1. Patience. This is a given, maybe, but I’ve found that DH has never learned even the most basic kitchen habits (using 1 cutting board for meat and a separate one for produce; checking the level of the measuring cup, etc.) and it’s difficult to remember how to tell him when these things are habit/intuition for most home cooks. I have to work at *not* getting frustrated when he doesn’t know how or why to do something.
2. Tell him the “why” not just the “how.” I explained the difference between “1 cup of flour, sifted” and “1 cup of sifted flour” and why exactly it maters, and completely blew him away. He’s never confused the two since.
3. Make him DO THE WORK. Telling is fine, showing is better, but doing is the only way to really, really learn. DH always watched me make rice, and assumed he could just do it himself… and he couldn’t get past how to wait for the water to boil. Now that he’s done it himself a few times, start to finish, he can do it without my help. It’s like driving a car — remember thinking, “oh, my dad drives me to school every day, this will be easy!” and then sitting in the driveway, trying to figure out whether to take a left or a right? Same concept.
5. Give him the easy stuff to do… at first. I don’t trust DH with the complicated stuff yet (I still do 99% of the cooking), but I do ask him to stir the sauce, chop the carrots, or other simple tasks while I tell him about the more complicated stuff. Eventually he gets interested enough to ask, “hey, can I try that part?”
6. Did I say patience yet? Seriously, most of us learned the basics as children with our mothers/fathers, and decided to seek out more info from books and blogs on our own. It’s like learning a new language at a later age — baby steps, basics, building blocks.
(I’m just chock-full of cliches today, aren’t I? Sorry ladies…) 😀