Friday, June 21, 2013

Chef W

In our kitchens in both Alabama and Georgia, we had a countertop bar where we could cook and talk at the same time.  In Georgia in particular, we had a nice workspace that was open on one end, so I could be working at the counter and the kids could be standing on their stools on the end of the workspace and someone could be on the other side of the bar.  It wasn't quite a peninsula, but it worked like one.  Because of the way it all laid out, we always talked like crazy people as we cooked very often pretended we were filming cooking shows.  (Put it this way: WHM's favorite "grown-up show" is Chopped.)

Last year or the year before, my mother-in-law bought CAM some kids cooking tools made by a company called Curious Chef.  I'd stumbled upon them somewhere -- I can't for the life of me remember where -- and when Meredith asked what to get CAM for Christmas, it was a no-brainer.  The tools are fantastic because although they cut food, they are made in such a way that it's almost impossible to cut yourself.  If you slip with the knife, you'll scratch yourself and maybe wince, but you won't even break the skin.  Make that same slip with a real knife, and you're in the ER looking for them to re-attach your digits.  WHM has really taken to the kids' knives this year, and they are so important that they even sit in a utensil bucket on our counter, just like the grown-up tools do.

These are some of the knives.  We also have all sorts of other Curious Chef products and tools.  This was taken from and this particular set sells for $8.99.  

Yesterday was a really great day.  I had a meeting -- a good meeting, productive, with people who are all pretty fantastic -- at work in the morning and then for the first time in a million years, I went grocery shopping with the kids and actually got to take the afternoon and evening to unpack it all and cook dinner.  I had no papers to grade, no alarm to set (okay, well technically I did, but I could go to work in shorts today), nothing to worry about... Actually, I had a ton on my mind and was a bundle of stress, but for a few hours yesterday I put the world away** and I was able to enjoy myself.  It was fantastic.  One of my favorite things in the universe is to put on an apron and cook.  I got to do that, and I got to do it without any time pressure, and with help from my little man.  What a glorious afternoon.

Here are a few photos of WHM helping me prep the taco fixin's* from last night.  I wish they were videos, because hearing his commentary was priceless.  I'll do my best with the captions, but I assure you it was 1,000,000,000 times better in person.

First, you lean over to the sink and rinse your knife. (Even if Mommy says not to lean over because you'll fall.  Just be careful!)

Then, you dry that knife.

Then you chop, like this.  (Mommy note: his hand is much farther to the left of the knife than this photo makes it appear.)

Then you keep chopping.  (Mommy note: he's not anywhere near cutting his fingers.  Depth of field is a bit off here.)

And you chop some more .... this way ... 

... and some more ... 

... and some more.  This time you just chop with one had, realllllly fast!


*The apostrophe before the "s" here is making me crazy.  "Fixin'" correctly has an apostrophe after the end.  So pluralizing that should add the "s," but that makes it look like it's possessive ... or worse, like I am illiterate and just add an apostrophe to words whenever I add an "s."  These are the things that trouble me.  No, I don't have a therapist.

**borrowed from the Zac Brown Band's lyric, "gonna put the world away for a minute/pretend I don't live in it."

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