When a teen moves into their first college dorm room, should they know more than how to microwave a frozen dinner or make ramen? George Miliotes, a master sommelier and owner of Wine Bar George in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, says they should. He and his wife have successfully taught their college grad kids how to cook simple meals and he says it’s worth investing “time and effort” in your college-bound kid’s culinary education.
This is what Miliotes says teens should know how to do in the kitchen before heading to college:
- How to cut an avocado - If your kid enjoys avocado toast or guacamole, this is the simplest way to do it. “Put the avocado in one hand and a kitchen knife in the other,” Miliotes explains. “If you cut the avocado in half longitudinally, it comes apart easily. Then, if you stick the knife in the nut, you can twist the knife and the nut comes right out.” Run the spoon underneath each half to get it out of the shell.
- Proper knife skills - Teaching them how to chop and how to hold a knife and how to properly use “the claw” when chopping so you don’t cut yourself is a good place to start.
- How to grill a steak - Miliotes recommends choosing a few specific cuts of meat your family likes and teaching teens how to grill those. He says the key is to keep things simple: Don’t add oil to the meat before grilling and only add salt and pepper when it comes off the grill. Then let the steak rest for five to 10 minutes in a warm oven or the microwave before cutting into it.
- How to cook simple pasta dishes - Boiling pasta is really easy and Miliotes also recommends teaching kids to make a simple alfredo sauce to go with it.
- How to buy seafood - Inspect the fish and look for three things: the eyes need to be clear, the gills have to be nice and red and if the smell seems off, buy something else.
- How to make a smoothie - This drink that’s a meal is perfect for college kids on the go.
- How to cook eggs - A little butter in the pan, whisk the eggs with a little milk or half -and-half and cook them when the pan is really hot.
- How to order an impressive, but inexpensive bottle of wine - Look for a Beaujolais, Nebbiolo or at the grocery store, a Paso Robles Cabernet.