My son Sam and I sometimes have some cooking learning moments and I often wonder what skills he should know to live on his own.

I think back to when I left home. What skills was I taught, and what skills did I know. You have to remember that for a long time boys didn't take Home Economics at school, and I think I might have been one of the first classes of boys learning those skills.

At home, I could fry a burger on the stove and on the grill. For that matter, if I had a grill, I could cook just about any hunk of meat. I could make chicken. My Mom showed me how to make meatloaf and fry up ground burger to make a hot dish with cream of mushroom soup, chicken soup, noodles, and ground beef. I could boil water so I could make hard boiled eggs, and cook up any canned veggie, and I could make ramen noodles and mac and cheese better than anyone. I could make fried eggs, scrambled eggs, and toast. Good enough to get me started. Keep in mind, there was no youtube at that time.

At school, I learned how to make a cake, how to use a knife with skill. (I find this important), and I forget.

So here's what I find important.

Skill # 1 How to cook eggs.

Not only is it part of a good breakfast but it's cheap to make. you can buy a couple dozen eggs, learn a couple ways to make 'em and you are off and running.

Skill #2 How to boil and prepare things on the stove

Most don't consider this a skill, but if you have ever eaten noodles that are way overdone, you would agree with me. You can make spaghetti, mac and cheese, alfredo, and plain old buttered noodles when in a pinch. I would include how to make ramen too. I would also say boiling veggies and cooking on the stove should be something every kid should know. You open up a whole world of instant meals with this skill.

Skill #3 How to prepare meat.

Throw it in a pan and brown it, nope, that won't do. I think preparing meat depends on the meat. What do you look for, how do you know it's done, how to check it, and keep your hands clean and your area clean. Chicken can make you sick if you don't clean the area, cook it fully, and clean your hands every chance you get. How do you cook a steak and not overcook it? How do you properly prepare seafood? Making breading to add different flavors and things to meats. If your child is going to get their protein, you have to know these skills.

Skill # 4 How to make a pizza or should I say baking

There are a lot of things this could cover, but I think this is a way for students to know how to make right, and they can keep meals cheap by getting the $1 take home pizza and know how to cook it. (Not that I've ever done this). This would include making and baking anything, including a burrito or quesadilla.

Skill #5 Making things with ingredients

This would cover all sorts of things. Making pancakes and waffles from scratch. Teach your child how to combine things to make other baked goods. How are you going to pass down recipes if your child doesn't know how to make them.

So, what am I missing? Let me know in an email, with your app, or in the comments.

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