There are thousands of cookery books. We have hundreds of cookery books. My wife, Susan, enjoys the challenge of cooking sumptuous meals.
We have a copy of the 1942 “Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book.” There are 2600 recipes. We have eaten on some of them. The method that is used is to have a basic recipe and then use your basic knowledge with simple variations. The idea is that if you know and can cook one recipe then you can make a number of easy changes or substitutions.
The book, naturally, goes into service with and without a maid, proper arrangement of silver and centrepieces for Christmas and other occasions. The Food Editor ends her introduction with the words: “Let it be your friend. It will see you through the unending rounds of three meals a day.”
These words must be music to any busy mother’s day. Where to get the car washed. How can you as a mum find time get the children to school, lessons, swimming, dance and friends? Washing machine liquid, bread, mild cheese, cannelloni – the lists are endless. The days are busy.
Compare this with the opening remarks of a book called: Cooking for Blokes (ISBN 0-7515-1563-9) This introduction starts with the words: “The First Rule of this book is don’t panic.”
The introduction goes on to tell us that men do not need to know anything about cooking to be able to use the book. “Millions of people have been doing it for years and most have survived.”
So in these two books we have all the ingredients of the recipe for preparing a child for the eleven plus examinations.
You have 2600 opportunities to help your child – even if it is simple hug.
Once you have some basic knowledge, use it to be able to solve a multitude of variations.
If you do have a maid then use her to help you to prepare.
If you do have to cook three meals a day – day after day – then build in time for yourself.
If you have a partner, then be confident and share the problem.
Remember too that teachers have been preparing millions of children for examinations for hundreds of years. You can ask for help and advice.