I am the first to admit that I am a rubbish cook. My husband is much better than me at cooking and so while I do the everyday stuff, if we want to eat something special, or experiment with food, he tends to be the one that does it.
When I was a little girl, I often used to cook with my Mum. We used to make cakes. I can still taste the mixture licked from the bowl of my Mum's favourite currant cake - the best part of it.
Starting secondary school, we did cookery as part of the curriculum. Not my best subject and the teacher took a dislike to me as I did to her - Mrs Chadwick - I can still remember her tight, miserable face.
I remember making a mean Victoria Sponge, but then I also remember Mrs Chadwick making an example of me when we did Bananas and Custard - she said my custard was too thin. None of us in our family enjoyed thick custard, but to her that didn't matter - so she threw another three spoonfuls of custard powder into the mix - disgusting - and I felt really stupid.
My son is already a fussy eater, so in an attempt to ensure that he wasn't also a rubbish cook, I tried to think of ways for him to experiment a bit with food.
We made cakes from packet mixes - the ones which you could stick the pictures of Dennis the Menace or Bob the Builder on.
As he got older, we would make our own chicken nuggets and fish fingers with Joe standing on a stool next to us, helping as much as he could.
But, the last few weeks has been a dream as far as cooking is concerned. Joe has been watching a TV programme about a chef in Cornwall whose love of food has led him to open a beautiful restaurant overlooking the sea.
Inspired by this wonderful dream, Joe hunted in the back of the cupboard to find my Jamie Oliver cookbook and found a recipe for Chocolate Brownies he wanted to cook.
Not wanting to stop him when he was showing such interest, we went off to the shops to get the ingredients. As we walked into the supermarket, we passed the chocolate brownies that were 2 packs for £3 and also the cake mix shelf where you could buy a brownie mix for £1.79.
Joe was determined to make the chocolate brownie the Jamie Way. However, to do this, we had to buy scales, caster sugar, a big bar of chocolate - the works.
Fifteen pounds lighter we left the shop - these brownies better be good!
As soon as we got home, we started to follow the recipe. It was an absolute joy to do this with my son. We were chatting away as we did it and working things out. We washed up and dried up between us and it was a very special time.
When the Brownie was cooked, it was a complete success and tasted lovely. We delivered squares of it to Nanny, Grandma and our friends around the corner.
His sense of achievement in doing the shopping, following the recipe and clearing up to the finished product was brilliant.
Since then he has cooked us Salmon and Vegetables for tea, made his own tea of sausages, mash and peas and even had a go at gravy granule gravy.
On Mother's Day I had a cup of tea and homemade shortbread in bed and this weekend we are making baked vanilla cheesecake.
Cooking with Children has many benefits. Children learn the importance of following instructions to create a finished product; how to measure; how to wash up and general hygiene; the importance of cooking food properly and of storing ingredients correctly.
But for me , the benefit is not the educational one, but the social one.
Cooking together creates bonding time between mother /father and child.
No computer, no television, no Xbox - just a kitchen, two people and a bunch of ingredients.
Cooking with Children - I thoroughly recommend it!