Yesterday, my hubby and the baby girl came together and made up a menu and we, the baby girl and I, went out to store to get the chicken cutlets, potatoes, fresh picked sweet corn and string beans. When we got back home, after unloading the car and putting the groceries away, aside from the dinner’s ingredients, the cooking lesson began. My baby girl has done a lot of baking because, honestly, baking is more fun. Her cooking experience lies mainly with heating up tortellinis and raviolis and making French toast. The menu consisting of chicken cutlets, string beans, corn on the cob and mashed potatoes was something brand new.
I wanted to show my baby girl that not only was the method of cooking important but the timing was as well. So the first step that I showed her was to peel the four Idaho potatoes and to prepare the string beans and while we were doing that, to put two pots of salted water on the boil. Once the string beans and the peeled potatoes were in their respective pots, I showed my baby girl how to split the chicken cutlets in half and then pound them thin, thereby making them even in thickness and tenderizing them at the same time. She wanted them to be breaded, so I showed her how to customize the bread crumbs in flavor.
I showed her how to gauge the cooking process by sight, feel and smell and I explained that it’s really by experience that you get more confident with your cooking. She mashed the potatoes and added the milk and butter as well as the salt and pepper and she decided when they were just right. I quickly showed her how I sauté string beans, a splash of olive oil, a few smashed garlic cloves and the par-boiled string beans and toss them together with salt and pepper. The only thing that was left was to put the shucked corn into roiling boiling water for a few minutes.
After all this, dinner was served and everyone was impressed by the baby girl’s efforts. She did an excellent job and we had a very nice time together teaching and learning. I seriously had a fun time, it’s always nice to be with her anyway, but when it revolves around cooking and food, it makes it even better.