I have realized that I am a terrible teacher or mentor in the kitchen. Coming home to MI, I told my sister that I would help her learn her way around the kitchen. She has moved onto a very restrictive diet but doesn't know how to cook. Well, that just doesn't work for me. You can't have success or still enjoy food or even begin to think that you will stick to your new outline for eating if you can't enjoy food. And how can you afford to enjoy food if you can't cook, and how can you cook if no one teaches you?
No one really taught me, I just had to figure it out and I watched a ton of Food Network. No, I mean pre kids I would wake up on Saturday morning, snuggle on the couch with a bowl of cereal and watch for hours until Paul woke up. I loved it. Then I just started to figure it out.
I am not even close to a high quality cook. I rarely create my own recipes, and most of the time I am just adapting or tweaking recipes I have found. But I can cook. I do know my way around a kitchen pretty well.
What I realized in the last three days is that I totally function in the kitchen without a plan. This does not work well when trying to teach someone how to cook. I also realize I cook a lot with whatever is in my house. I kept throwing out suggestions to my sister about other ways she could make the meal and I am pretty sure I overwhelmed her.
We start heating a pan and she asks, "how much oil do I put in?" I pour some in and say, "about that much". Or she wants to know how much salt, pepper, cinnamon, seasoning to put in, and I look at her and say, "start with a little then add more if its too plain." I double recipes or I adapt because I don't have a certain ingredient. I also realized that makes writing out recipes for her really difficult. I sat down and wrote out our recipe for Mexican Lasagna and couldn't believe how much I adapt that recipe. It was very difficult to write out, but glad I did once it was over.
As much as it was about helping my sister learn how to cook, I have learned a ton about myself in the kitchen, how I function and where I can grow so I am able to teach my kids better.
All in all, in the past three days I have taught her how to cook:
Sweet Potato Burgers
Veggie/bean Quino salad
Butternut squash risotto
It has a been a very big few days here. Between cooking and visiting with friends, I am exhausted. I mean I cook a lot, but I don't cook this much. But my what is really exciting is my sister not only knows how to make these meals, she has them all divided and put in the freezer for the whole month! She has her freezer full of personal sized portioned frozen dinners. It's great!
Since I am writing out the recipes for my sister, I will be sure to post them later this week if you are interested, including the original link where I found it.