In the Kitchen with Cooking Mama

Cooking_Mama I was helping cook Thanksgiving dinner last week, dicing an onion, when my nine-year-old niece sidled up to me and watched for a minute. “That’s how to dice an onion,” she said in a very matter-of-fact tone. I told her I agreed. “That’s the same way I cut it, too,” she added. And I thought, a nine-year-old who knows how to dice an onion—very cool. Then I thought, wow, a nine-year-old who plays with sharp knives—maybe not so cool. So I asked for details, and she explained: She wasn’t dicing real onions, just virtual ones on her Nintendo DS game, Cooking Mama by Majesco.

She brought her game over as I worked on the stuffing and showed me how to play. It’s a kind of cooking simulation game where you follow onscreen instructions to prepare and plate a meal—chop and slice veggies, cut up and sauté meat, boil pasta, any number of kitchen tasks. Unlike some uninspiring yet highly addictive video games and apps out there (I’m looking at you, Angry Birds), Cooking Mama nurtures a child’s budding interest in food and cooking. As a culinary training tool, it’s about as effective as an Easy-Bake Oven, but it does impart a few lessons here and there.


My niece wanted to help me cut celery. She set a couple of stalks on the butcher block and made imaginary chopping motions with her right hand, while with her left “guide” hand, she showed me that she knew to keep her fingertips and thumb tucked in, a technique she learned from the game. For now, her knife skills are virtual, but her desire is very real, which thrills me. And so guess who’s getting Cooking Mama 2 for Christmas?

COMMENTS

  1. presents for dog lovers

    One of the areas of sweetest day gift ideas for wife are
    some gifts that any woman would love even thought they
    aree not on her wish list. If you wish to make it even more special, slip a
    silber monogrammed compact into the handbag as a fun surprise.
    Make sure that you buy unique gifts for women aand men to make yourself different from otfher people who are
    also on thee same birthday party.

    May 27, 2014 at 12:15 pm
  2. new york kitchen and bath

    My sister loves to play these kinds of games on my pc. Glad to see more of this for her phone to keep her busy.

    February 2, 2012 at 11:39 pm
  3. one piece swimsuit

    I saw soft first time.
    Where did you buy?

    December 19, 2010 at 5:45 pm
  4. Tim Cebula

    JGM–
    Sir, in other words sir…

    December 17, 2010 at 1:18 pm
  5. Joseph G Maston

    Wow – that’s pretty special. I think there’s another similar game called “Vermont Marble” – have you heard of it?

    December 8, 2010 at 9:56 am
  6. Amy McGough

    Very cool!
    Now if the folks who design games could come up with a gourmet dining game in which the calories are virtual, we’d really have something!

    December 2, 2010 at 9:54 am

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s