Cooking Up Memories

As a mother, then a grandmother, I had hope that my love of cooking would get passed on.

Posted in , Oct 21, 2010

Recipes: Grandmother passes on love of cooking

It was nearing summer break, 1981, and I looked at various activities for my kids: swimming lessons, pool time, reading and the summer pilgrimage to visit grandparents.

But this summer I wanted to try something new. Our daily dinnertime presented itself as an opportunity to share time with my kids, teach them a new skill for life living and perhaps some day, give me a break from the kitchen.

What would my daughter Alina, 12, and my son Erik, 10, say to cooking?

I held a family meeting. Once each week each child would plan a menu of their choosing to include one green vegetable, one yellow vegetable, a protein and a dessert of their choosing. I would buy the necessary ingredients and help out with preparations one hour before dinnertime.

Alina liked the idea of creating a menu more than the actual creation. Her first dinner: tacos, corn on the cob, green beans and chocolate chip cookies.

Erik pored over cookbooks, daring to try more complicated dishes. I remember one meal featuring barbecued chicken, salad with homemade dressing, zucchini, and rhubarb compote for dessert.

It was a memorable summer watching them gain confidence and enthusiasm for feeding the family.

Last month I got the chance to cook with my grandson. He took a cooking class, and I watched him delightedly layer a jar with all the ingredients for Dad’s Oatmeal Pancakes, and the next morning we made them together before my daughter and her husband woke up. His face shone with pride as mom and dad gushed over the flavor.  

Will he be like me and my son and embrace cooking for a lifetime or take after his mom and prefer ordering in?

I don’t know yet. But I do know cooking together has been a recipe for happy memories.

Put together a jar of Dad's Oatmeal Pancakes!

Visit for more about Luke's cooking class.

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