Friday, November 28, 2008

A Family Thanksgiving

I hope that if you cooked yesterday for Thanksgiving and you have children at home that you got them involved in the kitchen. My kids and I had a great time in the kitchen.

Before I got into the restaurant business, I used to be that perfectionist who wouldn't let anyone help. Being in the business, I have no choice but to give up control and let others help. Yeah, it's not always the same as how I would do it, but so what? Especially at home, so what if the celery dice is a little larger or smaller than you wanted? If you're a control freak too, lighten up. Life is a lot more fun when you lighten up!

Our dinner yesterday was a family affair. Here I am kneading the dough for the potato rolls. They were "off the chain!" Maybe I'll follow this up with a "recipe" for rolls and a bit on technique. Maybe. Making breads is one of those feel things; how do I convey just how something should feel? This is a lesson that only experience teaches.

Here is Ellie demonstrating her "mad celery skills." I'm not too sure about that grip she has on the knife, but the celery did get diced. And good form with the left hand, thumb and fingers out of the way! We're still working on this; using a knife is still a bit of a scary proposition. Hey girls, I didn't get "mad knife skills" overnight. You're seeing the result of 40 years of daily experience. Keep on practicing and it will come.

And Lillie is my sauté chef in training. So far, she won't toss the ingredients in the pan in true sauté chef fashion, because "I'm going to make a mess!" She who hasn't tossed a pan of food onto the burner has never tossed a pan. How else are you going to learn? We all learned our trade by screwing up a few times. Of course, it helps to put a pound of dried blackeyed peas in the pan and go out into the backyard and play until you get it.

And the two of them breaking up cornbread for the dressing (aka "savory bread pudding"). When I mentioned to Ellie that I was going to make dressing to go with our pork rack, she said, "No, make savory bread pudding," meaning to make the dressing with a savory custard base. I guess the girls are picking up stuff via osmosis.

Here's hoping that you will get your kids involved in the kitchen. Yeah, I know all about psycho weeknights when you just need to get something on the table ASAP and when you surely don't need any more "help." But on weekends and holidays when there's no rush, what's wrong with some help?

1 comment:

  1. So cool that you got the kids into it! The girls ARE working on "mad skills". My eldest is the "culinary student pest" that has written to ask you a few questions. Thanks for your kindness. SHE has been my partner in the kitchen!