Today was technically one of my off days. If you don't remember, I work part-time for a theatre.
In actuality, Thursdays are my errand days which is...You guessed it! Work. I spend all morning taking care of the grocery shopping, taking the boy to story time, doing more grocery shopping and handling any other errands that need to be accomplished. Not to mention any household chores that have to be done: laundry, dishes, cleaning and chasing after the boy. As you can imagine, I’m pretty tired by the end of the afternoon. Cooking is the last thing on my mind.
I could have ordered a pizza, but my hubby would have not been too happy about that. He would have said, “I’m messing with his budget.” So I decided to use my other back-up plan. I put my girls in charge of the dinner making tonight. I needed a break and I knew it was a task that they could handle.
What was on the menu? Shrimp tacos.
It’s a fairly simple meal that doesn’t require too much work. All the meal calls for is shrimp, tortillas, cheese and salsa.
First they started with the shrimp. Baby girl was in charge of peeling and rinsing. I’m not sure why she likes doing this, but as long as I didn't have to, does it really matter as to why?
Next, Kitten had to season the shrimp. She used salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, Mexican seasoning and coconut oil.
Tossed and coated evenly.
Then Kitten cooked the shrimp in a bit of coconut oil until they were no longer pink. While those were cooking, she started browning the tortillas, again using coconut oil.
Because this recipe doesn’t take long to finish, it was time for Baby girl to set the table (with some extra flare). We are fans of topping our tacos with salsa, sour cream and cheese. We also had leftovers of pinto and black beans with rice and corn. Yum!
Dinner is served!
Having our kids cook isn't anything new. They've been making meals for about a year now. I think it's important for them to do so because it teaches them about:
Working together. Because they are a few years apart, they don't like doing too much together anymore (mainly due to the tween). It gives them an opportunity to spend some time together while working as a team.
Being thoughtful. They've had a couple of instances where the meals were burnt and inedible. This happened because they wanted to rush the process and they weren't thinking about their loved ones or themselves needing to eat the meal. They learned not hurrying through the task showed they cared.
Having patience. Adding on to the previous point, cooking can't be rushed. They have to slow down to make sure every step is completed if they want the meal to turn out right.
Following directions. They don't always listen, but at least when cooking I know they will follow the directions. They don't want to mess it up, because again, they're being thoughtful. And they want it to taste good.
Being proud. They enjoy being able to present a meal for us. It gives them a sense of pride to know they accomplished such a huge feat. Adults usually are the ones who handle making meals and here they were able to do it and do it well.
I must say it was nice to have the evening off from having to cook. The girls did a great job! They always do. They enjoy hearing us rave about how delicious the meal was. And Baby girl makes sure to remind us to always say, "thank you."
I love that it's not just teaching them how to put something together on a plate. In addition to the above, cooking teaches them how to take care of themselves, their parents and one day in the way off future - a family of their own.
Wait, I forgot there's more learning to do. I'm going to have them bake some blueberry muffins. Learning is awesome and tasty.
Do your children cook?