When Kids Want to Cook

This kid, my kid, want to cook.  Believe me, I’m all about someone else doing the cooking in my kitchen, but I’m having a difficult time encouraging his new hobby while at the same time making sure our groceries last for the entire week.

You see, he doesn’t want to follow a recipe, he wants to create, to invent, to flavor to his own taste.

A little part of me wishes that we were blessed with good sense, so we wouldn’t go through life as starving artists, following our passions.  The rest of me wants to see him make something out of nothing.  If you’re an artist of any kind, you know the satisfaction of creating.  Maybe it’s filling a blank page with words, or creating a song out of single, unconnected notes.  Maybe for you it’s turning a canvas into a work of art, or capturing life lived well in a photograph.  Whatever the art, there’s enjoyment in following our passion, giving ourselves over to an idea or urge.

Yesterday my son woke up with one single goal – to cook.

He decided he wanted to make chili.  I told him to look for a chili recipe online, but he wanted to make chili from scratch.  Turns out I had no ground meat and I wasn’t giving up my last pack of chicken thighs, so he make chili with a bean base, vegetarian chili.  It was spicy as can be, but it was good.  He fulfilled his need to make something other than grilled cheese or scrambled eggs, and we all ate a meal I did not have to cook.

But chili was not enough.  He also wanted to bake.  This time I demanded he use a recipe.  I’m not sacrificing two sticks of my butter to chance.  That’s all there is to it!

So he made Pioneer Woman’s sugar cookies.  They are THE BEST sugar cookie I ever ate.  Use caution though, they can add ten pounds to your hips and thirty points to your total cholesterol.  They are perfect.

You either need to find the recipe on her website or buy her cookbook.  It’s not good for your waistline, but your taste buds will love you forever.

So, how often do you let your kids cook?


Do you put any restrictions on their creativity in the kitchen?


10 thoughts on “When Kids Want to Cook

  1. Pingback: Easy Home-Made Bread, A Recipe | the domestic fringe

  2. Joyce

    My girls grew up cooking and baking and still love it. Their friends are super impressed at their fearlessness in the kitchen and they are both good cooks (one is 20, one 22) I think the best way to learn to cook is to cook and to start young. My youngest is home this week and wants to bake. The problem is I’ll eat it : ) Enjoy their creations!

  3. Mariza

    I’ve started thinking about that because my oldest daughter is 10 and I’m sure she could cook on her own. I feel the same way about you about the groceries lasting. I guess I need to give her an orientation before she starts.
    We buy the exact amounts to last a week and we are on a budget.

  4. accidentalsouthernmama

    That’s EXACTLY how used to (and still sometimes do) cook! (which explains a lot about my cooking).

    Big is a non-cook. She’d rather just have me hand her food. But she can make a mean piece of toast!

    Baby would cook all the time…constantly! I let her help me sometimes. She gets to push the buttons on the microwave.

  5. Laura

    Rock on FringeBoy! Did you know you can bake cookies and then send them in the mail? I will write fabulous reviews on your baking skills if you send me the evidence! Just so you know.

  6. Deb

    Encourage him all you can. My younger daughter cooked and baked all the time. Did I ever miss her when she went away to university! 🙂

  7. Charming's Mama

    My kids are a little to young yet to experiment with cooking but they do like to “help”. Of course their help is really not very helpful but thankfully they are easily distracted and are onto something else fairly quickly.


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