11 Ways cooking brings the family together

11 Ways cooking brings the family together

We all love food, so why not share it?
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Cooking occurs in the kitchens of almost every household across the world. It’s the expression of an imaginative mind, hungry belly, and love for creating delicious food. Sharing the experience with your family can be a fun way to create lasting bonds and memories.

Here are just a few ways in which cooking brings a family closer.

1. Memories

Some of the best memories may be those of a family member creating one of their favorite dishes. My grandfather and I used to soak tomatoes in oil and spices hours before a meal so that they could have time to sit. When you have a family who loves to cook, the memories created while preparing a meal are often cherished for a lifetime.

2. Lessons

The passing from generation to generation of “secret ingredients” and tricks of the trade. Whether it’s a special way to make sure your pie crust doesn’t stick to the pan, or being able to recognize when an egg white is whipped to perfection, it’s all done through the teachings of family members.

3. Healthy competition

Whether it’s a holiday meal or a simple family dinner, a little battle of the wooden spoons is a great way to add some spice to the action. My dish usually wins…

4. Providing for your loved ones

Being able to cook a meal for the people you care for is a rewarding experience that brings everyone closer together.

5. Bonds created while working in the kitchen

The ties with your family grow stronger as you work together to prepare a meal, even though it may get a bit tight when everyone has to use the same cutting board at once.

6. Passing on the lessons that you’ve learned

One day, the lessons in which you were taught are once again ready to be passed on to another generation. Passing your skills onto children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews are key to keeping tradition.

7. Sharing

Whether it’s handing out jams and Jellies made fresh in your kitchen, or using your household as professional taste testers, you can always count on someone to try out your new creation.

8. Reminiscing

Creating your favorite dishes can bring back old memories of meal time conversations, loved ones, or a “taste of childhood” we all know and love.

9. Tradition

Keeping up with tradition can be a fun aspect of any meal time or preparation. Games, cooking roles, and special dates are just a few ways of maintaining those special memories.

10. Holidays

Celebrating holidays with family wouldn’t be the same without food. Lots and lots of food. Turkey, Christmas cookies, pasta, casseroles. You name it.

11. Spreading the love.

The best part after any cooking session, is being able to sit down with your loved ones to enjoy it.

Cover Image Credit: Personal photo

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.

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1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten


Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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The Year of the Pig

Happy Chinese New Year! My family has a few traditions that we do to celebrate the new year together, but this year my mom and I decided to start something new.

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Do you remember the controversial maybe even disturbing short film before Incredibles 2? The one where the mom eats her son who is a small steamed bun? Even though it might have been disturbing, you have to admit that the buns the mother and her son made together looked delicious!

The food in the short film is called bao and it is a traditional Chinese steamed bun that typically contains pork as its filling. My mom and I were inspired to try to make our own and maybe after this article; you'll be inspired, too!

Here are the ingredients you will need:

1. Premix flour steamed bao (you can find this at the Asian market)

2. Steamer (we used bamboo steamers from the Asian market)

3. Ground chicken breast

4. Chopped Portabella mushrooms

5. Chopped green onions

The first thing we did was prepare the filling for the bun. Traditionally, pork is supposed to be in the bun, but we decided that we would do chicken instead.

1. Add grapeseed oil to a large, frying pan

2. Add minced ginger, onions, and mushrooms (measurements are optional)

3. Add the ground chicken breast

4. Add the seasoning as you continue to sauté all the ingredients.

5. Season with soy sauce, hoisin sauce and ginger (measurements are optional)

Make sure your center stays heated while you start to make the bun. The instructions for how to make the buns are on the packaging of the bun powder. Once you mix all the ingredients, you have to knead the dough for quite a while.

You can always make your buns from scratch. You can find a recipe for homemade steamed buns here.

Once the dough is kneaded, separate it into 18 strips. It is difficult to roll out the dough at first, but it becomes easier after a while. Once the dough is divided, roll them out into flat circular shapes and place the filling in the center of the dough. After you put the filling in the center of the bun, grab all of the edges of the dough together and twist them at the top, forming a swirling shape at the top of the bun.

We placed four bao on wax paper in one steamer and steamed them for 15 minutes. Each bao must be placed on separate sheets of wax paper. After 15 minutes, you have your bao!

This is a family-friendly activity that not only entertains your family, but it also feeds them! Celebrate the Year of the Pig by making bao with your friends and family! It's an experience that brings people together and gives them memories to cherish for a lifetime!

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