Join us in - The Summer Kitchen

As I have mentioned before Summer at the Anarchy Estate is different. It's goal is laid back with lots to interesting stuff to do but at more relaxed pace that affords us time to just enjoy life. Of course this never means that brains rot or all day cartoon fests are permitted. Education never needs to end and to that point each Summer we work on a new life skill of some sort.

This year we have decided on cooking and budgeting as an area of focus for the Summer. Each week the boys are each given a crisp new $20* bill from which they have to make dinner for our family. The meal needs to include a main dish, a side dish, a salad and if possible a dessert.  Greg is Tuesdays and Sam is Thursdays and I cook the rest of the nights!

The boys were given two cook books to work from The Dinner Doctor and Sandra Lee's 20 Minute Meals.  These books were chosen due to their simple but flavorful recipes and their ease of instruction. I had started off letting them use any of my cook books but saw the error of my ways when Sam asked where he could buy eel.  Sam at 10 is WAY more adventurous an eater than most 40 year olds and while I love to try new stuff I thought we needed to rein things in a bit.

Week 1 has come and gone, first was the shopping.
Can you tell that Sam is all about the plaid?

Each boy did their own shopping from the list they made. I went and did the other shopping and they found me when they were done and they had checked out (by themselves) They are permitted to use coupons, in store specials and any ingredients that happen to be in the house but must otherwise buy all the food needed with that crisp $20 bill.

Next came the cooking.

Greg decided on making Shrimp and Grits  and here you see that his hand is a blur as he makes sure that the grits are totally lump free!

While not the most tidy cook Sam was exacting in making sure to follow the Dinner Doctor instructions for how much fresh Parsley was to be added and at what point!  Sam only asked for help on one thing - to drain the heavy pasta pot full of boiling water and hot Ziti. This was a good call and while I let them do anything they feel they can accomplish safely I do encourage everyone to teach their kids proper use of all kitchen equipment!

The meals were both wonderful!  And both boys came in under budget.

Sam is looking pretty serious about getting to eat!

On Greg's night we ate in the kitchen. Spring had thrown a curve ball in the way of a couple of cold days so the shrimp with garlic and bacon were divine over the hot grits. He served a fruit salad with it and he had made brownies for dessert.  After the meal he realized that he had forgotten to serve the spinach, but so it goes!

On Sam's night...

Sam made Ziti with Salmon and an Arugula salad with roasted asparagus and red pepper strips and we ate out on the porch since the wonderful Spring weather had returned.

I can't wait to see what they make next week!

Do you let your kids cook? 


Theresa said...

Someday there will be a daughter-in-law who will love you! Perhaps I'll give this idea a whirl with Dacey who is just itching to make her mark in the kitchen.

Unknown said...

I LOVE it! What an amazing idea!!! I am definitely going to implement this idea in the future. For now I am starting my own little cooking adventure. Monday is my day off, so every Monday I have committed to making a new dish. I am very excited about it!

SewCalGal said...

Maddie this is a great exercise for your kids. I did learn to cook when I was young, but I didn't learn the budgeting process until I was out on my own. I like that you walk them thru all aspects, in a life skills approach.

Meal looks yummy too.


Audrey Pettit said...

Oh, wow! This is so awesome, Maddie! I just love this post! I am so proud of your boys, and of you for all these life skills you are teaching your kids. I think I'm sadly lacking in teaching mine kitchen skills. But you've got me thinking........
Thanks for that. :)