Allison was at a friend's house playing. The friend's mom was mashing strawberries with a mashing tool by hand and mentioned how hard it was (it was the mother's first time making jam). Allison mentioned that I always put the berries in the blender. The mother took her advice. I later got a phone call from this mother asking other questions. I thought it was a little random that of all people in the neighborhood she would call me but I understood later after Allison filled me in on her mashing tip.
It struck me how much Allison knew about the making of jam. I have had her help a few times but never in a "watch carefully because I am going to teach you" sort of way. I underestimate how much my children learn by simply watching.
I tend to shoo the kids out of the kitchen because I can't stand the extra bodies in my way. But at the same time I want them to learn to cook. I need to be better about letting them watch and participate in the preparation of meals. So my goal for the week is to let each of the big kids help prepare one meal. If they each help in the kitchen once a week they will gradually over time learn basic kitchen skills without it ever being a big production for me. In theory it will work great.....but in reality......I don't know.