Punch and Potatoes

dinner #1My mom proudly states that she made an entire Thanksgiving dinner at 8 years old. The leaf doesn’t fall far from the tree. For show and tell, I gave my 5th grade class a lesson in how to make Challah bread.  Soon, I was venturing into hors d’oeuvres, coq au vin, and I can proudly say that I perfected my vinaigrette by 12.  I was a bit of a culinary nerd, and I remain so proudly.

My family likes to cook and enjoys good food. Heaven knows this was coupled with a love of eating that developed while taking cruises to Acapulco on the TSS Fairsea where we experimented with frogs’ legs, escargot, caviar, and of course,  plenty of baked Alaska and cherries jubilee. My love of food started young and has remained a constant in my life.

Now that summer vacation is officially here, I thought I’d take these next three months to attempt to teach the boys some cooking skills. To make it fun, I’m letting both Rex and Judd pick out recipes from my cookbook collection. They have to help make whatever they pick out. They have to write out the grocery list of what they’ll need, shop for the ingredients, and then help me prepare their particular dishes.

Tonight was our first dabbling into our summer cooking adventure. Rex chose a punch recipe from a 1950s cookbook called “Citrus Glow Punch.” It included a generous dollop of lime sherbet in each glass. Very retro! Rex thought this was the greatest thing he ever tasted!

Judd picked out a side dish of Yukon Gold potatoes grilled with thyme, rosemary, and garlic. He prepared the herbs himself, and discovered that he really likes the smell of garlic.

I made some grilled shrimp and green beans to accompany our punch and potatoes, and boy oh boy, we had a feast!

Next week, their assignment is to pick out a main course and a bread that we can experiment with.

I’m hoping that these in-house, cooking summer classes will spark a little curiosity in the culinary arts which will certainly come in handy when they grow up whether or not they’re cooking for just themselves or a family. Being able to cook is empowering, and it’s something that has brought me great comfort and joy over my life. I hope they feel the same way!

Song of the Day: Maximum Consumption, The Kinks

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