Jeff also took to cooking taking over much of the cooking once the girls moved out. Greg is my biggest challenge. Never one to do anything without a discussion/debate the thought of putting together a meal on his own never enters his head. Soup and grilled cheese is about the extent of his talents. So, I have experience in trying to light the culinary fire in kids.
I spend a lot, and I mean a lot, of time on pinterest. I'm always looking at recipes to pick up new ideas. What I've learned is that few pinners bake from scratch! Cake mixes, fridge rolls and oreos seem to be the basis of many recipes. There was one " fabulous" slow cooker soup that involved opening at least five cans. My blood pressure rose just thinking about the sodium content! The idea of a slow cooker is to use raw foods that need time to cook, dried legumes, carrots, potatoes etc and simmer them slowly to release their flavour and nutrients. Add broth, herbs, fresh garlic and onions and you have an easy soup that makes your house smell wonderful and is ready for supper.
I grew up in time when packaged food was new and exciting. Mom would bring home the latest and greatest for us to try. Instant potatoes & Bisquick jump instantly to mind. Now I cringe when I think of them. Biscuits, pancakes, dumplings and yorkshire all stem from the same simple combo; eggs milk, flour and a fat ( in my house it's usually butter). If you need to have a mix let me blend up a natural version that keeps on the shelf.
These ideas along with some others that are percolating in my brain would make up a five class course. Recipe book with these and some other simple recipes would be provided as part of the class. Now, who thinks there's a market for this out there? How do I poll the kids to see if there'd be enough to make it worthwhile. I'm open to suggestion!

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