Cooking 101 for Your College-Bound Child
Teach your children the basics and beyond
Together we chose recipes that the kids loved, and that were healthy and
easy to prepare. Mediterranean Pasta was their hands-down
favorite, and it has been prepared for family and friends numerous times.
We discussed what goes into a well-stocked
pantry, and the importance of having all the ingredients measured before
you start cooking, and of cleaning as you go.
Each day, we prepared an item or two (which we usually ate for dinner) until
we checked off all of these items on our curriculum:
Breakfast foods. Popular with most teenagers and easy to prepare,
these were first on the list. Pancakes, omelets, and scrambled eggs are easy
Beverages, ranging from a good cup of coffee to steeping hot and
Baked goods, including Mom's favorite oatmeal cookies, as well as
muffins, breads, and doctoring cake mixes.
Pasta cooking techniques, including quick-and-easy sauces and
various combinations to increase vegetables and fiber in the meal.
Seasonings, including tips on cutting an onion, mincing garlic and
fresh herbs, as well as a list of cupboard must-haves.
Grilling basics for poultry, steaks, burgers, and vegetables,
suitable for the portable grill.
Soups, stews, and crock pot dishes. All make inexpensive,
nutritious, and filling meals.
Ethnic cuisine, including favorite recipes for tacos, spaghetti, and
simple stir-fry dishes.
Multiple ways to prepare chicken and ground beef.
Simple salads that can serve as side dishes or main meals.
Handle With Care
Kids in the kitchen are not always the neatest, and germs run rampant on
college campuses. You can't be too careful when it comes to proper food
handling.Mom 101 (and my daughter's advanced-level course, Mom 201) put great
emphasis on the importance of proper dishwashing, soaking utensils, and
cleaning up after meals. Food safety, hand washing, cleaning of sponges and
cutting boards, sanitizing the workspace, proper food storage, leftovers, and
using thermometers in both the freezer and refrigerator were addressed.
One More Thing Before You Leave
It was difficult for me to say good-bye to my son three years ago, and it's
going to be even harder when I take my daughter to school this fall. Spending
this special time with each of my children gave me a wonderful opportunity to
impart some domestic wisdom, but, more important, it was cherished time to be