2015 Masterchef finalist Emma Spitzer found a survey that parents had taken of what meals they thought a child should be able to cook by the time they’re 11. Emma decided to make some videos showing how to make those dishes.
Well, I couldn’t help but peek to see if I could cook them, although it did say that an 11 year old child should be able to make them “under supervision”. I could make all of these recipes with a hob/oven, however, I do suffer from a “fear of cooking”, which in my case translates to fear of fires and high-power electrical items, so I am currently unable to use my own hob and oven. These days, cooking for one, I usually use a microwave and a toaster oven (which I have to stand beside and watch and am fearful of using it for more than 20 minutes) … we all have our problems, eh 🙂
So, how well could you do on this arbitrary list of basic recipes?
- Scrambled eggs on toast – I make this all the time!
- Spaghetti bolognese – I make this a lot as it’s easy
- Omelette – I make cheese omelettes mostly
- Jacket potato and baked beans – I eat this a lot, only cooked in an oven when I visit my sister
- Cheese on toast – had that just yesterday!
- Cottage pie – this is a staple in my house
- Sausage and mash – another favourite meal.
- Pasta bake – not so keen on pasta bakes to be honest; could make, choose not to
- Stir fry – I have never been keen on stir fries, I think they’re overrated and messy, so I could do one, but wouldn’t.
- Porridge – yuck. Just the name makes me shudder after my first ever experience of it when I was aged 14 and it was “something grey, sunk under 1 inch of grey water”
- Egg and soldiers – I eat this a lot
- Stew or casserole – I make these often
- Pancakes – I can make proper pancakes from scratch, but I don’t these days.
- Pizza from scratch – I could, but will usually just buy one for about £1-2 as it’s the easiest way to get the toppings I want without any fuss. I do use ciabatta bread, or naan bread, or baguettes and throw pizza toppings at them sometimes though
- Lasagne – generally I don’t bother. Could make it, never been over-keen on lasagne. I do intend to make one next year maybe.
- Macaroni cheese – love this, make it a LOT, my cheese sauce / roux never fails, no lumps, it’s gorgeous.
- Fairy cakes – I am not keen on baking, used to make these as a kid, not bothered since.
- Roast chicken – could, but I don’t need a whole roast chicken, so I don’t do this.
- Chilli con carne – I make a lot of this.
- Beef burgers – I could, I just don’t get round to making them.
- Meatballs – I make/eat a lot of these. I’ll usually use pre-made meatballs just for ease, but any fool can combine minced meat with a few other ingredients.
- Victoria sponge – never made, but “it’s just a cake” so I could … can’t eat a whole cake and if I could then I’d make one more interesting.
- Chocolate rice krispie/cornflake cakes – not made those for about 20 years!
- Apple crumble – I make this quite a bit
- Scones – I rarely bother. Have made in the past, not bothered for a few years.
All of the above could be done “by anybody” if they cared to and had the equipment. I could make any of the above, but some things I just won’t ever make!
I’d agree that most of the above recipes are attractive to me, but it is down to your personal family palate, what you’re used to eating. I’d add in a few extra dishes if I’d been asked, including:
- A simple curry with rice
- Fried sausages, eggs and a few other items – maybe fried sliced potatoes
- Dumplings to go with a stew.
- A simple baked pasty.
Being able to cook a specific dish or recipe isn’t what’s important though – what’s important is going through the motions and understanding the process. It doesn’t matter if you buy pre-made pastry, so long as you understand that any pie or pasty you make will bake in the oven at about 180C for about 25-30 minutes – and that it won’t cook in 2 minutes in a microwave.
So there are just some processes to understand – after which you can add any ingredients to that knowledge to produce what you want.