Monday, January 28, 2013

Boy can cook

So far, quite fantastically, Andre's favourite subject in sec 1 is... Home Econs!

It came as quite a surprise to me as Andre has never shown any inclination towards the culinary arts. In his own words, "I don't like to cook, I only like to eat."

I think this development is partly because of the terrific home econs textbook.  It has lots of full colour pictures and interesting topics on health and food, reminiscent of the health education textbooks in primary school, which Andre loved too.

But mostly, I suspect it's because home econs doesn't involve studying - it's hands on and for active kids, that beats sitting down in a classroom anytime.

So far, Andre has learnt how to to make agar agar with fruit cocktail, tea and raisin cupcakes.  For a beginner, I think his efforts turned out pretty credible. He says his group's cupcakes scored one of the highest in class.

Taste-wise though, both items didn't quite make the mark but that was more the fault of the recipes than the cooks.  The agar agar was tasteless as the recipe called for much less sugar than was actually needed and the cupcakes weren't moist enough as the kids could only add a couple of tablespoonfuls of oil and no butter.

I don't quite understand this. Why teach kids how to cook something that they wouldn't want to repeat? Surely the home econs teachers would have perfected the recipes by now.  Apparently, Lesley-Anne's experience with home econs was even more dubious as she and her friends would usually dump the food they had made without even tasting them.  As she explained, they were only allowed to wash the utensils and appliances AFTER the cooking is done, not before. To her, this meant that you had to trust the hygiene levels of the class that had used the stuff before them... and she knows better. "I once found dried up dough in the mixing bowl!" Yuck.

Maybe the point is simply to get the kids into the kitchen and learn the basics of cooking. Well, if so, then Andre's home econs class actually succeeded because he whipped up a batch of chocolate chip cupcakes (with butter this time) on the sly and presented them to me for my birthday! Awww... sweetness ♥

At the end of this year, Andre has to take part in a group project which will involve coming up with a dish that is a fusion of two different cuisines. "I'm the one who's going to do the cooking!" he revealed. "Whaaaat?" I asked, astonished. "Do your group mates know you've never cooked?"

He then explained that he volunteered for the role cos he didn't want to do the research (too much work) or the tasting (he didn't want to get food poisoning).  The latter shows you how much faith he has in his team-mates. "Easy lah, I just follow the instructions." Oooookay.

The two cuisines that his group drew were Chinese and French. "Oh, oh, I know!" I said, being the ever helpful mum. "You just cook some fried rice and throw in a few garden snails."

Guess no one will be trying out that recipe anytime soon.


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed Home Econs in my time too!

Andre is so sweet! I love that picture of his bright smile. Who knows? He may surprise you one day and become a chef.


monlim said...

PL: Andre being a chef is still a long shot but never rule anything out, right? :P

Anonymous said...

Happy belated Birthday, Monlim! We are both Capricorns.

That was such a sweet, heart-melting gift from Andre!

During my time, the boys did technical and the girls had home econs lessons. Therefore I was pleasantly surprised and thrilled when I learnt that Little Bao has home econs in his curriculum.


monlim said...

Nutella: Yeah, in our time, gender stereotypes were being perpetuated all the time :) Thankfully things have changed now!

Thanks for the birthday wishes! I'm actually an Aquarius though, haha. Your birthday was in January too then? Blessed belated birthday!

Anonymous said...

Even if Andre does not end up as a chef, I am sure he will effectively end up as a charming son, brother, friend, boyfriend, husband, son-in-law, father and grandfather with his culinary skills. These are life skills so precious.


monlim said...

QX: Wow, such a compliment! The girl he marries would probably have to be content with living on cupcakes though. Haha!

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