5 Delicious Ways to Create Family Memories in the Kitchen

Many people’s special childhood memories centre on the kitchen and food preparation.

In New Zealand we are lucky enough to have a smorgasbord of rich culinary influences from all around the world and whether your special memory is of something sweet, savoury, salty, sour, or umami, food memories evoke feelings of warmth, comfort and belonging.

Whether you are a master baker, or a bit intimidated by anything other than your usual repertoire, creating special kitchen memories for your family doesn’t need to involve detailed and complex recipes because the main ingredient is love.

Here are five simple ways you can cook up wonderful family memories.

1. It’s just what we do

When your children are small and home for every meal, three times a day (plus snacks), it can be almost impossible to imagine the day when they won’t be. But time waits for no-one and before long you will be wondering exactly where the kids are and if they are coming home for a meal. Friends, sport, hobbies and socialising will all take them away from home and so planning to have everyone present and correct for at least one family meal a week will create a special time for you to all catch up and debrief.

Whether it’s Friday Night Fish, the Sunday Roast, or any version that suits your family, if you get into the routine and your family come to expect it (especially if it incorporates a favourite dish) you will be able to enjoy their company in the years to come.

If a weekly routine seems a bit much, creating a tradition around an annual event can have just as many memories attached to it. Matariki, Easter, Hanukkah, Halloween, Chinese New Year, Christmas, and many more are celebrations that may be significant to you and which you can create a special food tradition around.

2. Your signature dish

Even though you are no doubt catering for a variety of food likes and dislikes, creating a signature dish that (most of) the family loves, will give them the warm fuzzies and thoughts of home whenever they eat it in the future.

What is the dish that makes you most think of your childhood? Sharing your special childhood memories with your own family is a gift of tradition and belonging.

3. Share the love

Betty Crocker

It’s no secret that having kids help in the kitchen can be a frustrating exercise. If you are not one to have them measuring and pouring, pop them on a stool and chat and give them an easy job such as being the official taster, the one to grease the baking pan, cutting the beans, or pulling the herb leaves off the stems.

Once they are old enough to follow simple steps encourage them to have their own ‘signature dish’ – something they can make with little or no supervision such as an ever popular brownie,  ambrosia, bacon and egg pie, or macaroni cheese.

When they have their favourite recipe down-pat, they can then start to experiment – try these fun Betty Crocker Brownie Pops!

4. Birthday cakes

Looking back at the photos of your child blowing out candles on the cake each year is a special timeline of their growth, fashions, and hair styles!

Whether you love to put in hours creating a stunning masterpiece, or simply like to scatter a few lollies and candles, the birthday cake is the centre of any family celebration.

5. Breakfasts / weekend sleep in and brunch

Weekends or holidays can be celebrated with a leisurely brunch cooked and enjoyed with the luxury of a bit more time than your regular weekday routine allows. Fresh muffins, scones, pancakes, waffles, bacon, eggs, breakfast tortilla – mmm so many different, delicious possiblities!

What are your favourite kitchen memories?

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author robynWritten by Robyn for Betty Crocker

Robyn creates content on Kidspot NZ. Her hobbies include buying cleaning products and wondering why things don’t then clean themselves, eating cheese scones with her friends, and taking her kids to appointments. 

Favourite motto to live by: “This too will pass.”

9 Comments

  1. MuddledUpMolly 30/07/2019 at 10:06 pm

    I have become our family cake maker every year and it something I just love to do! My three nieces and nephews love having me bake their cakes each year and I love giving them the opportunity to choose exactly what they want. I love the challenge and the variety of baking for the six special little people (and one special hubby) in my life 🙂

  2. SarahBlair 22/07/2019 at 1:42 pm

    We love to bake and to get creative in the kitchen, I have very fond memories of spending time with my grandmother in her kitchen when I was a child, and baking bread with my mum. Cooking with my kids has not only provided fun and food but it has helped them to learn basic maths and science while I explain measurements and reaction that occur in baking

  3. candyjanenz 21/07/2019 at 4:03 pm

    My boys love helping with baking. When baking with packet mixes it can make it really easy and quick and they get to try the treats a lot sooner. There are so many skills to learn with baking including following recipes and I think it is good for children to know how to cook before they leave home.

  4. Shorrty4life1 18/07/2019 at 4:58 pm

    My favourite kitchen memories would be baking with my nana it was always fun. I also remember digging through her wood as a child and finding a huhu grub so we decided to be sneaky and start frying it in a frying pan to see if they actually really taste like peanut butter but by the time nana noticed what we were upto the huhu grub got thrown away lol. My favourite with my own kids would be baking cakes and seeing their messy chocolate faces afterwards lol.

  5. Micht 17/07/2019 at 12:39 am

    So true how food can bring families together..no matter the occasion, happy or sad it has a way of bringing unity… i have chosen each year to make my daughters birthday cakes so they know that each year all my love and care has gone into their memories… my girls love being in the kitchen with me and sometimes i rope hubby into baking with them too…the joy and laughter it brings is priceless… even if you cant make a thing..just figuring things out together opens doors to talking to your kids…the surprise comes when you realize your child has figured out things faster than you have… lol…

  6. Mands1980 16/07/2019 at 5:55 pm

    My children love baking as I did as a child from scones to cookies, muffins. The weekends are usually bacon and eggs as we have a bit more time if kids sport is not too early. Home made pizzas are a favourite too as the kids make them themselves and add what they want then they actually will eat them as they made it. They love bacon and egg pie which is so easy to make and the kids can help make it too.

  7. Bevik1971 09/07/2019 at 9:43 am

    My partner does most of the cooking as I work full time and he is Stay at home Dad (he was also a chef by trade). I love to cook our Sat morning breakfasts after we have been to the Farmers Markets though, we have bacon, eggs and anything else we find that morning 🙂 We make that a bit of an occasion in the weekends. I love to bake though and so does our 6 year old daughter – we are going to bake some chocolate chip cookies this week and make some little gift wrapped cookies for 2 ladies that work in a cool shop close to where we live and work. We have become really good friends with them and we think they deserve a wee treat 🙂 Peyton always loves doing nice things for nice people and she really enjoys baking with me 🙂

  8. Jen_Wiig 08/07/2019 at 9:30 pm

    I love being in the kitchen , iwas a chef before having my eldest boy so it’s like a second home for me and naturally I want it to be the same for my boys especially as they are boys too and don’t want that stereo typical “men can’t cook/bake” label attached to them as they get older. My eldest has started to show a real flair for baking and has opted to take food tech at high school much to my surprise so here he is at 13 teaching his mumma a thing or two in the baking department of the kitchen.
    We often refer the kitchen to being the hub if the home for us and it’s quite true …some of our funniest and sweetest memories are from being in the kitchen together , some of the most annoying and frustrating too haha….but because I love cooking so much and baking to a degree having my three wee men crowded into our tiny kitchen all part and parcel of it …..My youngest and I just the other day baked cookies together and he was so cute …grabbed the little foot stool parked in front of the oven and sat there watching the cookies rise and bake…he was so excited seeing them go from a balled heap into a flatish circle amazed him hehehee was so cool.

    • Micht 16/07/2019 at 11:51 pm

      So true how food can bring families together..no matter the occasion, happy or sad it has a way of bringing unity… i have chosen each year to make my daughters birthday cakes so they know that each year all my love and care has gone into their memories… my girls love being in the kitchen with me and sometimes i rope hubby into baking with them too…the joy and laughter it brings is priceless… even if you cant make a thing..just figuring things out together opens doors to talking to your kids…the surprise comes when you realize your child has figured out things faster than you have… lol…

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