Saturday, 29 September 2007

10 Things I Never Told My Daughter

My oldest daughter, who will turn 22 years old in just a few weeks, graduated from college this past spring. She gave up her apartment in Gainesville a few months ago to move back home with me so that she could take her time and look for the perfect job in New York City.

Caitlin has always loved to cook, and she called me quite frequently during her college years to ask my advice on menus and meals and specific cooking questions. I wasn't surprised. Even as a little child, she was always the one in the kitchen cooking with me and I assumed that I had taught her almost everything I knew. While she was in college, she seemed so competent in the kitchen. Oh, how wrong I was.

So Caitlin, this one's for you, baby. I've watched you in my kitchen these past few months, and there's some stuff you've just got to know!

  1. No. You cannot eat chicken "rare". Ever. I don't care how much you like it. And it's because I said so. That's why.

  2. You do not soak wooden cutting boards in a sink of water like you would a roasting pan. The wood gets mad. It's not like you. It really doesn't like long hot baths.

  3. If your eyes water and hurt when you cut onions, light a candle near you as you're chopping instead of flailing around the kitchen while you scream. The candle thing works. Really. For you, make it a very big candle.

  4. You do not let any type of meat or poultry sit near the edge of the counter when you own a big dog. Dogs like meat. And they can jump.

  5. Cooking is an art. Baking is a science. When you're cooking something from a recipe, taste it as you go along (unless it's a baked good like a bread). If you think it needs more or less of something, it probably does.

  6. Contrary to popular belief, the world does NOT revolve around you. When you are cooking for other people, take their palates into consideration. Not everyone enjoys 10 cloves of garlic in every dish they eat.

  7. Rachel Ray is not the only chef in the world. I have close to 50 cookbooks for you to choose from, and none of them were written by Rachel Ray. Try some of them.

  8. A plate full of candied sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese and corn do not constitute a real meal.

  9. You're not a poor, starving college student any longer. Real Fettucine Alfredo does not come in a box. I do not served processed turkey in my house. I have a refrigerator full of fresh foods. Try cooking with them. You just might like it.

  10. And last but not least, you're an adult now and it's time you found out. I'm sorry to burst your bubble, and I hope you're not upset. fairies DO NOT really exist. You need to clean up after yourself when you cook.

Luv ya,

(Chef) Mom


Ellen said...

Ha-this really relates to me. My 2 teenagers have watch me cook real food for years yet they picked up almost nothing. My oldest is in college (freshman) so it's the meal plan for her and charging meals.
Good post.

Lisa said...

Ellen: Isn't it amazing at just how much they don't listen to us! :-) Good luck with the college years.

Deborah Dowd said...

You learn something everyday! I didn't know the candle/onion trick. Your Caitlin will learn. My kids have. She is, after all, your daughter!

John said...

Dear Chef Mom:

1 depends on your definition of rare, I think. I love undercooked breast meat but overdone thighs.

2 get thee some good plastic cutting boards, use them only for raw meat and run them through the dishwasher (see below)

3 If the dog is big enough, your counter is not.

4 Don't taste raw sausage. Ever. Worse than rare chicken

5 If they don't like garlic, they can cook for themselves :-)

6 Never say her name in the kitchen again. really. SWMNBNWC (she who must not be named while cooking) can spoil a dish at 200 miles. BLECH-O!

7 Yes, it does. The teenage diet consists of 3 food groups: Carbs, Candy and Cola. This meal gets at least 2 out of 3 (depends on whether you make the sweet potatoes with Coke.)

8 Too late until she has her own place and someone to cook for. you time will come, ChefMom. Patience, young Jedi.....

9 Put them in her room. On the Bed. With her in it. On the pillow, if necessary.

Been there, doing that, LOVE YOUR BLOG!

Best Wishes,


Lisa said...

John - Too funny! Only one correction -- she's no teenager any more!

John said...

Dear ChefMom,

Sorry, but "teenage" is a state of mind. It ends when the mind in question moves out for good. (We're 2 out of 4 at this point, and the next one, who's 18, is working hard. Only 9+ years to go....



PASSIONATE BAKER....and beyond. said...

I have some years to go before I need these words...but you've made the job easier!! The hard work has been done...I need to deliver the message!! Loved reading the post!Hilarious at times...