I have a list of things I want my kids to be able to do before they go off to college. This isn’t some grand list of trips and theories but of simple practical life skills that I feel they need to be able to do before I let them loose on the world. Do you have a list? Here is part of my list:
- Be able to sew a button on, repair a small hole in the seam or iron on a patch to their clothing.
- Be able to cook well enough that they are not living on Ramen noodles, soup and cold cereal their entire college life.
- Make and follow a simple budget for expenses including entertainment and necessities.
- Balance a bank account.
- Understand credit, interest rates and when and when not to use it.
- How to change a tire, check your oil and fluids in the car.
- How to unclog a sink and toilet.
- Do laundry without throwing everything in one load.
- Keeping a calendar to make and set appointments on their own.
- Simple housekeeping dusting, vacuuming, sweeping, washing windows and curtains and how often they should be done.
There are a couple more but these are the main ones. We are well on our way with over 50% of the list but still have a few we need to get started. I love that both of my kids are gaining confidence in the kitchen and with housework. I rarely have to ask them to redo something such as dusting once they do it. My daughter’s sewing skills are still steadily improving. I tell her she could get spending money knowing how to sew buttons on, hem pants and fix zippers in college.
As part of teaching them budgeting we often buy sale items in bulk with the understanding that we must use them before they go bad in order to really save money. Portobello Mushrooms were on sale this week at the grocery store. I don’t like mushrooms but I know the rest of my family does so I thought I would give them a try. I had originally planned on grilling them but I had no idea how to turn the grill on and didn’t feel like trying to figure it out. So, I spent a bit of time looking through pictures on Google and Pinterest.
I fully support my son and his desire to be a vegetarian. It is not easy for the rest of us but it is slowly getting better. My list of hated vegetables is getting shorter. I will try most cooked vegetables now but I still have a hard time with the uncooked. They are so bitter-tasting to me. But, I could not get past the mushrooms in this dish. I really wanted to but just could not bring myself to taste it. Next time.
My son actually does not like cooked mushrooms. I was wondering how he would do with this dish. I was pleasantly surprised. He ate two giant mushrooms and my daughter ate three. I was shocked! Both of them said they really liked the flavor of the mushrooms. I need to experiment with baking the mushrooms a bit more but everyone else thought they were very good.
For my mostly gluten-free son these are entirely gluten-free.
- 8 Portobello mushroom caps, stems removed, wiped clean
- Olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 8 oz. fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Set oven rack in the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Lightly brush the mushroom capes with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 4-5 minutes until softened.
- Remove mushrooms from oven and turn oven to broil. Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, about 3 minutes. Add the onion and cook 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and cook, stirring to combine everything, 1-2 more minutes. Add spinach and saute until wilted. Remove from heat and allow to cool a few minutes, then mix in the Parmesan.
- Evenly distribute the spinach mixture among the mushrooms. Don’t press down on the filling. Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until filling is golden.