I know it isn’t the olden days; girls aren’t expected to cook every meal and boys can and do make amazing meals. Most top chefs are male! However, we still find that in most homes, men are reluctant to get in the kitchen and women tend to take on the role of cooking. Girls are often encouraged to learn these skills from a young age, while boys are encouraged to get outside and play sports instead. In this household, I can get the guys into the kitchen to eat, and that’s about it!
I have a friend who raised boys with a lot of tough love on that score. They got themselves up in the morning. She had my respect right there. But more than that, they made their breakfast and prepared their lunches. If they didn’t do that, they didn’t eat. Her logic was simple and effective. Teach them how to live and survive. She didn’t want her boys to be waited on by anybody. She was also a great cook, so she’d make sure they did at least come home to home cooking.
If you’ve had anything to do with raising boys, you’ll know that boys like to use their hands. That is how they learn. And even a quick look at a cooking programme will show you that a lot of the top-rated chefs are guys. Sure there are some great strong women up there too. So I want to bring all this together and get the boys into the kitchen and to get other male members of this family cooking a little more. So I made a list of great gifts and gadgets to get the guys into the kitchen. In my experience, putting a gadget there, will just about do it every time.
Wake up and smell the coffee
It doesn’t matter how much instant coffee you have. There is nothing that will ever replace the smell of fresh coffee. A coffee machine is a thing apart. I don’t know if you’ve had a look lately, but some of them are covered in chrome and look like they could fit on a classic Harley. They are gorgeous. Not only that, they have enough bells and whistles to keep even the most curious male in your house occupied for hours.
You can get a straightforward coffee maker, or you can get as complex and as far back down the chain as you can go without picking the coffee. A good machine should be able to make espresso and also froth the milk for a cappuccino or latte. Get your coupons from discountrue.com, and discover a world of kitchen accessories from Kohl’s.
Get your boys into this and they’ll be fighting over making you a fresh coffee every morning. Getting them used to cleaning the machine and keeping it polished. It is a really good discipline. If you want the fresh coffee smell, get a machine that has a grinder with it.
It seems to me that breadmaking is something that kind of skipped a generation. It’s so easy to buy our bread these days that we have lost touch with the art of making a real loaf or even pizza base. A breadmaker scores all the way. They are so straightforward to use and, again their gadgety nature can appeal to your young man. There’s nothing wrong with letting your guy get stuck into making some handmade dough. In fact, it is a great way for him to let off steam. But someone has to clean up! With a breadmaker, all he has to do is measure and let the machine do the work. An hour or two later you’ll have the aroma of fresh bread to savor. All that measuring will do wonders for his maths!
Don’t let anyone tell you that take away pizza is better than fresh. There are a great variety of pizza ovens out there now that you can buy and keep inside the kitchen. From the dough making to chucking the base around, the guys love getting stuck into pizza night. Besides the base, you can get him into making a great homemade pizza sauce.
This may not be essential in any other country with the exception of Italy, and yes we know how easy it is to buy dried pasta. But a pasta maker will bring out the inner Italian in your guy. Once you get into it, it is addictive and surprisingly easy. Another gleaming gadget to line your shelves. Homemade ravioli is not far away.
Pestle and Mortar
This is not so much a gadget as a stone age essential. A pestle and mortar gets your budding chef starting to mess with herbs and spices. It’s a great way to crush up garlic, with a little salt and olive oil. Brilliant for dressings and just a whole lot of hands-on fun.
A Butcher’s Block
A solid chopping block that can take just about everything you can throw at it. A great chopping board and a preparation surface will protect your kitchen from the most physical aspects of cooking. As the name implies these are great for sticking under a slab of meat and getting tender with some seasoning.
Set of Knives
You’ll want to watch the fingers here, some of these knives are sharp. There’s something particularly male about having a premium set of knives and sharpener. Sharpening that blade brings out the inner chef in just about every male.
Get a Cast Iron Griddle Pan
A kitchen item that brings the BBQ indoors. Everybody knows how guys love to play with those. Now there’s no excuse whatever the season. Get a cast iron one for real quality, and he’ll be searing those steaks and chicken breasts in no time.
The great thing about encouraging the men in your life into the kitchen, is that once they get into it, they find they enjoy it. You can step back a little, knowing that you’ve encouraged a great skill and at the same time maybe given yourself a little down time. Though you might find you deserve and need a dishwasher to keep up with their enthusiasm for making a mess. Plus you never know, one of them may be a talented chef in the making.