Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Little Sous Chef

Dredge... dip... fry...
One of my favorite things, but something I rarely blog about here, is my love of cooking and good food and drink (there is a separate cooking link...). Far removed from my day job, the things that interest me the most in my spare time are almost all outlets for creativity; wargaming (the building things part...), cooking, writing and music.

With that in mind, it gives me great pleasure that Grace has very much taken to the idea of cooking. She watches Food Network and its spin off The Cooking Channel. She will also go out of her way to help me in the kitchen with whatever she can. Even as an elementary school kid, I have relished getting her involved in the kitchen. As we say, everything tastes better when you cook it yourself. I am on vacation this week, burning some time off with the family before the kids go back to school next week, which means I have time to cook. Yesterday, shopping for dinner at Whole Foods, Julia noticed some beautiful locally grown eggplant in the produce section and requested one of her favorites, eggplant parm, for dinner tonight. I shopped for the ingredients today, and Grace and I made it for dinner.

...and turn when properly browned
Grace has gotten pretty good at basic kitchen tasks like stirring and whisking, and has developed good knife skills for someone her age (or any age for that matter). She knows to flatten one side of something she is cutting to make it stable on the cutting board, and can do a large dice, medium dice, fine dice or rough chop without too much guidance. But the most important thing is that she enjoys it and it is something that we can do together.

Tonight, I was in charge of prepping the eggplant so that she could be the one to fry the slices in the skillet prior to assembling everything in the baking dish. I prepped and sliced. She dredged, dipped and fried. Her attention to detail on the safety aspects was good to see; not splattering hot oil by turning the slices the proper way and other details that make for a safe cooking experience. We had a blast.

Oh... and it was delicious.

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