Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Child Can COOK!

This was The Child’s first holiday in her new digs and with our imminent trip to England, I was NOT cooking a big company meal, so when she invited us to Easter lunch, I JUMPED. I knew she was a good cook – she’s prepared various things for us in the past: a side dish, a dessert – that kind of thing. But I don’t think she’s ever given us an entire celebratory meal all of her own devising. It was a HUGE success – everything was delicious! I was amazed and proud.

Pre-dinner nibbles:

Crackers and cream cheese with pepper jelly and fig preserves (Southern classic). And:

Sweet and spicy rosemary cashews.

Dinner included a perfectly roasted chicken:

Lemon and herb stuffed with roasted heads of garlic and bacon (very English). A prime test of a cook and she really nailed it.

A gorgeous salad:

Romaine, endive, red onion, dried cranberries, candied pecans, pears and a lemon/olive oil/herb dressing.

Asparagus and corn salad w/ feta cheese:

This is her own creation and it’s the perfect spring side dish – crisp, fresh and cool.

Roast potatoes with pine nuts, bacon and Locatelli:

PERFECT roast potatoes – crisp outside and creamy inside. Again – a hard thing to accomplish and she aced it.

Pasta with two cheeses and spinach:

I contributed (by request) deviled eggs:

Is it even LEGAL to have Easter dinner without deviled eggs???

Yes, this was all for THREE people. She needs to work on amounts (but I cook that way, too – so she comes by it naturally). My babygirl can cook and she has a wonderful palate. Everything tasted wonderful, went together and was just RIGHT. It also, in some weird way validates me and my food focus. I’ve always seen myself as the ultimate ‘normal’ (read a little dull) person. Nothing special. But The Child is an extraordinary person – bright, funny, beautiful – a real individual. So if she is drawn to cooking and creating things in the kitchen, if she gets pleasure from nourishing folks, then I’m not too weird for loving the same things.

Dessert was my domain this year. I made the Easter cake:

This is a Key Lime Coconut Cheesecake. The bottom layer is cheesecake and the top layer is sponge cake – both flavored with Key lime extract. Filled with Key lime curd, whipped cream and coconut. The whole thing is frosted with whipped cream and sprinkled with coconut. We ended up taking this to Mr. Kim’s mom’s house for dessert.

This was just delicious. Everyone said that it was one of the best things that I’d ever made.

So we had a Happy Easter – family, food and being together. My girl had a rousing success. And we were a part of it. In the midst of getting the dinner on the table, when we were all three busy doing this and that, she apologized for not having things all ready when we got there but said that it was actually fun doing it together. I chopped things (I has mad knife skillz), Mr. Kim whipped up the salad dressing and carved the chicken. We were sous and she was the executive chef. And it WAS fun – Mr. Kim and I agreed completely on that. All her life, that was exactly how I wanted our family to be and, most often, it wasn’t. I had this picture in my head of the ‘happy family’ that I wanted us to be – cooperating on projects, working together to create a meal, make a garden, paint a room. More often, we did our projects individually. I don’t really know why – perhaps it was because of expediency or lack of interest. But this day was different – we were a team, the team I’ve always wanted us to be. It was a wonderful feeling and one I’ll remember forever.

EDITED TO ADD: I forgot to post pictures of The Child's adorable table:

So, not only can she cook and write, but she's crafty, too! She may look like her Daddy, but she's got a little of me in her, too!


  1. VERKLEMPT. And HUNGRY. If that pot of rice doesn't finish cooking so we can sit down to the pot roast, I'm gonna climb through the screen.

    This was absolutely. Help me out here. If words could flow as fast as my salivaries right now---oh. My.

    This was just magnificent---I just kept waiting for dessert to appear after about the third item, and it went on and on, with marvelous things just coming and coming.

    And it all went perfectly together. Perfect.

    JessieBear---I've heard great and wonderful things, and Wow they were true.

    I especially love the part about working together...........I just wish I could get past that decades of catering and having to have it ON THE TABLE when the guests arrive. I'm trying with that one, really hard, and love that delegating stuff, where I point to the two trays in the fridge, and hand over the butter-brush to the person watching the rolls in the oven.

    This was just perfectly wonderful. I'll remember this, as well, as one of the most magnificent meals I've EVER seen on the Internet, magazine, or in person. Ever---on every level.

  2. Oh my. Oh my. The Child outdid anyone I can name. And the working together thing? Priceless.

  3. The Child picked up one other skill from The Wyfe..... the wasn't pot, pan, spoon, utensil, or measuring device was spared from being pressed into service in the prep of this meal. Thank the gods it was worth it!

    I has mad dishwashering skilz.)

  4. Thank you, ladies! I was a proud momma. And the together part was indeed priceless. Mr. Kim DOES have mad dishwashering skillz - I have a picture somewhere of Christmas Eve night in my kitchen. The entire counter top next to the sink is loaded at least 18 inches high with drying dishes. He had no idea when I slipped "Love, Honor and do the dishes" into the wedding vows what he was getting into.