Guest post: Unavoidable Cooking Stereotypes

Most fathers who enjoy a little time in the kitchen will have encountered frustrating stereotypes concerning men’s supposed culinary shortcomings. As someone that thoroughly enjoys rustling up a little food on a regular basis, it can be incredibly annoying having to constantly battle with the idea that I don’t, or even worse – shouldn’t, have a place in the kitchen.

Surprisingly, it appears that modern society still can’t move past stereotypes that modern families have proved, are completely without foundation. I enjoy cooking for a number of reasons, though admittedly most of them revolve around the pleasure of dining on the finished product. However, the main attraction at the moment is the way in which, as my children have gotten older and developed an interest in helping out in the kitchen, cooking has become a fantastic way to spend a little time with them.

They enjoy getting a little messy; handling all the ingredients and creating something we can all share at the table later that day. I absolutely love getting to see them smelling fresh herbs, introducing them to a few strange and exotic vegetables and seeing what changes they would make to the recipe in the future. Cooking gives us the time to bond over a truly wonderful shared passion – that of food.

With this in mind, we decided to cook a wonderful looking chicken curry recipe last weekend. In the past, I had always been the one really in charge, asking the kids to grab ingredients and do the mixing, arranging and tasting when necessary. This time I took a backseat (though I did all the chopping and anything involving heat) leaving the kids to interpret the recipe in any way they saw fit. What emerged at the end may have differed a little from what the creators of the recipe intended, but it was still sublime.

Though the kitchen was probably a little, or a lot, messier than our usual cooking adventures, the kids had a great time and managed to cook a fantastic meal. At times they really impressed me with a few of their own additions to the recipe, though they were also surprisingly bossy once they realised they were actually in charge!

A great number of dads really do enjoy cooking and can cook very well. For those that don’t experiment, I would seriously recommend giving it a go with the kids. They may just change the way you think about the kitchen.