Tuesday, February 1, 2011


www.usatoday.com - Many teens and young adults are clueless in the kitchen. “A lot of them grew up in really busy households, with people relying on frozen and fast foods and not doing a lot of cooking,” says Maris Callahan, 26, a writer whose website, www.ingoodtasteblog.net , features recipes for novices. Too many otherwise well-educated young people end up like many of her friends, she says, with refrigerators “that are empty except for some beer and takeout leftovers.” It doesn’t have to be that way. If you are the parent of a teen or a young adult living at home, you still have time to pass on one of life’s most useful and rewarding skills. Teaching your kids to cook is like teaching them to balance a checkbook or keep enough gas in the car, says Sandy Smith, a food writer and pastry chef in Saugerties, N.Y. “It’s a survival skill.”

It’s a basic health tool, too, says Ed Bruske, a personal chef, kids’ cooking teacher and food activist (blogging at theslowcook.com) in Washington, D.C. “When you cook, you learn about real food” that doesn’t come in a box or through a take-out window. “Anything you cook is bound to be healthier,” the chef says.
Kids who leave home as cooks also will save money, especially if they’ve also
learned to shop for groceries and stick to a budget, explains Elizabeth Pivonka, president of the Produce for Better Health Foundation.

A few tips on how to cook up some lessons for your kids: Learn together. Knife skills and hand-washing is the key. Teach the language of recipes. “Kids may not know what it means to ‘sauté spinach’ or ‘blanch the broccoli’ or even ‘peel a potato,’ Pivonka says. Teach clean-up skills, too. Smith suggests one other practical reason to teach kids to cook: “If you know how to cook, you can always find a job.” If we teach our children how to plant, cultivate, cook, offer food to Krsna before taking any ourselves, and then partake of the remnants left by the Lord (prasāda), we will transform our basic need of eating into a spiritual experience.

Simply by expert cooking, hundreds and thousands of palatable dishes can be prepared from agricultural produce and milk products. This is indicated here by the words annam mahā-gunam. Still today in India, from these two things, namely food grains and milk, hundreds and thousands of varieties of food are prepared, and then they are offered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Then the prasāda is distributed. ... There are four kinds of prasāda (catur-vidha). Salty, sweet, sour and pungent tastes are made with different types of spices, and the food is prepared in four divisions, called carvya, cūshya, lehya and pehya - prasāda that is chewed, prasāda that is licked, prasāda tasted with the tongue, and prasāda that is drunk. Thus there are many varieties of prasāda, prepared very nicely with grains and ghee, offered to the Deity and distributed to the brāhmanas and Vaishnavas and then to the general public. This is the way of human society.

Śrīla A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda :
Purport in The Śrīmad Bhāgavatam
Canto 10: “The Summum Bonum”
Chapter 7: “The Killing of the Demon Trināvarta”, Verses 13-15.
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase Network

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