From scratch

Nicole - posted on 01/12/2011 ( 67 moms have responded )

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Do you think that it is important to make (or at least know how to make) meals from scratch?

Is this something you want to teach your children?

Do you think it's important to make (or at least know how to make) your own clothing, and do repairs? Do you have basic sewing skills?

Is this something you want to teach your children?

What one skill do you wish someone had taught you as a child?

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Minnie - posted on 01/13/2011

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I didn't learn jack squat growing up in that department and it's a huge pain in the butt figuring it out for myself.



Tell me about it. Nicole asked if there was one skill I wished someone had taught me as a child- well- EVERYTHING. Seriously, our mother did everything for us. Starting out in life/marriage I was soooo clueless.

Rosie - posted on 01/13/2011

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i know i keep on thinking about getting one when taxes come back. we have an itty bitty one, but i really want to buy a half cow from a farmer that my friend gets her meat from. ours is overflowing along with the one in the fridge. i'm not sure i have enough room though!!

Amie - posted on 01/12/2011

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I know how to cook from scratch and try to do it as often as possible. I do our own pre-made meals as often as I can so we have that. I do have a few of the short cut stuff for when I'm running low on time.



I know how to sew. I started when I was 6 in 4-H. I won prizes and ribbons for the outfits I made. =) My gramma taught me how to sew on her treadle machine and it pisses me the hell off that instead of giving it to me when she passed, my aunt decided to sell it. Heaven forbid something be kept in the family, especially when someone in the family knows how to use it! pfftt.. I don't make our own clothes though. My god, the time that would take to clothe 6 of us. LOL!



I can do a lot of home repairs myself. Anything extensive (like full on reno's) I defer to the experts. I also will not touch major plumbing or any electrical issues. My husband can do the electrical though.



My dad taught me how to work with wood and how to do basic vehicle maintenance.



My god parents taught me how to shoot, guns and bows.



My parents made sure to have as many opportunities open to me as I wanted as a child. I took dance but didn't like it. I liked sports a lot better. I ran track, was a badminton player, volleyball player and softball player. I tried Tae Kwon Do but didn't like that either. I liked "real" sports. If that makes sense?



I grow a garden and, again, when we're on the acreage, I'm looking forward to having a huge one! My mom is coming to stay with us for a bit in the fall to help me can and preserve. Something else I learned from my gramma's.



My kids are learning these skills and more as they grow.



I can't think of anything I wanted to learn but no one taught me though. I might in the morning but right now I can't think of anything.

Minnie - posted on 01/12/2011

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See, I die for real maple syrup.



My husband and I went on a cruise for our honeymoon and at breakfast I asked for real maple syrup (they were offering the nasty fake corn syrup based stuff) and the waiter looked at me like I had two heads. He even brought over another waiter and they asked- get this- where 'real' maple syrup comes from.



I about fell out of my chair, me growing up in upstate NY and all. It is the elixir of life.

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Jenn - posted on 01/14/2011

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@Sherri - it's all good - I was just being a pain in the ass. :P

Now, if I had to choose TV or internet that's an easy one - I choose the internet. We only get a handful of channels as it is and that's on a good day LOL! But I've also always wanted to live like LHOTP!!! Now that would be the life. Chores, making clothes, cooking on a fire, chopping wood, tending to the fire to keep the house warm, etc. Oh wait - I already do all of that stuff! LMAO!!! Actually last winter we ran out of fuel oil and didn't have any money to get more for almost a month so we had to heat our water in big pots on the wood stove just to take a bath - it was kind of fun LOL!

April - posted on 01/14/2011

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Forgot to add that my FIL is king of fix it yourself! He tried to teach my husband as a kid, but his eyes would just glaze over. Now we've bought our first house, which needs quite a bit of work and my husband wishes he paid more attention! FIL is fixing everything over here and my husband is "helping"...aka holding the tools, LOL! He's a really good example of what happens when you make your kids so dependent on you. Really, FIL should say, I'll show you once and you do the rest....not do it for him!! Or even better...write down the directions and talk him through it!
*Currently they are putting in electric sockets (whatever you call those things that you plug your wires into) in every room of the house. They are putting in about 4 in each room, so plenty of chances for my husband to do it without help!

April - posted on 01/14/2011

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Oh I love my internet more, but I do have a soft spot for certain TV shows! Well one less, come Sunday..the series is ending. That's one half hour less of TV i will be watching!

[deleted account]

I wish I could garden but my fingers are not green, I kill plants like nobodies business...it costs me a fortune because every summer I have to buy new pot plants for my garden (I love flowers) but I end up killing them before the summer is up. What makes it really frustrating is that both my grandparents and my FIL and my BIL/SIL's all grow their own and the food tastes so good but I am just not able to do it...and I love my FIL potatos and veg yummy!

I can pick my own fruit though I'm good at that...I loved stealing the tomatoes off my nans tomato plants :-D

Minnie - posted on 01/13/2011

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What if all your tomatoes died a horribly dry cracked death?

Poor tomatoes. Upstate NY and drought with a 100 foot well don't work well together.

[deleted account]

yep its very important :) what if one day you can't by the premade bottle spaghetti sauce? helps to know how to make your own and it tastes better too

Sherri - posted on 01/13/2011

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Oh boy to have to choose one or the other. I don't think I could do it. The TV is on all day everyday the only time it is ever off is if we are in bed. I think I would give up the computer first at least temporarily.

Minnie - posted on 01/13/2011

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I could do without TV, April, but not the internet. The internet is sooo valuable. Just think of the information there at your fingertips! It's where I learned EVERYTHING I know now. I learned to sew and knit from the internet. Cooking, gardening, homeschooling, it's where I connect to mothers who are a wealth of information...it's amazing.

Stifler's - posted on 01/13/2011

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Toni I'm okay but for some reason Optus is down and I can't recieve texts from my sister (I told her to text me if she gets evacuated or anything) who lives in Windsor (Brisbane) and apparently Windsor was getting evacuated. My Aunty is Goondiwindi which is going under at the moment and one of my other auntys lives in Gatton it's almost too much to keep up with. But so far everyone is fine.

Sherri - posted on 01/13/2011

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Easy Jenn I don't eat meat. LOL!! Honestly Jenn though they know exactly what meats come from what animals and yes obviously they know the animals died. That doesn't mean I need to do the killing or want my kids viewing the killing though. Also we (meaning my hubby and kids) don't eat any animal that comes from a forest either. They eat steak(from a cow), hamburg(for a cow), pork, bacon, ham, chicken and once a year turkey. That is the only meats that ever would be consumed in this household.

Mrs. - posted on 01/13/2011

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My allergy list is long and I don't do well with processed stuff, so we cook from scratch more often than not. My fiance makes a gluten free/yeast free flat bread and kick ass pizza crust but we still buy a local sourdough kamut bread for sandwiches/toast. I also choose to use Tikiyada brown rice pasta...it's organic and holds up better than any other gluten free pasta I've made/had.

I can hand sew, make basic repairs and such. I can also knit. I will make sure my daughter knows how to do those things too, they are important life skills. Of course, I learned how to sew in Brownies cause my mom was always working.

I really had to learn the cooking thing on my own. My mother is a wonderful baker but not the best cook. I was lucky that I landed myself an Italian man who worked in restaurants years ago-he might not have worked as a life partner but he taught me how to cook. I've actually learned the most about cooking from the men I've been with.

April - posted on 01/13/2011

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Yes, i think it is very important to know how to cook from scratch.

As for having other skills, Jenny worded it beautifully. "Self Sufficiency is the single most important thing you can teach your children." It's really important to make sure your children don't grow up to be so dependent that they literally can't do anything for themselves.

Skills I wish I had? I wish I could sew. Like Sara H, I literally have no ability. I've been taught, but I just can't do it. I wish I could cook...I really think the cooking gods hate me. I try so hard and everything gets burnt or overcooked. Tried to make chicken thighs today and I thought I did good. Till I got to the bone and it was friggin RAW. Sooo gross. :(

I wish I had been taught to grow a garden. I'd love to bring the grocery bill down by growing my own food.

I'd also really like to not be so dependent on technology and learn to deal with the bare minimum. Like Laura Ingles Wilder bare minimum! I love my internet and TV too much :(

Jenn - posted on 01/13/2011

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@Sherri - I can get not being into hunting or fishing, but how do you explain eating meat to your kids? You do know that an animal had to die, right?

Katherine - posted on 01/13/2011

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I think (and I haven't read the other posts) you should know how because it's important to know what's being put in your food. Cooking should be a basic skill, although I myself don't consider myself a good one.
Yes, you should know how to mend things, another basic skill. I do have basic sewing skills and I think they're important. My daughter is rough on her clothes. I have to mend them constantly.

I definitely want to teach my children. My 5yo already helps with the cooking.
I can't think of a skill off hand that I wish someone had taught me....

[deleted account]

You ladies brought up some good points past the cooking and sewing thing. My dad taught me how to change a tire and check my oil. Past that I know how to tell my husband if my car makes a funny noise. =)



My husband was a mechanic's assistant before he went to school to be a paramedic then RN. So we've got cars and our bodies covered! His dad is an electrician and his granddad a plumber, so he knows the basics of those trades. If he can't figure something out, he's got great references to go to! I hope he teaches our children these skills...I'm sure he will. They've been invaluable.



Like you Sherri, I'm NOT interested in killing and dressing animals! But, again, it's something my husband can do. Though he hasn't been hunting in a few years...just got too busy. I'll never forget the first year of our marriage when I walked in kitchen...starving...after school. There was a be-headed, skinless squirrel in our kitchen sink! I lost my appetite. Then my husband told me he thought I could make a stew from it. Needless to say, HE made and ate the stew by himself that night. =) (I have eaten and cooked with animals that he's killed, but I don't have to look at them in their original form!)

Amie - posted on 01/13/2011

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Toni, yea. Yuck. I remember dressing a deer when I was 12. Ew. Just because I know how, doesn't mean I'm going to do it. Same with gutting fish, butchering farm animals, etc. Oh, it's just too gross for me. LOL



I need to work on my aim again though. I'm sure it's gone to crap in the last few years. I haven't gone out in a long time. Another reason I'm glad to be moving to the acreage. =) But yea, I'll kill/catch it... someone else can clean and gut it for me. I'll cook it when they're done! haha

Joanna - posted on 01/13/2011

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Now that I'm dairy free I kind of have to cook everything from scratch. I enjoy it but it's tough to do with a 3 month old who doesn't sleep and a high energy 3 year old. I used to do a lot of those easy frozen skillet meals, or just throwing cubes chicken in rice r roni, etc. I miss those days.

I do sew a lot of our clothes, I'm self taught but have turned it into a business. I love it and will enjoy teaching my girls when they get older.

Lady Heather - posted on 01/13/2011

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I`d say I`d like to know more about cars, but I can`t even drive now so meh. The husband is a whiz with them (used to be a mechanic). I`m learning house repairs slowly. The husband is also a whiz at those. He comes from a family of DIYers. It`s most handy when things need fixing. Like toilets. We`d have spent a bomb on those if not for him. Only thing we`ve had to pay to repair so far is the gas fireplace.

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Emma my dad keeps showing me how to change spark plugs I just nod and mmm inthe right places, I'm really not that interested lol.

How are you and your family? I think of you everytime I put on the news and see QLD - it is horrendous

[deleted account]

Cooked from scratch meals taste so much better than pre-made meals do, I feel sorry for the people who cannot/ do not cook at least some meals from scratch they are missing out. Oh and not to mention it is so much cheaper to cook your own. My nan taught me things like how to make jam and stuffing amongst many other yummy things, she was always teaching us).

I can repair sew (fix a hole, sew a button on) and I can hem clothes, although I really struggle with sewing in a straight line so I don't do that much sewing in general (oh and I hate it). I learnt how to knit from my nan when I was a kid but I can't really remember it because I thought it was boring so I stopped doing it, I really wish I coul dknit now because I wanted to my son to have a knitted blanket but my nan died just as he was conceived so she couldn't do it for me (she would have loved doing it as well).

I can change a tire, and do basic mantenance on my car, but if I need it doing I take the car in because I don't want to mess I am far too busy.

I am able to do general DIY but never have to because my hubby is a gas engineer and throughout his career he has picked up several skills, such as tiling, plastering, painting, wall-papering, capentry and obviously his plumbing skills (which you need to be a gas eng.) so he is really handy - I don't see the point in doing the jobs that he can do that much better than I can and so much quicker.

Amie, I think knowing how to not only shoot but prepare your catch is an amazing skill to have...

Stifler's - posted on 01/13/2011

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My husband taught me how to change spark plugs. Thank god we have a car that's under warranty or he'd have me doing stuff like that every week.

Minnie - posted on 01/13/2011

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They are dirty and nasty. That is what I have a husband for

:D

At least they're good for -something-!

Sherri - posted on 01/13/2011

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Yes I do think it is important to make meals from scratch and yes all my kids can cook and make meals if they need to now and they are 12 & 14. Not my 4yr old yet.



No I do not think it is important to make clothing or do repairs. Basic repairs such as sewing a button or a stitch in a seam yes.



They are required to take sewing classes in school beginning in 5th grade till 12th grade (girl or boy) so I never had too.



How to crochet and cake decorate.



Also I don't know how to do any basic car repairs don't want to know and refused to learn as a teen. They are dirty and nasty. That is what I have a husband for and honestly I am really girly so it isn't happening.



I also would never hunt in my life time (not opposed to others doing it though) I also wouldn't allow my kids to go or observe hunting. It just isn't part of our life style and I never want my family to see an animal die.

Lady Heather - posted on 01/13/2011

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Food, yes. It's just plain healthier. Non-scratch foods just don't even happen around this house, unless we go out for dinner which isn't much.

Basic sewing skills are definitely useful for repairs and minor alterations. I'd like my kids to know how to sew their own clothes, but it's becoming more difficult to buy the materials needed (except online) and it's usually cheaper to just buy clothes unfortunately. I grew up in a house where most of the clothes were homemade and I kind of miss it. My mum and I made my wedding dress though and we still make special occasion outfits.

I think it is important that kids know where things come from and how much work goes into preparing and making them.

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I have a 91 Blazer and could take apart, put it back together no problem. My friend brought her 2007 Dodge to have me change the thermostat, after popping the hood and not being able to find it promptly redirected her to a shop.

Jocelyn - posted on 01/13/2011

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I can make my own clothes! I've been sewing since I was four! I can also make drapes, and completely refinish furniture. I can fix a door knob, and reset fuses. I can cook from scratch if need be, but I'm not very good at it. As long as I produce something edible, then I consider that a success LOL
I will definitely be teaching both kids how to sew (DH knows how to sew too). I will be teaching them to not be completely useless on their own. I'm probably not going to teach them to make 5 course meals from scratch, but pancakes? Sure lol.

Jenny - posted on 01/13/2011

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I drive a '92 Toyota. My partner put a new clutch in without ever doing it before. He has switched motors too. By basic I mean things like changing a fuel pump, doing your brakes, oil changes, putting in a new alternator. The only thing the computer is needed for in some cases is diagnostics (like when my O2 sensor recently went). The special tools things pisses me off too but the knowledge can still be shared. And we buy or rent most of the required tools.

[deleted account]

Jenny-I also plan on teaching the basics on a vehicle but it has gotten to the point where its takes special tools and all day just to do a regular tune up. We also hunt and fish as well and I think thats one skill that everyone should have.

Jenny - posted on 01/13/2011

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Self sufficiency is the single most important thing you can teach your kids. Between their father and me we will teach them hunting (including dressing the and butchering the animal), fishing, gardening, cooking from scratch, basic clothing repairs, making some of their own clothes (knitting, crochet etc.), vehicle repairs and anything else we can think. I want well rounded children who are capable of absolutely anything life throws at them. I didn't learn jack squat growing up in that department and it's a huge pain in the butt figuring it out for myself.

[deleted account]

I thinks its important to know how to cook from scratch and I will teach my kids how. But I also think its important they learn how to manage meals in a realistic way too and keep it as healthy as possible. Not many people have time to make dinner from scratch any more and its way too expensive to do all the time.

Amy - posted on 01/13/2011

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I make almost everything from scratch. I just like to. Box mixes cannot compare. I met a gal who didn't even know how to cook a baked potato. Kinda scary. YES, I love cooking with my kids. My daughter is 4 and could probably tell you what you need to make cookies, pancakes and I've helped her cook her own eggs in the morning. she LOVES it. I couldn't imagine not sharing those times with her. Also...store bought bread vs homemade. Huge difference. I'd pick real bread any day. My husband does the sewing here. I know, I need to learn. I'd like to. My daughter is starting to learn to sew at grandma's house. At least she's getting it somewhere. :) I do wish I knew how to sew. Not just mend something, but do a Scarlet O'hara and make an awesome dress out of old curtains. Maybe one day....

Rosie - posted on 01/13/2011

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i'm a weirdo and don't really care for real maple syrup on my pancakes, give me the fake stuff anyday! i like it to cook with, but not on my pancakes, thats reserved only for corn syrup imitation maple flavor goodness!!
i do make my own ricotta cheese though, does that make up for it?? gqtm!!

Rosie - posted on 01/13/2011

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i think it's hugely important, and it's something i try to instill in my kids everyday. i will have my boys help me make supper, or some type of dessert, cookie, cake whatever almost everyday. if there isn't something homecooked in my house, there is something majorly wrong with me. it's a wonderful memory that i have of my mother and my grandmother, and i hope it does the same for my boys.



we also freeze corn, strawberries and peaches every year. we also make applesauce to freeze. i make freezer jam and canned jam. these are memories i have of my mother and grandmother as well. plus we go out to the fields and pick the berries, corn and apples ourselves. my mom has some peaches but usually gets the white little ones which aren't as good to me as the bigger yellow ones, so i get those from the market. my mothers family was raised amish/mennonite and usually have their gardens full of food to share with each of their 8 siblings, lol. my uncle paul is our source of corn and apples, grandma used to plant the strawberries but we have to go to an amishmans farm now, and my aunt mary has pears galore, along with beans. i try to have a little garden, i don't have much room. this year i plan on moving the kids swingset to the other side of the yard and put a fence up and garden on that side of the house (more sun), i can't wait, i bought all the stuff on clearance at the end of the season last year!!



i did sew with my mother and grandma when i was younger as well, but i never really picked up on it. i didn't enjoy it as much as cooking. so now i couldn't sew much other than a button, lol. i do wish i could do more with that, but it's just not a huge interest of mine, plus i can just take it to my mom, and use it as an excuse to see her. :)

[deleted account]

I wish someone had taught me how to use a sewing machine when I was little, so that I could delve into my designing skills as an adult and maybe make some money, ha.

I know basic sewing skills, and if I really tried I could make my own clothes but it'd take forever. I also have self-taught basic cooking skills. I'm awesome with chicken or veggie meals, I think, but that's only because that's the majority of my diet. My husband thinks he's a gourmet chef, he even gets sick if he doesn't eat something prepared all special and crap. Sigh. All his dishes take hours to do, but mine are like thirty-minute thrown together batches. But mine almost always come out great, even according to him. But his? Eh...

[deleted account]

I do some semi-scratch meals (like Sara mentioned), but I hate to cook/bake. Not that I can't, but I don't get any enjoyment out of it and cut corners/go simple quite often.

I could stitch up a little hole if I owned a needle and thread, but it wouldn't be pretty.

LaCi - posted on 01/13/2011

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I make all our meals from scratch, because I want to know what's in our food. I think it's important to be able to do so. It's also a hell of a lot cheaper for way better quality. I'll teach him, if he wants to learn.

I have basic hand sewing skills, and making clothing is one thing I wish I had learned as a kid. I'm learning how to do so now. I don't think it's necessarily an important skill to have, but its a nice one. I'll teach him that, after I learn, if he wants to know.

Amie - posted on 01/13/2011

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Kate, the first time you run over a finger with a sewing machine makes you very aware to PAY ATTENTION. LOL! I've only done it once, wasn't that bad. Stung like a bugger though, especially when I had a bit of string in there that I had to pull out. =/ I was 13 when I did that. Awesome.

Your plants burn? I've never heard of that unless you water during the day. I water mine in the evening at dusk so that doesn't happen. Admittedly, I'm in Canada and not the asshole of hell... so it may be different for me. haha

Kate CP - posted on 01/13/2011

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I have an irrational fear of sewing machines. I'm afraid I'm going to pierce my thumb or something. But I can hand mend any garment! I also have a pretty green thumb. If I didn't live in Texas my garden would look fabulous. But because I live in the asshole of Hell it gets so damn hot that the plants burn regardless of how often I water them. :(

[deleted account]

My daughter has been helping me cook semi-from scratch meals since before she was two. I say "semi" because we don't make pasta or bread and we use diced tomatoes and sauce from a can. We don't grind our own wheat for flour or corn for corn meal. But we buy the good non-processed corn meal from the farmer's market. We are slowly, but surely working on our vegetable garden and will hopefully be able to can tomatoes and use those instead of the canned stuff. It's a work in progress for us. Yes, I think it's important.

I cannot sew. I do not have the ability. Mom tried to teach me. I even had my own sewing machine growing up. She was not a cook-from-scratch mom though. That's something I learned as an adult.

And Lisa, we don't have maple syrup here...it's cane syrup...and we do buy the real stuff made the old fashioned way from a sugar cane grinder from some people we know...will not eat syrup unless it's real!

Kate CP - posted on 01/13/2011

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Yes I think meals from scratch (to a degree) are better. What I mean by that is I use store bought pasta and sandwich bread and things like that. But everything else I try to make by hand. Although I have to admit that I have a weakness for Kraft dinner. :P

Tara - posted on 01/13/2011

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Yes I think it's important to know how to cook food from scratch, I also think it's important to know how to grow food yourself, harvest it and store it.
I think it is important to at least know how to sew by hand
so that you can make repairs to your own clothing.

I teach my kids all of the above.

I wish I had learned all of the above as a child. I learned all of them as a young adult, because I taught myself.
So...I try to teach my kids a little bit of everything, in small doses, so that they will have a basic understanding to build on as they grow up.

Desiree - posted on 01/13/2011

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I am a passionate cook so I may be a little biased in this regard, but yes I feel its important. Food tastes better try making a Lasgane with home made pasta. Or a chicken pie. Its not just how its cooked its what goes into it from the person who makes it. A sprinkle of Love, a Dash of Hope, a teaspoon of Care, a cup of Thinking of You and the pastry of Passion. Its so easy to go out and just buy something off the shelf but there is more pleasure in making it yourself and getting the reward from it. Personally I was taught to do a number of things so I am able to cook, darn, sew, knit, change a tire, a globe, a fan belt and a plug (my dad wouldn't let me drive without knowing how) I can also crohett and embroder but am usless at petti point, I can ) both my son and my daughter are both learning to cook and darn. When the time come both will learn to change the relevant things on a car. Because you never know when it becomes usefull. The only thing I regret never having learnt was written music.

Jenn - posted on 01/13/2011

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Yes, I do think it's important and it's something I will teach my kids just by having them watch what I do on a daily basis and having them help at an age appropriate level. I cook and bake from scratch (pre-made pie crust is like a sin in my house - BARF), I repair clothing and furniture that can be sewn, I installed our new kitchen faucet by myself last week, and I know the basics of car care.

Stifler's - posted on 01/13/2011

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yeah. i don't see how making a cake from scratch is harder than a cake mix. i can't sew so i just buy clothes. i can sew buttons back on my mum taught me that much. i want to teach my kids how to cook, my mum always had the time to let us learn how to crack eggs with one hand, sift the flour in, etc. and how long to steam veggies for blah blah blah. i was cooking dinner at 11 so i would always cook easy stuff like cut up potatoes as chips and apricot chicken and roasts and spaghetti bolognaise etc.

Charlie - posted on 01/12/2011

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I think it is important to have the skills to cook and repair clothing , I have been teaching my eldest all about foods like veggies and fruit to letting him help me with cooking from a young age .

Although I don't think it is that important to be able to make your clothes I think it is a wonderful skill to have .

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