Teaching, Learning & Blue Apron

It’s a personal post.  Stop reading if you’re expecting edu-leadership reflection and insight.  This is all about cooking with my boys.

No matter how you feel about companies like Blue Apron, I took advantage of a free meal via email from a friend.  What’s to lose?  Nothing but gain for me.  Here’s why.

A box of ingredients for two meals arrives on my porch on Tuesday.  Jacob has baseball practice on Tuesdays; Joshua is between sports right now.  Josh picks which meal he’ll cook on Tuesday.  Jacob gets the other meal for Wednesday.  Joshua likes to follow the recipe exactly and make adjustments the second time around.  Jacob likes to improvise the first time around if he feels like the recipe needs it.

Learning to cook.  Hopefully you had a parent who taught you the basics, the family traditions and even some improvisation in the kitchen.  I’ve done this too.  Joshua even invented a dish we call Tater Tot Casserole.  It’s pretty good.  But now we’re learning to cook a bit differently.

Welcome to Casa Haugen, Blue Apron.  Each recipe comes with a card.  Ingredients and background on one side and six pictures with six directions on the other side.  I don’t direct the cooking experience so much as I serve as the assistant.  I relinquish the “teacher” role to the card.  And we both learn something when we cook: a new ingredient, technique, combination of flavors…

A few observations:

My boys give me good direction.  “Mom, can you mince the garlic while I clean the other vegetables?”  “The pan is heavy.  Can you hold it while I scrape it?”

Direction and coarse correction from me is easier when they’re in the driver’s seat.

Sometimes my help isn’t needed.  “Mom, I got it from here.”

The card is the boss.  Jacob: “What’s next?” Me: “I don’t know.  What’s the card say?”

They’re proud of cooking for the family.  “I think dad’s really going to like this.”  “I hope the hash is seasoned well.”

What’s the learning for me?  Give them room.  Take direction.  Be a partner, not a boss.  Enjoy cooking together.  Let them shine.

My poor kids rarely get a break from their teacher/principal mom.  Or maybe all moms are like me.  Protective, teaching all the time, hovering more than they’d like to, wanting to give independence but struggling… who knows?

This is a new biweekly experience for our family that I look forward to like no other.  Love cooking with my boys!  And learning with them too!



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