At some point in your young adult life, you’re going to have to learn how to cook. Plain and simple. Baking would probably be a good thing to learn as well, along with the ins-and-outs of a kitchen. Sure, you don’t have to be a chef, but being able to cook an edible meal without wasting ingredients is a must. You won’t always have money for TV dinners, and besides, TV dinners are filled with sodium, hardly filling, and usually end up looking disgusting.
So, if you’re a homeschooler (which you probably are, considering you’re on this website…) you most likely don’t have a specific home economics class. Now, some homeschool groups offer home-ec classes that are really helpful. BUT, if your group isn’t offering those classes….
There are a few ways to handle it. Your mom will probably be more than willing to give you a few tips on cooking – all you need to do is ask. Your sudden interest might surprise her, but no worries – this is a good thing. Or, if your dad is the one who cooks more in the family, ask him. Just go to whoever enjoys cooking more, and whoever is more willing to teach.
So, Step One? Ask. Simple. I know, to some people it seems like the world is going to end if they have to ask for help, but c’mon, it’s really not that hard. Besides, if your parents say no, you’re not any worse off.
Step Two. If they say yes, see if you can set aside a time during the day, or week for kitchen tips. At first, you should probably master kitchen safety and general times, so make sure you take notes. I have found it helpful in the past to keep a binder where I store all my notes, tips, and recipes. That way, it’s all in one place, and I don’t have to go looking all over my bedroom for it.
Step Three. Once you have mastered kitchen safety and basics, it’s time to start cooking. It may be best to start with making a dessert – something that is pretty forgiving. Such as brownies, or chocolate chip cookies. You may want to schedule a time to make at least one dessert once a week.
Step Four. After you feel pretty comfortable working the kitchen as you make your desserts, try a simple lunch. Cheese quesadillas are great for beginners! Plus, they’re forgiving. That’s the key in learning to cook – choose forgiving foods as you get going. You can also try tacos, macaroni and cheese, and other simple lunch meals. Make sure to include a fruit to go along with the meal so it’s rounded.
Step Five. Now that you have dessert and lunch mastered, move onto breakfast. Coffee cakes, pancakes, waffles, sausages, scrambled eggs, fried eggs, casseroles, and oatmeal are fairly easy breakfast foods, and if you follow the recipe, I’m sure your family will enjoy them. Just be sure to serve the hot food hot, and the cold food cold. Also, include fruit, and juice or milk to drink while eating the meal.
Step Six. You are now ready to move onto the toughest meal of them all – dinner. This meal is hardest because (most of the time) it requires multiple dishes that all have to be served at the same time, with the hot food hot, and the cold food cold. Learning to balance this takes lots of work and practice. Some people are naturals at it. It will probably take you a few years to get it down, but as long as the food is edible, don’t worry about it. I’m still learning how to juggle dinner, and I’ve been cooking off and on for several years. While you’re learning, ask your parents to help you prepare those dinners. As you go, you should be able to do more and more by yourself until you can prepare dinner completely on your own. Once you’re at that point, making dinners once or twice a week is a good start. I’m sure your mom (or dad if he’s the one who cooks more often) will enjoy the break, and you can start experimenting with recipes.
Step Seven. Have fun! Trying new recipes is always fun. Just know to scan a recipe when you think it might work. It’s always a good thing to make sure you have all the ingredients, and you understand all the terminology in the recipe before trying to make it.
So basically, key points in homeschooling home-ec are:
–Make sure you understand the recipe
–Practice once or twice a week with different meals until you feel comfortable.
Now, granted, this only covers the cooking portion of home-ec. Would you like me to post my thoughts on the sewing, laundry, and cleaning sections of it?? If so, comment below and let me know.