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Is letting a kid loose in the kitchen a good idea?

Nancy Leson
Cupcakes by Nate the Great .

I'd teach my kid to cook if I had one.  I  have cats instead and they're not interested.  But if you do have a kid, there are lots of ways to get them to do the cooking.

Nancy Leson tells me her son Nate just loves to fool around in the kitchen.  And judging by the cupcakes pictured above he knows what he's doing. Then she astounded me but saying she had sent him to cooking camps. 

Who knew there were cooking camps for kids?  Everyone but me, apparently. So just to make sure she wasn't making this up, I Googled "cooking camps" and got 15,800,000 results.  Go ahead and click it if you don't believe me.  PCC also offers very reasonable cooking classes for kids and adults.

I wasn't surprised to learn that even though she's a long time professional in the food biz, her 13-year-old son Nate already believes that he knows more about cooking than Mom.  I was the same way at his age. The only difference being that in my case it was true. My mother was a wonderful woman but her signature dish was spaghetti fried in ketchup.

So do your kids like to cook? Do you cook with them? Nancy thinks Nate could hustle up a little dinner for her and her husband Mac every now and then. Seems reasonable to me. 

"I'm not young enough to know everything."
– Oscar Wilde

Food for Thought” is a weekly KPLU feature covering the world of food as well as the thinking that goes into it. The feature is published here and airs on KPLU 88.5 every Wednesday during Morning Edition and All Things Considered. 

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.