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March 2006 "Chewin' the News" from Shelley

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  • 30 Day Gourmet/Shelley
    March 2006 - Kids in the Kitchen, Advantage Cooking Conversions by Shelley Miller _____ To read the complete newsletter on our website, click
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 22, 2006
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       March 2006 -  Kids in the Kitchen, Advantage Cooking Conversions

      by Shelley Miller


      To read the complete newsletter on our website, click here.

       

      If the links in this newsletter don't work, please see the "NOTE:" at the bottom.

       

      In This Issue:


      COOKIN' AT THE KEYBOARD WITH SHELLEY

      ·         Kids in the Kitchen

      SOFTWARE SUGGESTIONS

      ·         Advantage Cooking Conversions

      CLOSING COMMENTS FROM SHELLEY

       

      COOKIN' AT THE KEYBOARD WITH SHELLEY



      Kids in the Kitchen

      I've said before that every freezer cooking session will look different, and our family's most recent experience proved my point. The combination of dwindling freezer meals and an increasingly concentrated calendar forced us into action. I began by making a run to the grocery store for meat and onions. The amounts were only a guess, but it was a start. While I sat at my desk creating a cooking plan in the software and then printing a grocery report, the girls cooked the chicken and browned the ground beef. Arriving home from my second trip to the store, I started assigning recipes to daughters. By the time the kitchen was clean and the freezer was full, I realized that I had done very little cooking in the process.

      While my daughters are both comfortable and capable in the kitchen, this is not the norm. Children today are growing up without learning how to cook. By the phrase "how to cook" I mean something beyond operating the microwave. One wife posted on a cooking forum, "I didn't know how to cook anything for my husband when we got married unless it came in a box with directions on the back." My mother is an excellent cook, but she seldom uses a recipe. Consequently, I didn't learn to cook until I left home. It was trial and error, and lots of long distance phone calls!

      Critics say that the devaluation of home economics, along with a lack of parental guidance, is producing adolescents who are ignorant of basic life skills. A three-year study by Stirling University revealed that youngsters today fail miserably in the basics of cooking, cleaning, repairing, and money management. One survey done in conjunction with a kid's cooking contest revealed that a mother's most common objections to cooking with her children are 1) the mess, and 2) a lack of time.

      In her book, Children Who Do Too Little, Patricia Sprinkle says, "Training happens at home. It requires dedication and consumes time. It can't be hurried. It is woven day by day on the loom of family life." Rachel Ray, a noted chef and author, states, "Cooking is a wonderful way to help kids build their confidence. I learned at a very early age how fun and rewarding it is to cook with my family, and the strong sense of accomplishment and confidence cooking provides."

      If your children are actively learning new skills in the kitchen, I commend you. If not, now might be a good time to start. One of my favorite resources for training my children is the book, Life Skills for Kids, by Christine M. Field. Christine admits, "When I realized my main job was to equip my children, not merely entertain them, my vision for parenting changed radically." Cooking with your kids will not only equip them for the future, but it can also be entertaining and rewarding in the moment.

      SOFTWARE SUGGESTIONS


      Advantage Cooking Conversions

      I was helping my daughter with her Algebra 2 lesson. I groaned in dread as I started into the text because, as everyone knows:

      Long Explanations = Complicated Subject Matter

      Fortunately, this is not a universal truth. The "Ingredient Conversion" explanation below may be long, but it's not complicated. Take a deep breath (no groaning allowed) and read on.

      Conversions are necessary in order to equate volume measures to weight measures. For example, I buy butter in pounds, but most of my recipes call for butter measured in tablespoons or cups. Advantage Cooking needs to know how many cups are in a pound of butter, or it will punish you by telling you how many teaspoons to buy (now you can groan!)

      Here are the steps to solve the problem:
      Locate "Butter" in the ingredient list.  
      Under the Packaging tab enter "Pound Package".
      Under the Conversion tab enter the following:

          From Amount      From Measure               To Amount           To Measure         To Ingredient
                     .5                           Cup                                  4                        Ounces                    Butter

      This entry simply tells the software that ½ cup of butter is equal to 4 ounces. You could just as easily have entered 1 cup of butter is equal to 8 ounces, etc. I've listed several other conversions below to give you more examples. If the desired packaging is not available, use the "Define Packaging" button at the bottom of the window.

      Locate "Sugar" in the ingredient list.
      Under the Packaging tab enter as many varieties of packaging as desired,
      e.g. "Bag (5 pounds)", "Bag (10 pounds)", "Bag (25 pounds)"
      Under the Conversion tab enter this equivalent found on a 10-pound bag of sugar:

          From Amount      From Measure               To Amount           To Measure         To Ingredient
                  1134                  Teaspoons                            10                       Pounds                    Sugar

      Locate "Brown Sugar" in the ingredient list.
      Under the Packaging tab enter as many varieties of packaging as desired,
      e.g. "2 Pound Package", "4 Pound Package"
      Under the Conversion tab enter this equivalent found on a 4-pound package of brown sugar:

          From Amount      From Measure               To Amount           To Measure         To Ingredient
                   454                   Teaspoons                            4                        Pounds              Brown Sugar

      Locate "Chocolate Chips" in the ingredient list.
      Under the Packaging tab enter as many varieties of packaging as desired,
      e.g. "Bag (12 oz)" or "Bag (24 oz)" or "Bag (60 oz)"
      Under the Conversion tab enter the following equivalent (notice that a pint doesn’t always equal a pound!)

          From Amount      From Measure               To Amount           To Measure         To Ingredient
                     2                           Cup                                12                        Ounce           Chocolate Chips

      Locate "Coconut" in the ingredient list.
      Under the Packaging tab enter "Bag (7 oz)"
      Under the Conversion tab enter this equivalent found on the bag of coconut:

          From Amount      From Measure               To Amount           To Measure         To Ingredient
                   2.67                         Cup                                   7                         Ounce                  Coconut

      Locate "Flour" in the ingredient list.
      Under the Packaging tab enter as many varieties of packaging as desired,
      e.g. "Bag (5 pound)" or "Bag (10 pound)"
      Under the Conversion tab enter this equivalent found on a 5-pound bag of flour:

          From Amount      From Measure               To Amount           To Measure         To Ingredient
                    17                          Cup                                  5                         Pound                     Flour

      Conversions are also important when it comes to ingredients that aren't readily available at the grocery store (e.g. cooked and chopped chicken, chopped onion, or crumbled bacon.) But we'll save that discussion for next month. In the mean time, do you want to know about quadratic equations?

        Download a trial version of the software! It's free!

       

      CLOSING COMMENTS FROM SHELLEY


      I intentionally omitted recipe suggestions this month simply because new recipes introduce an element of uncertainty, an unwelcome factor when cooking with my kids. If you're looking for new ideas I would suggest a children's cooking video from the library. Beyond that, choose any one of your favorite recipes.

      Make some time, (be prepared to) make a mess, and you'll find you've made more than a meal, you've made a memory!

      ~Shelley

       

      NOTE:

      If the links in this newsletter do not work for you, please check the following.....

      1. If you get your emails from Yahoo Groups in digest form, all the links are removed by Yahoo and the email is sent in "text" version.  You need to cancel the digest emails to get them sent correctly.

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      30 Day Gourmet

      P.O. Box 272
      Brownsburg, IN 46112
      www.30DayGourmet.com

       

      Copyright 2006 - 30 Day Gourmet.  All rights reserved.

       

       

       

       

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