It was Sunday evening. Supergirl, aka Dancing Wombat, was in charge of preparing dinner. This was part of a new routine, helping her practise her independence skills in a real-life situation. She had chosen the recipe, written out a shopping list, done the shopping and carried it most of the way home. Now it was time to cook.

Preparing dinner

The recipe  – Creamy Bacon and Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken – was a relatively simple one from a book called “One Pot, One Bowl”. Yes, with bacon, light cream cheese and sour cream, it was definitely a dish to fatten the arteries – I mean, gladden the heart! Fairly light on the vegetables, though. I’m not sure that half a cup of semi-dried tomatoes really counts. But as with so many things, you have to start somewhere!



Hungry, anyone? Creamy Bacon and Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken was Dancing Wombat’s spot-on choice.

Chop, fry, stir

Dancing Wombat did just about everything. I had dug out the frying pan from the bottom of our saucepan drawer, but she poured in the olive oil from our heavy 4 litre can. She laboriously chopped the chicken breasts.

I showed her a “cheat’s” way to cut the bacon – laying the rashers one on the other so she could cut multiple pieces at once. I pointed out that it would also make things easier if she cut the rashers in half, across the middle. This gave her two manageable shapes to chop, rather than one very long, asymmetrical piece.


Heavy duty

She followed the recipe precisely. I checked in on her every now and then, to make sure she was staying on task. She was.

Rice was an easy side dish to cook. I explained the quantities to Dancing Wombat and she duly set the rice to cook. In a saucepan, not a rice cooker – in case you were wondering!

Dinner was a little later then usual that night. Dancing Wombat lacks Jamie Oliver’s chopping prowess! But she more than made up for that with her determination to do everything by herself.

Dinner was delicious. Her brothers were suitably complimentary. Besides, given the lack of vegetables, it was a dinner right up their alley!

What would I do differently next time?

Only one thing really – direct Dancing Wombat  to a recipe with a few more vegetables in it!

Admittedly, I’m encouraging her to use recipe books that make a feature of their recipes having only four ingredients. So that idea mightn’t be very successful.


4-Ingredients recipe book is a good ingredient for kitchen success. Keep it manageable.

Plan B is to get her to prepare some raw veggies for us to munch with whatever she cooks. Since summer is lapping at our feet, this should work quite well. Also, it gets her chopping and peeling. These tasks are far more challenging than the actual cooking at the end. She will still be getting the sort of practice she needs.

But, hang on – I’ve had another idea!

I learned last week from her teacher that the cooking class has been making chocolate mousse. Yum! My favourite! Hmmm… Maybe next Sunday, she could also make dessert…?!

I’m off to check the recipe books. In the meantime, Happy Wombatting!