I have just been baking, one of my favourite activities. And while baking, I was reminded of when I used to ‘teach’ cookery to lads in a youth club.
The lads were mainly from difficult or deprived backgrounds and regular truants. Violence was a feature of their daily lives. Hardly good prospects for cookery classes! Yet they loved it! And I never had any bother at all (although one boy did think it was really funny to hide in a cupboard and leap out brandishing a cook’s knife just as I was demonstrating how to separate eggs…)
Talking is Good
Teaching someone a new skill, or adding to their skill base, is a great place to talk things through and we had some amazing conversations over sieved flour! Nowadays I suppose it might be called coaching. For the boys it was general chat about life (with some discrete input from me) as we measured, stirred, cooked and created something together.
I took A level Home Economics at school (does that still exist?) and loved the chat and discussion as much as the cooking. With hindsight probably too much!
And when I was a social worker, working with traumatized children, it was always good to do something practical with them. It’s always easier to talk about ‘difficult’ things when you don’t have to look directly at someone, when you’re engaged in a practical activity, particularly for youngsters.
And now, I still find cooking a good place to gather my thoughts; it’s almost meditative. (Well, until I day dream too much and the pan boils over!) I often think I should maybe set up a cooking and coaching course!
When do you have some of your best thoughts?
Posted on December 14th, 2010 by Jane