If you are new to the enjoyment of cooking, I don't think it's probably ideal to incorporate other 'learners' in to the kitchen with you. Yes, that would drive me batty.
To be honest, my impatient, messy son does drive me mad when he wants to 'help' but, I've nutted it out now - I get him on the less messy duty's that don't cause me to blow a gasket (particularly if I'm tired and impatient already).
- Fill a sink with about 2 inches of water and once you've peeled and cut the ends of carrots, beans or peeled potatoes - ask them to wash them for you and put them in a dish ready for cooking.
- Get a cheap set of scales and once food is prepared (the less messy kind) like the peeled & washed vegies, ask them to see how much they weigh on the scales.
- If you're just in the discovering stage yourself, DO NOT start with making cupcakes and letting them measure flours, sugars etc. You just end up with it from a/hole to breakfast time causing said blown gasket. Be sneaky - get all the powdery, fine ingredients ready without telling them and ask them to put the cupcake liners into a muffin tray. Get them to grease the muffin pans or, mash a soft banana with a fork in a big bowl.
- Buy the canola spray in a can and let them spray the cake tins or draw around cake pans on the lining paper and cut out with their scissors (it doesn't matter if it's not perfectly cut)
There are other less tedious (annoying) things I get my son to do and can't think of all of them now. If I remember when I'm not exhausted, I'll let you know. But, you should let them in to your cooking world with little, important jobs that will encourage a love of food and making things yourselves.
I do understand your pain though - sometimes
I do want to wave and flap around like a crazy Italian woman but, I try and keep in mind his interest too. It just takes some forward thinking rather than all traipsing in the kitchen 'okay, let's make a souffle, you can measure and sift the flour'
< my idea of hell!
Edited by Funnington, 04 February 2013 - 09:24 PM.