Thursday, October 29, 2009

Teach Your Kids To Cook. Make Homemade Candy.

By Peter Bertonich

There seems to be an essential skill that isn't taught to our kids much these days. Cooking. Who teaches their kids to cook now? Well you should, and the best place to start is with homemade candy.

If you want to teach kids to cook successfully you've got to get them cooking something they love to eat. All kids love to eat candy. So teach them how to make great homemade candy and they'll be back to cook, and eat, more.

Last night I was doing some cooking with my kids who are 11 and 8. They had a great time and of course they got to lick out the bowl too. Kids get so much enjoyment from cooking something that is simple to cook and great to eat. And homemade candy is always great to eat.

And once kids learn to cook they have a skill for life. And they graduate pretty fast from homemade candy onto other stuff.

There's some basic things to remember. And it applies whether they're cooking candy or anything else. Allow plenty of time and expect a mess. That's normal, and part of the learning to cook process for kids. Start them on a simple recipe and start them on simple steps from that recipe, so the hard ones yourself.

And always remember to keep them away from heat. Many homemade candy recipes require that you make a syrup from water and sugar, and a syrup is extremely hot, hotter than simply boiling water. So watch out, a syrup burn is nasty.

And another reason to stay away from syrups is that they are a little tricky to get right, you have to heat them to just the right temperature. There are some fantastic simple homemade candy recipes, so start with something like pralines or truffles.

But when you've got the kids confident at their cooking they can try so many different candy recipes. I just love toffee, especially the chewy type of toffee, how about truffles, or nougat. Yumm.

Now all that has made me hungry.

Seriously though, teaching the kids to cook candy gets them on the road to cooking for life, and they learn to love to cook anything with time.

So grab some great homemade candy recipes, there's lots on my website. And it's cheaper and makes better candy than the store bought candy. Get the kids involved, they'll thank you for it when they get older.

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