Once your host kids get past the ‘oatmeal and smashed peas’ phase, it’s time for an Au Pair to do some real cooking.
Au Pairs need to figure out:
- How our appliances work
- What each of the foods is named
- How American weights and measures compare to metric ones
- What temperature in Fahrenheit is “hot”
- Where all the stuff is in your kitchen
- How to cook and mind the kids at the same time
And that’s even before you get to what your dear kids will actually eat!
To help our au pairs get started, the smartest things I did were to:
- Buy a set of Metric measuring cups and spoons
- Type up a list of temperatures that foods should reach in order to be ‘cooked’, in both Fahrenheit and Celsius
- Make a set of menus for three lunches and three dinners, and
- Create some full meal recipes, where I wrote down what to do, for how long, in the right order, so that our au pair could start at 5 and have supper on the table by 5:30.*
Peachtree Mom offered a new suggestion:
Before our next Au Pair arrives, I’m thinking of sending her a link to allrecipes.com. Although it is low on the priority list, we do ask our au pair to make dinner 1 to 2 times per week.
3 out of 3 au pairs stated they could cook. Each recited several dishes when we asked about it during Skype — but not one had a clue when they arrived.
Luckily our daughter likes scrambled eggs and hot dogs which works while we ramp up on the cooking skills.
What tips do you have for getting your Au Pair ready to cook a real meal?
* For example, if dinner was Chicken Fingers, Mac n Cheese, and frozen peas, with sliced fruit for dessert, it started with “preheat the oven, set a pot of water to boil for the macaroni…” etc.
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