Video omelets vs. real cake

Homemade food beat the video-game version, hands down.

"The Cooking Video Game is the best," Sarah from my sixth-grade class said.

"Yeah," Al added. "You can pretend to break an egg by wiggling the remote control."

Understanding video games is tough for me, since my students aren't always precise in their explanations.

"So," I asked, "what can you cook?"

"I'm trying to make a video omelet," Sarah said, "but I haven't been able to do it without breaking the egg too soon."

"I'm good at making an omelet on the game but not in the kitchen," Juan said. "My mom doesn't like messes."

My mother used to joke about cooking in the future and how children wouldn't be able to go into the kitchen until they'd mastered skills. Has her prophecy come true?

Juanita spoke softly: "My mom didn't have money to buy me games this year. I'm learning to cook, but I have to cook with real food. I get to cook eggs for breakfast, and I'm good at making a chocolate cake with icing."

Juan smiled. "Maybe I can come over one day."

"Let me get this right," Sarah said, wrinkling her forehead. "You get to eat real cake at your house?"

Juanita shrugged. "Of course."

Quiet filled our little classroom.

Sarah cleared her throat. "Raise your hand if you want to go over to Juanita's for real cake."

Every hand went up. Even mine.

Holly Winter


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