Mother’s Helpers are Enthusiastic in the Kitchen
With Mother’s Day now in the rear view mirror; I wanted to focus again on the role Mums play in the kitchen.
Yes I know, it’s not just Mums in the kitchen but in my experience; from meeting customers at various events and weekend farmers markets to our in-store pop-up stands conducting demos and tastings; mothers are still the dominant buyers of my products. What’s more, they are often influenced in their choices by their children. This is so heart-warming for me; because I see that a conversation has already taken place and the family must have enjoyed meals made using my products. To then have the sons and daughters requesting specific products makes me incredibly proud. I imagine there’s been some collaboration going on in the family kitchen; a good deal of pride in meal prep and serving up something nourishing, delicious and wholesome.
Latasha’s Kitchen products make it easy
What Latasha’s Kitchen products do, is make it easy for people at home to get meals on the table. And further to that, authentic, full-flavoured Southeast Asian cuisine on the table! When once the staples used to be meat and three veg, shepherd’s pie, spaghetti bolognese or a roast – and I haven’t forgotten the more recent trend towards meat-free meals – the rules have changed. Now even the kids choose curries, stir-fries, satays, biryanis and other exotic dishes.
I love to witness the chit-chat at my stalls. Mums know how easy and reliable my pastes are. That makes them easy and reliable as teaching tools too. There’s really nothing to whipping up a good, flavoursome meal. Cut a few veggies, slice a bit of meat and grab a can of coconut milk. Put on a pot of rice or heat through some noodles and you have a fully-fledged meal anyone would be proud to serve guests or their family. Garnish with a little chopped coriander, fried shallots or even some finely sliced chilli and it’s not just delicious, it’s gorgeous to look at too!
Home cooking classes for Mother’s helpers
The most important thing about teaching kids to cook – whatever their age – is to make it fun. With the plethora of cooking shows all over TV these days, cooking has entered a new age of enthusiasm; and so many more people are seeing it as less of a chore and more of a hobby. That’s wonderful! Here are some tips for getting your little ones – or big ones – in the kitchen to DIY a great meal. Start at the supermarket or farmers’ market and shop for ingredients. Introduce them to the world of weird and wonderful foods and if you don’t know the answers to their questions, ask the stall holder or grocer for their wisdom.
- Toddlers – Stirring, peeling, washing, scraping, sorting; there are lots of easy tasks your little one can do to learn the basics of cooking. It may be too early for knife skills but you just watch as they quickly adapt to these fundamentals. Absolutely encourage them to taste test ingredients as you go. Also teach them to work tidily and to clean up as they go.
- Primary school – Your child may already be learning some basics in the classroom, particularly to do with nutrition and food hygiene. Give them the opportunity to teach you about what they’ve learned and take great interest in it. In the kitchen, give them mixing and stirring tasks. Have them wipe surfaces, wash dishes, prepare vegetables and measure quantities and weights. Again, tasting is key.
- High school – Once Home Ec. classes start, you can be pretty sure that your pre-teen or teenager is some kind of ‘expert’ in the kitchen! Embrace this confidence with them and see what they can do. Explain the health and cost benefits of wholesome ingredients and show them how to prepare unusual ingredients such as exotic vegetables and fresh herbs. Give your son or daughter the chance to prove his or her prowess by assigning them a Latasha’s Kitchen dish to prepare on their own and be on hand for questions and guidance but try to avoid participating. I would suggest something fairly easy like my Easy Thai Style Satay Chicken. Chicken is always a good protein to use because it’s cheap, easy to cook with and everybody likes it. If the red curry paste is too hot for their liking, switch to the green. Or, try my Quick & Tasty Simmer Indonesian Turmeric Style. It really doesn’t get much easier than a Simmer Sauce dish! The sauces are available in six different varieties so boredom won’t be an issue. Heap praise on your high schooler when the meal is put on the table. I’m abundantly confident that the results will be spectacular but even if there’s a bit of burning or mistakes are made with quantities; lessons learnt are always the keys to better results next time.
- Children leaving the nest – Is your son or daughter going away to Uni? Maybe just moving into a unit with friends? Wherever they’re going, they’ll appreciate having a few basic recipes up their sleeve. Uber Eats and similar meal delivery platforms make it way too easy to order in but that soon becomes prohibitively expensive and really, when you have a few jars of Latasha’s Kitchen curry pastes in the pantry or fridge, there’s no need. Not only do you have an easy meal on hand but you can get 6 to 8 servings from every jar! That’s champagne food on a cordial budget, in my opinion. Show your adult child how to create a simple Massaman Kofta Curry that will have their flatmates’ mouths watering. Or a Singapore Chicken Curry Laksa that will cause massive envy in the workplace kitchen when the aromas waft from the microwave. Your vegetarian son or daughter will enjoy this Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Turmeric Spice Magic or a nourishing Yellow Dahl Stew.
Setting your children up with a repertoire of easy recipes they can learn; is a wonderful way of making sure they don’t go hungry and don’t go broke on takeaways! Cooking at home is also healthier because you know exactly what’s going into every dish.
I would love to hear from you about how you tutor your children in the kitchen and what kind of results have been produced. Remember above all else that cooking should be fun, maybe even relaxing, and it’s definitely a lovely time to spend together.