COLUMN: Starting kids out simple the best way to learn how to cook

I didn’t do much cooking when I was a kid. Mud pies were not the kind of cooking one could eat.

I didn’t do much cooking when I was a kid.  Mud pies were not the kind of cooking one could eat and they were very messy.  I did not graduate in mud pie cooking but I did manage to get a Cubs badge for cooking peanut butter cookies. That was the first of any real cooking I did.

I know they have cooking classes in schools now, although I’m not too sure how much they are taught or how much they learn.  I have talked to a lot of kids in school and those just graduating and most of them don’t know how to cook. What kind of cooking education are they getting at home? That’s where culinary learning should begin, however, I know lots of adults who are working a couple of jobs and don’t even have a lot of time to cook for themselves.

Start the kids out simple. An easy salad recipe, some simple breakfast cooking, nutritious sandwiches for lunch during the school week or perhaps a simple roast beef dinner. Whatever, get the kids involved so they know how to cook and know the difference between healthy foods and a bag of chips.

Our son started cooking early in life. He helped his mother with baking and won some fall fair prizes for his peanut butter cookies. I taught him some pretty easy dishes to start: macaroni and cheese, being one of them, and how to do stir-fry recipes that were also pretty easy.

Here is a recipe that should be easy for most young kids. Give them the money and get them to shop for the ingredients. A few hours spent here and there with young people in the kitchen can really pay off in the end.

Here’s a simple beef recipe for you kids:

• 3 pound beef,  chuck or round

• 3 tbsp dry onion soup mix

• 2 tbsp steak seasoning

• 1 can cream of mushroom soup

Put roast in baking pan, sprinkle with steak seasoning and onion soup mix.  Pour mushroom soup on top and put some foil over the pan and bake at 350 degrees for approximately two hours.

This is a simple meal that kids can cook for dinner.

Bye for now and Gooood Cooking.

Ken Wilson is a freelance columnist with the Tribune/Weekend Advisor.