Thursday, February 21, 2008

Passing the Torch

OK... honestly, I had fantasies about donning my apron and getting on with this month's challenge, but weariness and a full week took its toll on me and I wussed out on the idea of baking all night. Plus, I had my kitchen to rearrange. This is occurring section by section, even though it's been 8 months since I've moved in. Yep folks... I've been in this "big girl" house for almost a year now... exciting isn't? I find myself digging in here, really wanted to make this place "mine."

Also part of being a Big Girl has been the acquisition of paid programming. Yep.. Cable. Satellite (I can never ever say read that word without hearing Dave Matthews sing it... sat-el- lite... ) Whatever your name for it, I bought it. Did the full Monty- including NFL ticket. By and large I found that I still don't have time to watch all of this stuff... My son has figured out how to use the DVR and I'm.... well I'm just lounging around trying to figure out how to work the remote beyond "enter number, push enter."

One GREAT thing about it, however, is the Food Network. If I could just buy ONE channel, this, my friends, would be it. We have 200+ channels to choose from, yet both TV's are locked onto the Food Network as if the controls were permanently soldered there. My son has been greatly inspired. Not that he wasn't before we had so much to look at. He grew up watching me read cookbooks in my bed, planning gardens and meals during the day, observing the massive kitchen reorganizations that seem to take place every three months. I make bread, mayo, jam, yogurt, ketchup and all kinds of things that folks (shudder) buy in prepackaged mixes and such. My mini bulk aisle is always front and center with several types of beans, rice, and flour, couscous, homemade granola, oats, three kinds of sugar, little bits of this and that to add that extra punch to cookie dough and a sprinkle collection that would make any 2-year old squeal with glee. I have pans on my wall, pots hanging from a rack, and shelves mounted on what wall space is left. I have 2 refrigerators, and am contemplating a freezer chest (just as soon as I find a really good cheap one) so that I have the luxury of making my own convenience meals and saving every precious carcass (animal or veg) so that I might make beautiful stock at my leisure.

This has rubbed off on The Nino. He would rather make bread than buy it. He wants me to write him a cookbook (squeeeeeee!!!!!) and the reaction he gave to the cake decorating book was nothing less than what you'd expect as if I had given him the biggest, baddest Transformer toy in existence. The kid is NUTS about Ace of Cakes, and also follows Alton Brown, Kitchen Impossible, Iron Chef, and adores Paula Dean and Rachel Ray. He calmly evaluates the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, as "really boring, but a really great cook."

If they cook on TV, this kid knows who they are. This channel has him inspired enough to write, and what 10 year old boy would normally be inspired to write (especially when he has a difficult time writing in the first place)? If cookbooks were an option on the book report list at school, we'd have all 10 reports done in two weeks flat.

What does he want to be? Among the choices are a top notch pastry chef. His kitchen stamina is not incredibly impressive ("Let's get to the fun stuff Momma!") but I think that will progress naturally.

So now we are down to this... What does he choose for his bed time story? Yes, it's a cook book. Jaime Oliver at the moment. As I close the book on the last recipe with his eyelids sagging downward, he asks me about how we can put some of this stuff in his lunch, voice barely audible, fading into that familiar, sleepy slurring sound that parents just love.

It brings me great joy to see this, to know that I've passed down the idea that cooking is not just about filling the belly but feeding the soul.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I'm back!

After two months of amnesia, I've finally remembered by m email and password, so I'm posting once again. How often will folks visit this blog? Who knows. The Daring Baker membership will surely garner some attention but my hope is that folks of all ilk will find something in here that makes them smile.

So, without further ado, I gues I'd better get busy on the February Daring Baker's challenge... To be revealed on Feb 29th, of course :)

Ciao!

-e