As promised (or threatened depending on your point of view) I have been endeavouring to teach the men-children the art of cooking. Not your high-end Masterchef type of cooking, but some simple dishes that will equip them with basic skills to survive in the kitchen, and that might even mean on a busy night we could call on the boys to help with preparing dinner.
A month back they had basically one meal in their repertoire – bacon and eggs. No surprise when you’re a teenage boy. Oh and two-minute noodles, if you count that as a “cooked meal”! They’re adept at making a hearty (or heart-stopping?) meal of fried eggs and bacon coupled with toast and lashings of that great Australian tradition – tomato sauce. Sadly they’re also adept at leaving the splattered remains all over the stove and the dirty frypan on the bench for Mother of a Man-Child to clean up.
So we began our own “Masterchef challenge”. Each week I have been trying to teach them a new meal to make. So week one was Mexican – pretty easy these days with the availability of kits, at least it has some salad greens in it, but go easy on the packet seasoning boys!
Week two was a curry. Again made easy with great curry pastes these days, and pick virtually any meat and vegetable combo and you’ve got yourself a hearty meal. And week three was a tuna pasta – again, nothing fancy, but a good carb-based meal for budding sports stars that can be put together readily with standard pantry items.
I’ve decided to tackle it one man-child at a time, one meal at a time. It’s too hard to have both of them trying to make a meal with me in the kitchen – as they say “too many cooks…..”.
And the results: so far we’ve had no food poisoning, and the meals have tasted just like the ones I make – since I’ve been standing over them, I guess that’s no surprise is it? And the boys have actually embraced the idea – I think they realise it’s not a bad skill to have, and of course mentioning that it might also impress a girl goes a long way too.
Now the challenge is to make them realise that cleaning up after you cook is actually part of the job, especially Man-Child II, who seems to spill as much onto the stove as into the pot when he cooks!!! Thankfully the need to earn pocket-money generally means we can convince them to also do the cleaning up, albeit reluctantly.
As we go along, we will no doubt move to more sophisticated meals. But before you think I’m aspiring to grandiose things, I mean sophisticated for a 15-year-old, not a 30-year-old. By the way, the men-children just turned FIFTEEN. I for one cannot believe that I am the mother of two 15-year-old boys. I had lunch recently with an ex colleague who asked about the boys, and when I told him how old they were, he kept repeating “fifteen, fifteen” with such incredulity I knew exactly how he felt!!
So Happy Birthday to my Men-Children, and happy cooking too! Of course, recipe suggestions from my blog readers are welcome at any time. 🙂
Hi, I am a Journalism Student writing a major feature focusing on Men in the kitchen and would love to have your opinion on this topic. Basically just would like to know whether reality tv and cooking shows have convinced your men to try their hand at cooking and whether they are appreciating that the kitchen is no longer the women’s domain. I would be even more delighted to have the responses about this from your teen boys as well..
Hi Ashleigh, thanks for your comment. Sadly whilst I have tried to encourage my men-children into the kitchen, it’s providing a bigger challenge than I would have liked. They are 15 years old and actually don’t even watch Masterchef, so it’s certainly not changing their behaviour or attitudes. Nor i assume much of their peers. Furthermore Father of a Man-Child isn’t a fan of Masterchef either, or the kitchen, which leaves me and my daughter as the primary viewers of this entertainment genre, and also the principal cooks. Alas it seems the age old stereotypes will persist in our house for some time yet.