My mother wanted to make certain that my sister and I knew how to cook. As we were growing up, in our teenage years, she would sometimes assign the task or “allow” us to cook the dinner meal. This task was introduced to us gradually.
She had us helping in the kitchen for special projects, such as canning vegetables in the summer when there was a large amount of food to process. As a matter of a fact, we had a large kitchen with the table in the center of the room so there was often all 6 members of the family in the kitchen assigned to a particular task in the canning process. Rarely, however, were the boys found in the kitchen at dinner-time preparing.
Sometimes Mom would have one of us girls whip up a side dish such as a salad; sometimes just watch a pot until the water boiled; but gradually she taught us what was needed to prepare a full meal and we were excited and proud of our completed product.
There was always a lot of activity in the kitchen at dinner time since we were feeding a family of 6. So many fond memories of sounds, motions and especially aromas were gathered in those years and stick with my sister and me to this day.