Tuesday, November 07, 2006

You Never Can Tell

My son's been itching to make dinner. Not crack the eggs or grind the nuts, he's already mastered both of those. Not grease the pan either. Somehow when I was a kid my mother convinced me greasing the pan, a bunt pan mind you, was fun. No, he wants to actually make dinner.
What's more, he wants to make dinner without a recipe. I don't know where he gets his cooking daredevilry. I can't make cranberry sauce without a recipe and there's only three ingredients in that.
I don't want to squelch his culinary aspirations but I'm getting tired of taste testing his creations. His focus has been on soup. First it was garlic soup, which, although I have a recipe for, he refused to follow. We served it up at my dad's birthday dinner where my parents were both polite enough to try a bowl. After all, what are grandparents for but to drink soup created from random ingredients and declare that "it's delicious."
Next it was cube soup. Cube as in bullion cubes. This one had promise until he insisted on putting in too much salt. Last night it was sticker soup, which thankfully, didn't have any stickers in it. It did, unfortunately, have too much curry powder.
Being only four he's having a tough time with the less-is-more theory of cooking. If we have fifteen jars of spices in the cabinet, why not add all fifteen to the soup?
And though I'm impressed that he can recite ingredients like sugar, flour, and baking soda, I have a hard time convincing him that, while those ingredients work for pumpkin bread, they aren't normally part of a good soup. Sadly, as I have no fundamental grasp of cooking, I have no idea why this is. I can only offer the lame, "because the recipe says so." Who knew I should have paid more attention in junior high school home economics class so that thirty years later I would be able to provide my son with basic cooking instruction?

song: You Never Can Tell • artist: Chuck Berry

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