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How old were you when you started to cook or bake?

What did you make? And when did you start to teach your kids to cook? What did you make/bake and how did you teach them?

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  1. I was making egg salad, which I loved, very young. Possibly in the 4th or 5th grade. I was baking from about 5th or 6th grade. I baked cookies or a cake from a mix.

    My own kids got pretty much free rein in the kitchen. I don't think any of them baked when they were young, but they learned how to handle cooking in the micro or stovetop. I know they could fry eggs and make sandwiches. All of my kids can cook now.

    1. I started with cookies when I was pretty young and I recall when I was maybe 5 or 6 that my aunt gave me a kid-size cooking set along with some jiffy muffin mixes. I actually used the mini muffin tin from that set in design school for mixing paints :) I started "cooking" when I was 10 or 11, simple stuff like mac n cheese or sauteeing chicken or ground beef, and I was a pretty good baker by then. In 7th grade I got my first set of stitches on my index finger while making a 3-D cell model for science class out of chocolate cake and candies. Slicing red vines length wise with a knife to use as the membrane is a very slippery task :)

      I really didn't COOK until I was in my mid-20s, when I bought a condo with a gorgeous kitchen that I felt was too nice to waste on "cooking" stuff from boxes and frozen stuff, so I bought some books and watched the food network every saturday morning and got to learning.

      Oh, and no kids here.

      1. In my family, cooking was a chore that my mother and grandmother did everything possible to protect me from.

        Around age 26, we moved to a house with a large kitchen. We had a TV in the kitchen and I started watching Food Network after work. I had an hour or so to myself between when I got home before my husband arrived from work. The first 30 minutes was Mario Batali (Molto Mario I believe) then Rachel Ray. After a couple of weeks, I thought to myself "I can do that" and started experiementing.

        1. Wasn't encouraged to be in the kitchen as a kid, but I did much of the cooking when I shared an apartment at college. I used to call my Mom for instructions.

          1. I grew up in my mom's kitchen, opening cans and mashing the potatoes when I was 3 or 4, making Campbell's soup and grilled cheese sandwiches when I was 6, cooking full dinners when I was 12. When I was 16, I went to live with my father and stepmother for a while and walked into a completely different attitude. I believe my stepmother was jealous of the fact that I was a better cook than she was. She even literally got upset because I did my own laundry. She told me that, as a boy, I didn't need to know how to cook or do laundry because that was her job. When I asked her what I was supposed to do when I turned 18 and moved out, she said I was supposed to get married and my wife would do those things for me. Neither of my two ex-wives could cook worth a damn (my second thought she was gourmet and exotic because she made cous-cous) and my current wife has the potential to be a good cook, just not the slightest interest, so I do the cooking. Ironic.