Monday, October 14, 2019

Cooking Lesson - Curry Rice

For at least a few years now, I've been trying to push Kai to be more independent and to have him learn life skills.

He's been doing his own laundry for over a year now, and also regularly takes out the garbage and recycling.

For a few years now, I have him make Mom's coffee on weekends when he wakes up before she does. And sometimes I have him help me make breakfast on the weekend. For instance, yesterday morning I made crepes and had Kai cut up fruit and spread Nutella and the fruit on top.

He doesn't complain much anymore about helping out and usually does a good job.

I've been asking my wife to have Kai help out once in a while when she is preparing dinner, but she hadn't done that too often. However she will be leaving for Japan in a few weeks and wanted to teach me and Kai how to make curry rice, so last night she had him do most of the preparation.

The first step is to wash the rice. My wife is showing Kai how she likes to do that - by squeezing handfuls of rice and then rinsing them out.

Next, we have to put in the correct amount of water - 6 cups in this case. Our Japanese rice cooker has several different measurement guides depending on the type of rice you want to make, so you have to recognize the right one.

Then you have to hit the "Start" button. This seems obvious, but my wife likes to remind me how I hit the wrong button TWICE before and we didn't have rice ready for dinner. (I believe I had wrongly hit the "Stop" button as I'm usually the one to clean up and I must have pressed that button out of habit).

Next it was time to prepare the other materials. First, my wife showed Kai how to wash and peel potatoes.

And then to cut them up.

Same for carrots.

My wife is not the most patient at teaching Kai how to do things so she was getting a little irritated when it took longer for him to do things than it usually takes her to do it herself. She's usually not watching when I have him help me with breakfast or yardwork or other things so I wonder if she didn't realize that his "helping" actually means a lot more work for me.

The last thing to cut was onions. We were nervous that Kai was going to slice his fingertips as he kept ignoring my wife's instructions on how to hold the onion so you're not exposing the fingertips.

But he got through all the slicing and dicing without any blood shed.

Next it was time to prepare the Dutch Oven. First my wife showed Kai how much oil to put in the pot.

They put the onions in and began to cook those first. In the meantime, my wife instructed Kai to season the chunks of beef with salt and pepper.

Then they added the meat to the pot.

My wife had Kai stir the pot a little to make sure all sides of the meat were browned.

Then she had him add the carrots and potatoes.

Next was pouring in a full container of chicken broth.

While that was cooking (about 20 minutes), my wife taught Kai how to steam broccoli.

And then it was back to the pot to skim off the residue that came up to the top.

The rice was ready about then so my wife told Kai how she likes to stir up the cooked rice rather than letting it just sit.

The last step is to add the blocks of curry seasoning...

And to stir it all in.

As is often the case, when the food is ready I'm too excited to eat it and did not photograph the finished meal. But I can tell you that it turned out well and was very tasty.

I think one of the biggest worries of special needs parents is thinking of what will happen to their kids when they are gone. We still have a lot to worry about in that regard, but the more we can teach Kai life skills, the more reassured we will feel.

Knowing that Kai can make his beloved beef curry rice is one step toward that.


  1. Good for Kai. If he loves eating, he will enjoy cooking, since most of the most delicious food consumed, is made at home. I haven't made curry in so long. Perhaps soon.

    1. He loves eating; he seemed to enjoy cooking this one time anyway. Let's see if he will continue to enjoy it going forward.

      This curry dish is relatively easy to make. I think I will be able to do it when my wife goes to Japan.


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