Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Haute Cuisine it ain't...but I'll take what I can get.

Did I mention that Little Monkey is taking a cooking class this fall? Even as I relay this bit of information, I can barely keep a straight face. My child- the one who would be content to eat nothing but chocolate Lu cookies for the rest of his life; the one who has not voluntarily consumed a bite of meat in almost two years - is taking a cooking class.

I have no illusions about what this class will accomplish in terms of Monkey's own gastronomic repertoire. I have reached that level of Zen wisdom where I expect absolutely nothing. I desire nothing. The only reason I am even indulging in this latest bit of nonsense is because the kid loves messing about in the kitchen. He may not eat a damn thing, but he is always close at hand when there is mixing to be done, herbs to be pulled from the garden, or a button to be pressed on the microwave.

From my own experience as a former picky eater (a fact of which I reminded of constantly by others) I know that it is possible to outgrow this condition. In my case, it took about twenty years, but I will continue to hold out hope that the monkey will be a faster learner than I. Perhaps he may even outgrow the condition in my lifetime. Who knows.

Our first class was a huge hit. The monkey sat still and listened to the teacher's instructions. He answered her questions with enthusiastic responses; and he happily jumped in with the little tasks they were given to do.

This week's project - bread, shaped like a turtle. The chefs were given an option of using chocolate chips or raisins for eyes. When asked which he preferred, the Monkey shouted a hearty "raisins!!"

I did a double take right then and there. This child has been offered raisins as a snack about a thousand times. He has adamantly refused them each and every time. But in this situation, he defied my conventional wisdom and went with the healthy option. WTF???

It got better.

After tasting a raisin, he forgot about the rest of the lesson, and kept asking for more. About fifteen or so raisins later, he rejoined the teacher, and finished his project. But not before he swiped the raisin eyes off the turtle of his fellow apprentice chef.

Behold!! The great and mighty Turtle Bread!! With raisin eyes.

I suspect that the great chefs of our time may not have begun their careers in the same manner. It's OK. We all have to start somewhere.

Added bonus - we do arts and crafts while our project cooks. Here is "turtle chef with spoon and googly eyes."

Monkey helped decorate the apron. Note the intensity of the colors, just like his cooking.
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