Cooking with my children has changed from an occasional activity over the years to something more regular and structured. But, since the coronavirus pandemic put us in a panic mode a few weeks back, it has been an indispensable lifeline for all of us.
Although my grown children never showed much interest in cooking, my younger siblings were particularly interested when I made steak au poivre, which would be their favorite dish. When it was time for the sauce to be ignited, they would rush into the kitchen and, from a safe distance with a fire extinguisher, kulinarika marvel at the flames. They’d also clap their hands at the sound of the smoke alarms.
I started inviting them to help me cook from time to time. They could do things like peeling vegetables, frying steaks, and flipping pancakes.
As a creature of social media, I would also often post photos and videos of my creations — including the obligatory slo-moflambe — which eventually gave me the idea to combine the activities and give birth to “Daddy and Holly and Liam’s Cooking Show,” a friends-and-family-only Facebook endeavor that we’d put out once every month or two. This format gave structure to the seemingly random lessons and made it more interesting for the children to cook.
Cooking together has never been more important since the outbreak of coronavirus. Adults can see that people are constantly looking for things to do in times of lockdown. For children, disruptions to their routines can be extremely stressful. Zoom classroom is a good option, but it’s not enough.
We also need to deal with the concern that a pandemic could strike the adult brain, as well as the dual concerns of helping our children cope with this new reality, and keeping them from losing their cool.
Cooking together has been a way to escape the coronavirus. It doesn’t require us to escape each other like binging Netflix or Disney Plus. We discuss the food, I tell endless dad jokes, and I am able to startle them by pretending that I’m cutting myself. It’s good, clean fun.
Cooking has been a great way of teaching coronavirus-related lessons. Handwashing is an essential part of kitchen life. However, we now make a loud buzzer sound whenever someone touches our faces. Then, we immediately go to the sink for 20 second antiviral scrubs.
You don’t have to make every dish a showpiece of culinary talent. Tonight, I will be making tacos with a mix (gasp! There are still some tips and tricks that I can use to make tacos from a mix tonight.
I wish I could say that cooking with the kids reduces my workload. It takes them a bit longer to complete tasks than mine, sometimes the results are a bit less polished, and there are extra clean-ups.
Extra time together can be a blessing in a world that is trying to avoid a global crisis by practicing social distancing.
This is what you should eat, not that! We are constantly keeping an eye on the latest news in food as it relates COVID-19 to ensure you stay safe, healthy, informed, and answer any urgent questions. These are the steps you need to take at the grocery store. These will be updated as more information becomes available. For all COVID-19 coverage click here. Stay healthy.