Monday, July 25, 2011

A Conversation With the Chef: Up and Coming

Ally is cooking dinner this week. Every night. She is the up and coming chef. At thirteen she can easily follow recipes and cook a good meal. But we know (don't we?) that putting dinner on the table every night requires more than just being able to read a recipe. So I asked Ally to cook for a week to provide her with an opportunity to practice being the Chef. Here are a few of the items from her learning curve, and if you cook you know these problems too:
  • The difficulty of getting every ingredient from your recipes onto your shopping list. Kale Quesadillas without the kale just aren't the same.
  • The complicated process of checking your shopping list against the food in the pantry. Can you save money by using cheese from the freezer? Only if you remember it's there. (That's me - all the time) Do you always have cocoa powder in the cupboard? This week you're out? Yup, it happens.
  • The sheer will power required to cook at the end of a long, tiring day, and being wise enough to plan a simple meal ahead of time.
  • The art of having the main dish and the sides all ready at the same time. No one likes cold food or mushy veggies but timing is tricky indeed.
Ally made Sweet Potato Burritos with cooked broccoli tonight and everything was perfect. And for just one week I am happy to be relegated to the role of dishwasher.

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