March 23, 2007

In the Kitchen

I blew it.

When I was in my early twenties, and living in a huge house in Germantown with a parade of boarders, I let my chances pass me by.

Sharing a kitchen with several folks who were more accomplished cooks, I cheerfully volunteered myself for cleanup duty, when what I should have been doing was looking over their shoulders and learning.

I am a decent cook now, but I regret not having taken advantage of opportunities earlier in life to build my recipe list and skill set.

Much of what I learned about cooking from my mother I learned through observation – she was shocked to discover that I didn't need to consult a recipe to make her lentil soup, which she had in turn learned from my grandmothers. I had just seen her do it so many times that I could replicate it from memory.

I'm still learning. Tried to make my friend S's mushroom risotto a few weeks back; it was okay, but not as good as hers. Will have to go back for a refresher.


And in the meantime, I'm trying to make sure that D is comfortable in the kitchen. He can already crack eggs and chop celery with the best of them. And yesterday, when I picked him up at school, he and a young friend were excitedly extolling the taste sensation they'd created from "all ingredients what we found in nature!" It was basically a bucket full of mud. ("And stones, like in stone soup!") I expressed skepticism. "You don't eat the MUD, Mommy... just try the water... it's from puddles!" He was so excited and proud of himself.

And you know, it wasn't half bad.

(Thanks to the women of Sunday Scribblings
for their continuing inspiration.
And don't worry...he hasn't cut himself yet,
which is more than I can say for myself.
)

23 comments:

Lucy said...

it's great that u are teaching him cooking skills. He will have fond memories of the kitchen

Britt-Arnhild said...

Yes, cooking is mostly learning by watching, and learning by doing. I love to teach my kids.

Regina Clare Jane said...

Hee hee- stone soup! I mention that too, in my post!
It's great your little one is so excited- it's especially important for boys (and men) to know their way around a kitchen!

gautami tripathy said...

Add some vegetables to that stone soup. He won't know better!


gautami
Cook up a tale

Stacy said...

First! Well done.

And how about some risotto for Sunday supper? A lesson you can taste.

Bug said...

So cute. I love that you tried the water. :)

hundred and one said...

I love lentil soup. Any chance of the receipe? Pretty please?

Mardougrrl said...

Kids are great! I love the indigant voice, "You don't eat the MUD." LOL. It's wonderful that you learned cooking at your mom's knee, and your son is learning from you.

boliyou said...

That's wonderful... you learning from your mom, your son learning from you. And so proud of his accomplishment! Major mom points for trying the soup.

Pigeon said...

Excellent scribble! It's wonderful that you're teaching your son cooking, I wish my mother had taught me more.

leonie said...

i wish i could have spent more time in the kitchen with my mother too, though she has lived close by the last couple of years, which has been fun. great that you are still learning and also being taught by the sounds of it!

khambagirl said...

Its great that you are teaching your son how to cook. And really wonderful that you are already trying his creations! Well done!!!

Jennifer said...

ewww, mud pie. I can so relate that! As for the cooking, that's something that eludes me to this day.

homeinkabul said...

I have the same regret. That and not learning french when I lived with French speakers...

Nice post, thanks for sharing!

Patty said...

Great post. Love the thread from your grandmother to your mom to you to your son. And, of course, I love puddles!

cloudscome said...

Buddy loves to cook too. So far I have only taught him to make popcorn and mac and cheese. I better get a healthier cookbook!

I tagged you today as one of my favorite blogs.

TI said...

I love D's distinction between the mud and the water. And I love your post. You really capture how cooking skills are passed from person to person by observation and then ... practice. I'm sure your risotto will be excellent soon. The main thing with it is to be patient with the time between ladles of stock. If you rush it, it's never as good.

Rethabile said...

If you learned your lentil soup from your mum, you must make a mean one. I never learned from my mum's cooking, and I'm reminded of it every time i read a recipe.
*sigh*

spacedlaw said...

Lovely story...

Jone said...

Hooray for teching your son how to get around in the kitchen. My father modeled it well for me. Loved the stone soup story:)

Regina Clare Jane said...

Aww... what a cutie! He looks so intent on what he is doing! He's going to make a great whatever-he-chooses when he grows up!
Thanks, Shelley!

Kimberley McGill said...

It's never too early to bring kids into the kitchen! All my kids, boys and girls, took their turns there. It was usually fun for them, it was the learning to do your own laundry that caused a few feet to drag.

Great post. Would your son mind sharing that recipe for stone soup?

AnnieElf said...

Wonderful that you are passing along to D AND his friends. Would that my husband had HAD that experience. **sigh** Suffice it to say, BOTH our children cook.