Hi Mamaqtuq Nanook Cooking Club families. We’ve had some great news today! A publisher approached us to ask if we’d be interested in producing a #mamaqtuqnanookcookingclub cookbook. Of course I jumped at the chance. What a great opportunity for the kids. They’ll see all of their hard work come to life in a whole new way. I’ll keep you all posted on the progress of this new project as it develops. I’m sure I’ll be approaching you with permission forms to allow your kids to take part. Stay tuned!
While I’m on the topic of cookbooks for kids, I read recently that Sarah Michelle Gellar has just published a cookbook, Stirring Up Fun With Food. Gellar has lots to say about the benefits of cooking with her children, and talks about cooking and recipe writing as great ways to promote literacy in math, science and language in her family. I couldn’t agree more. This is exactly why we keep track of our recipes and record them in our own personal cookbooks at cooking club. It boosts inter-disciplinary literacy among our participants and gives the kids a book of recipes to take home to their families at the end of the year.
Gellar talks about how cooking with her kids draws them out and gives them the space and time to have discussions they don’t have time for when they’re rushing around in their daily lives. I’ve noticed this in my home and at cooking club. Some of my favourite memories with my son are from moments in the kitchen or in some stage of food preparation. It’s the same at the school. Over the course of the school year, I notice a huge change in our club participants – especially the Grade 1 students. For many kids, cooking club is the first time they crack an egg or roll out pizza dough and they’re shy at first, afraid to open up and make mistakes. They keep to themselves and they’re very quiet. By the time the year is over, all shyness has disappeared and the kids are all loudly telling stories and laughing as they prepare their food. Their confidence grows because their skills develop and they know we embrace mistakes because they teach us lessons in the kitchen.
Gellar goes on to say that she is blessed to have kids who aren’t picky eaters. She says it isn’t luck: it’s that she involved her kids in the preparation of their food their whole lives. This is where Gellar and I will have to agree to disagree. It is all about luck, Gellar. From the time my son was eight days old, he was strapped to my body as I prepared curries, paella, roasted meats of all sorts and lasagna. As a baby, he loved butter chicken and never turned away from smoked fish. But on that child’s second birthday, it’s as if a new person emerged, one who only liked bland food. He no longer loved my gravy. He pushed away spicy chili.I was devastated, but that’s just how it was.
He’s eight now and delving back into the world of adventurous food, I’m happy to report. While it is mostly about luck, there is a pinch of truth in Gellar’s words. Exposure to flavours and different cuisines opens our minds and palettes, and we strive to reinforce this during cooking club. I hope we’re able to catch the magic of our weekly Friday gatherings in our cookbook.