what is happening in your kitchen?

25 07 2009

bdaydinprepDo you remember being in a foreign language class in high school and having to memorize those stupid little role-playing scenarios?  I can still quote a line or two I’m sure from the ones I had in Spanish class 40 years ago.

When we were living in Spain a lot of the high schoolers we knew were taking English as their 2nd or 3rd language would have those skits to memorize.  Thanks to Raúl using one of those stupid phrases as a greeting for years, it has stuck and someone in our small tribe will repeat it at least once a week.  “What is happening in your kitchen?” has become the equivalent of “what are you doing?” or “what’s up?” – but it must be repeated with a slightly foreign accent of indeterminate origin.

There was all kinda WHAT happening in my kitchen the night of my birthday.  Best Boy’s culinary sensors are rather late bloomers – I dare say there is some method to his madness – and he can’t stop asking questions on how to manage meal prep.  On a recent trip to LA, he’d read through the airline mag and had seen a great recipe for grilled salmon on cedar planks.

He wanted to try his hand for dinner but lucky for him I’d found out that the planks need to be soaked in water for a few hours prior to using them.  So I ran and got the planks – soaked them all afternoon and when he got done with work we went to the store for the other ingredients.  Shop Girl was happy to serve as his sous chef.

He ended up oven baking the salmon (rubbed in all kind of goodness) since there was a whopper of a summer storm raging outside and the grill was out of the question.  Risotto with portobello mushrooms, tender greens with glazed pecans, gorgonzola, onions dressed with raspberry vinaigrette  and a baguette rounded out the fare.

bdaydinI was never the mom that let the kids help me in the kitchen.  I’m not sure where that all comes from but I think my years working in restaurant kitchens that where no place for putzing or fun must have marked me in a dark way.  And the fact that I’ve never had a kitchen big enough for more than one body at a time.  Actually, for most of their growing up, the main meal prep of the day happened while they were at school – so that when they’d walk in at 1:00 or so – we’d sit down and enjoy eating together before they headed back to school at 3:30.

So my excuses aside and all the disservice I’ve done in not sharing the Joys of Cooking with them – I’ve never had to lie to them and say I loved their “creations” either.  Putting off the process this long has been well worth the wait.