Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Hell's kitchen



I was a fussy eater. Early on my mother got wise to dealing with me. She taught me to cook. Now I love to cook. I am not one to be daunted by a recipe. I have a framed picture of Jacques Pepin over my bed. To be frank my idea of a good day off would be big dollars to shop, lots of time to cook and then a big meal with my loved ones inclusive of a hot array of vino. Wrap it up with a good scotch while someone else does the dishes -- NIRVANA.

I worked in food service from about the age of fourteen until I was in my early twenties. This included a fine French restaurant and summer stint in a Rocky Mountain hotel near Banff. I have had my fill of chefs.

There has long been a part of me that wanted to be "Chef". Don't cross me in my kitchen figuratively -- or literally. P-man has received many an earful for moving too slowly, failing to tidy as he goes, and taking up too much space. I have tried to educate him in the ways of the galley but he has proved resistant to every method of persuasion (and coercion).

After many years of enduring this detente I am now Chef. My two-year old has a good interest in the kitchen. I capitalized early on her love of painting to buy those cute coloured silicon basting brushes and she is now my sous chef extraordinnaire. She can mix my olive oil, salt and pepper, and prep no end of vegetable dishes. And chopping? Well, if you give a toddler a dozen mushrooms and a table knife they will stay busy for about 30 minutes, and if you can make do with macerated, you are golden.

About 6 months into her apprenticeship she appears eager to expand her repertoire. Last week she made noodles. With the introduction of serious heat management responsibilities I have started a new rubric for communication and progress. She must ask permission and act only when and how instructed. And, she must respond, "Yes, chef."

This rocks my world.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

You're not going to make her turn in her apron if she overcooks the meat, are you?

I think it's great that you're teaching her to cook so early in life. I wish someone would have done that for me.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Mad Hatter said...

oooo, I have to get started on this ASAP. I let my daughter stand on a stool to watch me chop the other day. She seemed quite interested. Next step mushroom soup.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Granny said...

They're all doing some of their own cooking these days but the youngest will be the actual cook of the three.

On the other hand she reminds me of her uncle who was an Army cook with a dozen pfc's to clean up after him.

She starts at one end of the kitchen and finishes at the other, leaving a trail. To give her credit, she does her own cleanup but her approach is quite different from mne.

5:27 PM  
Blogger Denver Dad said...

Heheh... that's awesome!

And, hey, thanks so much for the nomination! That was a big, but wonderful surprise. I appreciate it.

7:04 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

"Yes Chef" LOL!! I love it!!!
I havent let Ji do anything in the kitchen yet but you may have inspired me to consider letting her "chop" hehehe.

Happy Easter

9:19 AM  
Blogger nonlineargirl said...

Excellent! The more I know, the more I like about you. (We'll be over at 7, please keep our seats warm, at least virtually.)

While Chris is probably Chef in our house, I enjoy cooking too. Ada is deep into cooking and helping, so we have a lot of little "mix this" tasks.

12:44 PM  
Blogger L. said...

"Yes, chef."

Mo-wo, you are my HERO.

3:55 PM  

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