Five Advantages in Learning to Cook

What can I say.. I'm finding it rather nice to see my lad working in the kitchen.

I'm kinda bad though...he's cooked with me off and on throughout the years and about a month ago I just said "you're cooking one night a week".  Just kinda threw him into it.

He's missed a week when we've been away.  But he's taken to it like a duck to water.  Making poutine, hamburgers, Spaghetti and meatballs with dad, along with pulled pork and mashed potatoes.(again with Dad).

Realizing all his skills are coming into play.

1. Practical use of Education
  •  Reading...he has to follow directions.  Sometimes reading and re-reading the directions for making something,  (like tonight with the ribs).
  • Math.. figuring out the 1.4 litres was 1400 ml, and having Dad show us how to do that on the scale. 
  • Geography works for some meals (like learning poutine was originally French Canadian.
  •'s cooking!   The interplay of ingredients that make pudding!  Who would think it!!!  :)  Sauces to keep meat moist.  Flour, sugar, oil and more makes cake.

2. Learning how to run appliances 
 ... like the electric mixer, the hot oven, a microwave, and toaster oven. Learning what different implements are called like a baster, a siphon, a salad spinner etc. He's developing important skills AND the confidence to use them without hands on support. 

3. Learning how to ask for SPECIFIC help.  Not just "help me now mom!" But rather "Mom, I need help getting these ribs out of the oven cause they keep sliding on me and I think they will fall off".   And "Dad, how do you cook hamburgers?   What do I push to start the bbq?"

4. Coming up with ideas on what makes for a good meal.
    Tonight he added chocolate mousse to the menu.   He originally only wanted to  have poutine but I asked "Do I cook only for myself lad?  What do I do if I know that someone doesn't like what I am making?"  After a quick I don't know he thought and said "you make something that I like too". Therefore he needed to ask questions about what I might like with the poutine.   He came up with ribs and chocolate mousse.

5. Skills for the future.
Like every parent, my goal is that my son will be able to take care of himself as an adult.  To know how to cook is a big part of that.  It will be good for him to know how to make more the pizza or sandwiches (though one can live on that).   If he learns how following instructions gets him a good product in the end....isn't that worth something?

Here's just one more.
Just maybe I am working myself out of a job!   :)

What advantages do you see in children knowing how to cook.

Profile: Henry Hudson

I realized this morning that I neglected to do my blogging through the alphabet post.  This week we are on the letter H.  So Welcome one and all to blogging through the alphabet with Amanda and myself.   :)

When I mentioned it to my hubby he said "Hudson Bay or the Hudson Bay Company."

Since mentioning one without the other doesn't make a lot of sense to me so I figured doing a profile on Henry Hudson might work just as well.  :)   He made four sea-faring journeys.

Henry Hudson as was sea-faring explorer back in the 1600's.   He discovered Hudson Bay but actually thought he had discovered the Pacific Ocean at the time, this during his last voyage of 1610-1611.

 He was a rather indecisive leader and his crew talked of mutiny when they sailed into the bay and were stuck there for the winter.   When the ice broke in the spring and all the men wanted to return home to England, Hudson wanted to push on in his search for the North West passage.  His men mutinied, he was put over board in a rowboat along with his son and the injured men, and was never heard from again.

He was known for being an excellent navigator but a poor leader of men.  The men who mutinied against him were not convicted of the crime and found jobs on other boats.

He was a determined explorer.  He found new hunting regions, explored new sections of land and ocean and just at his ultimate quest... to find the NorthWest passage.

Numerous places are named after him.  Hudson Bay led to the Hudson Bay Company.  We have the Hudson River, Hudson Straits, Hudson Stone, Henry Hudson Bridge as well as various schools, streets and the like.  

 Source of image: Wikipedia.

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Recipe: Multi-grain, Whole Wheat Bread

This recipe is loosely based off this one


  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoons active dry yeast 
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 cup multi-grain flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour

  • 2-4 cups white flour
  • 3 tablespoons wheat germ


Mix together honey, water, salt, and yeast. Leave until yeast dissolves, about 10 minutes. 
Beat in eggs and 2 cups of flour. Allow to rest, covered, for 30-60 minutes, until bubbly. 
Stir in enough flour to make a soft, workable dough. Knead in wheat germ. Knead well and let rise  in bowl.   Grease bowl before returning kneaded bread to bowl.
Shape into 2 loaves and place in a greased 8 inch loaf pans.
Let rise again until the loaves just crest the edge of the pan. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

For more bread recipes see below  

Traditional White Bread.
Irish brown soda bread.
Irresistible Irish soda bread
Amish White Bread
Pizza Bread
Python Dogs and Sun Bread
Kim's White Bread, altered
Grandma VanDoren's White Bread
Hamburger Buns
Buns for Thanksgiving
Garlic and Cheese Breadsticks
Sweet Rolls
Scotch Scones
Whole Wheat Rolls and Buns.
Julia Child Sandwich Bread
Cheese Biscuits

Review: A Dog in the Cave

I have to admit, I am not quite sure how to write this review.

I found the book fascinating despite the fact that I don't believe in evolution.  I do believe that species can change over time to suit it's environment better, but I don't that reptiles can become mammals or that a one-celled critter can suddenly become a fish.  There are no gap animals.  This book is less about evolution, though that thought comes up frequently, and more about how two species influence the development of each other.

The book Synopsis:
We know dogs are our best animal friends, but have you ever thought about what that might mean?

Fossils show we've shared our work and homes with dogs for tens of thousands of years. Now there's growing evidence that we influenced dogs' evolution-and they, in turn, changed ours. Even more than our closest relatives, the apes, dogs are the species with whom we communicate best.
Combining history, paleontology, biology, and cutting-edge medical science, Kay Frydenborg paints a picture of how two different species became deeply entwined-and how we coevolved into the species we are today.

My thoughts:
The premise of the book is that does and humans have been together for far longer than has been thought, and the question is this... when did those first dogs start to coexist with people?

Numerous examples from archaeological finds are used to further the questions being raised.
Could prehistoric dogs be distinguished from prehistoric wolves?   Current dogs have a shorter, broader muzzles today than wolves have so perhaps that might be true from days gone by. 

Contained within the pages of this book you will find seven chapters.
1. Close encounters of the Canine Kind
2. Written in the bones
3. Wolf-dogs: these skulls are how old?
4. A meeting of minds
5. Written in the genes
6. The dog on the couch:  Canine Psychologists
7. A wolf on the bed

The premise of the book is this.   Dogs made us the people that we are today, and we made dogs the creatures they are today.  There is I think, some truth to that statement... from how dogs make the job of a shepherd easier, how dogs can provide comfort to individuals, and then on the flip side, how dogs are been specifically bred to be companions, guardians, or hunters.   

We shape them, they shape us.

Did they make us human?   Read the decide.  :)

A Dog in the Cave: The wolves who made us human
by Kay Frydenborg

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt books for young readers
244 pages
Aged for 12 years old and up

 Reviewed for Raincoast Books. A Dog in the Cave: The Wolves Who Made Us Human A Dog in the Cave: The Wolves Who Made Us Human