Monday, October 14, 2013

It's not just about a taco . . .

I had my youngest granddaughter here for the weekend as you know and one of the things she wanted to do was learn to make tacos.  Tacos are one of her favorite foods.  In Texas, with her dad and step-mom Gloria - she has experienced true tacos!  A favorite of all is Gloria's "breakfast tacos".    Perfectly fried diced potatoes with scrambled eggs and put in a tortilla.  Yummo!!

So I wasn't surprised that Elaine wanted to learn to make tacos.  We made Kansas tacos.  You know the hamburger, seasoning, cheese, onions, salsa, lettuce in hard shells or soft tortillas.  Not like the authentic Mexican food we have experienced in South Texas.  And actually I thought well how much of a cooking lesson will this be - just browning hamburger . . .

Then I went into teacher mode:

     Wash your hands.

     Choose a skillet - non stick or stainless - I have both and the right size skillet
     for the job was the stainless.  So - I explained the differences and we used a little
     oil in the pan to brown the beef.    Then came opening the hamburger package and
     how to handle raw meat.  Explaining about bacteria in uncooked meat and after
     getting it in the pan - how to clean up anything the meat touched.

     For a 10 year old with a hot stove and a little hot oil I felt the need to explain how
     to hold onto and stabilize the skillet with one hand while browning the meat and turning
     it with the other hand.

     So hamburger is browning.  That's it.

     No - I explained, part of cooking is then preparing the rest of the ingredients while
     parts are cooking.  So we got out the lettuce (already shredded in the bag), onion, cheese,
     homemade (Aunt Tami's) salsa, sour cream, and the shells.

     Elaine asked if we could heat the shells in the oven so we prepared that and continued
     to work with the browning meat.   A few times hamburger was flying across the stove top
     because for a petite 10 year old - a heavy stainless skillet is quite a bit to manhandle!!

     During this process it struck me - blog idea - - - making tacos  - - - cooking a meal - - -
     is about much more than just the finished product!  Things started coming to my mind
     that my mom taught me all through my life - and the things I learned in Home-Ec - and
     all the hints and ideas and tips I have picked up from the Food Channel!!

     From picking the right skillet - to knowing what temperature to have the burner - to turning
     it down at the right time - to setting oven temperature - to draining grease - to seasoning
     meat - to prep work - to use of pot holders - to getting plates and forks - - - and on top of all
     getting everything done at the same time and ready to serve!
Soon we called Grandpa to come eat and we ate and went on a bike ride - who needs to do dishes??

That's a lesson for another day :)

1 comment:

  1. My 11 year-old will cook herself eggs for breakfast, before she goes to school. I always have to double check and make sure she took the hot pan off the hot burner and turned it off. So far she's done very well. If you are interested I posted a homemade taco mix for the meat, on my blog. We love it.


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