As I mentioned before, my family loves to attend the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival every year and I do all that I can to make it a learning experience, as well as a fun tasting experience.
Some life skills, like cooking, can’t be worked on while you’re at the festival, but use the inspiration of the festival to teach your children at home.
Let’s face it, if we want our kids to grow up to be independent adults, then we need to teach them how to cook. Sure, they won’t all become professional chefs, but they have to be able to feed themselves once they leave home.
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Many kids love to cook and will work beside you at every meal, eager to learn. But some need a bit more inspiration. That’s where the Food & Wine Festival comes in.
Remember all of those wonderful dishes you tried as you were walking around the world? Choose one that you loved and recreate it at home!
Which recipe do you want to taste again?
One food that we taste every year at the festival is Baklava, found at the Moroccan Marketplace. We love it so much that we finally decided to try our hand at making it.
The girls gathered the ingredients.
Learning how to work with Phyllo (fillo) Dough
Evenly coating the layers with nuts and butter
Adding the glaze
So many skills in one recipe!
Download the Baklava Recipe-Education Possible.
Choosing a dish based on a cooking technique
Sometimes, when I am working in the kitchen with my kids, there are specific cooking techniques I want to focus on, rather than a specific recipe. Using the festival again as my inspiration, I looked for recipes that incorporated techniques I wanted to teach.
This time I chose Beef Tenderloin with Cranberry-Red Wine Sauce, made by Chef Ming Tsai during a cooking demonstration. While making this recipe, the girls learned the technique of searing and why it is important to rest the steaks.
Sure, cooking with kids isn’t always quick or easy, but I love creating memories with my girls by working together in the kitchen. They are always so proud of the dishes they help to create.
Both of my children have different interest levels when it comes to cooking, so I don’t push them. I work with them until they lose focus and then I give them permission to move on to something else. They still learn a lot while they’re in the kitchen.
Oh, and the meal we made — A-Ma-Zing! To quote Marianna, “It actually tastes like Baklava!” What could be better than that?
What techniques do you use to teach your kids how to cook?