Sunday, September 13, 2009

I wasn't being anti-social..I was talking shop!

I suppose I could be accused of being anti-social today since most everyone spent SS on the porch and I sat at the kitchen table inside with The Sisters. Although, I do need a new nickname for Younger Sister because Older Sister has had a change to Sous Chef. I think Younger Sister will hereafter be called Pastry Chef, since that's her specialty (or at least, her main interest!).

The three of us were scouring cookbooks and searching the internet for recipes. The Pastry Chef wants to learn to make apple strudel. We found a recipe to try here, but if you have one you love, please send it on! Although The Sous Chef is primarily learning to cook soup, we are also expanding her lessons to include one other thing per week. Yesterday she made zucchini bread. I tried to give her all the credit, but she did protest and say that I added the vanilla. I guess it's important to give credit where credit is due. Still, I think there are two reasons this batch turned out particularly well. The first is of course, that she made it. The second is that I ran out of white sugar, so we did 1 cup of white and 1/2 cup of brown. It made the bread lighter than ever. I will make it that way from now on.

For this week, we made Cauliflower Soup from this recipe by Rachel Ray (FYI, I think the roux is unnecessary and won't bother next time). The Sous Chef is at a slight disadvantage in that she has a chronic pain issue in her right arm and she's right handed. She is not supposed to "chop too much" according to her physical therapist, which is a bit of a problem since soup basically consists of chopping a lot of things and throwing them into a pot. What we did yesterday was I chopped most of everything, and then left 2 stalks of celery, one head of cauliflower (out of six), and an onion and then I gave her the lesson on how to chop, core and dice and she practiced on those things. That way she got the idea, but didn't overwork her arm.

We had a bit of a scare though. I was taking a phone call from The Fleece Lady who was calling to make sure I was going to save her some soup since she was going to miss SS, and The Sous Chef was whisking the eggs, oil, and sugar for the zucchini bread. Much to my surprise, she thought she was mixing something to go into the cauliflower soup! Luckily, she realized this was probably not true before I even hung up. Whew! Julia Child said one should never admit one's mistake, just serve the food with a smile, but Cauliflower and Scrambled Egg Soup would probably be a hard sell, even to the hungry SS crowd!

I did feel it was necessary to tell The Sous Chef that if she had added the eggy-oily-sugary mixture, I would've been forced to demote her to dishwasher. I'm glad I didn't have to, but now that I think about it, the idea of having a dishwasher is very appealing! Hmmm...I wonder how The Southerner feels about a nickname change?

Anyway, SS was lots of fun in the kitchen today, and I assume it was fun outside too since no one got thrown off the deck and everyone did come in to say "See you next week." They looked well-fed and happy, even if we did eat all the zucchini bread ourselves. They'll never know!

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