This is not Cole’s tart-this tart is standing in as a very close replica of Cole’s tart while I figure out why Cole’s tart picture disappeared.
We have a kitchen because it came with the house. We have a kitchen because I married a man who loved to cook. We have a kitchen because the mother and father of the man I married built the house we live in, and they loved to cook. If it had been left up to me, I might have turned the kitchen into a computer studio, with a small fridge, hot plate, microwave, and a lovely collection of take-out menus.
Joe’s siblings love to cook. The spouses of Joe’s siblings love to cook. Joe’s nieces and nephews love to cook. Nephew Titus, has a Chicago Restaurant blog. Joe’s niece Claire, was babysitting Cole one night, and before we left for the evening we wrote down the name of the restaurant where we would be. At the tender age of 11, she took one look at where we were going and planned our entire menu for us. We took all of her suggestions, right down to the wine, and had one of our best dinners out – ever.
My mom cooks. She is a good cook, but I did not grow up with food as a priority. My family gathers at meal time to talk; the food is secondary. My mom cooked, my dad barbecued, I set the table, we ate. This was the sum total of my relationship with food and with cooking.
Joe never asked me my opinion about cooking or food before we were married. The one time I invited Joe over for dinner while we were dating, I ordered takey outey, threw out the tattle-tale containers, put it on my own trays, plates and dishes, set my table and called it making dinner. Let’s face it, a dating man’s priority is usually not how good the dinner is … even in Joe’s case.
Joe and I never had “the food talk” before we got married beyond Joe mentioning his family liked to cook, and telling a few stories about his dad’s Chinese cooking adventures. Imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered I had married into a family of gourmands and gourmets.
It was no surprise that I gave birth to a child who eats everything. Joe gave Cole his first barbecue rib while he was still nursing. I’m sure he was enjoying paté at family parties with a sip of wine before he was three, and foie gras by the age of 5.
It was also not a surprise that Cole enjoyed cooking as soon as he was old enough to stand on a stool and cut, chop, and fry with his dad. He was making bacon at the age of four (and this was pre waffle iron bacon!). There are those times when Cole cooks, however, in which I know Joe was right when he said, “He is your child.” There was the time when he turned the blender on without the top, covering the kitchen and me with sauce. Or when he cooked the pizza without removing the cardboard, or decided to substitute baking soda for baking powder. There was his discovery that all chocolate is not created equal. But hey, haven’t we all done that? Cole is learning, and we applaud his gusto, for more is better when he adds wine, chocolate, or butter to his recipes.
Cole has been dragging me towards the kitchen more and more these past few months as I’ve clung desperately to my take-out menus, screaming out the names of restaurants we might try. I plead for reservations, and he reads the recipes we might try from his Bon Appetit magazine, a subscription he requested for Christmas. I mention how nice and clean the kitchen is and he reminds me his dad never saw value in a clean kitchen. Without hesitating, I agree. Could we maybe just watch a nice cooking show together and eat buttered popcorn?
Sous-Mom, in our home, means forking out the dough for ingredients and cleaning up the spills, while Chef son thumbs through Bon Appetit, ignoring all suggestions to start small. The decision has been made. Milk Chocolate Caramel Tart with Hazelnuts and Espresso. The first question is, of course, “Mom, where do we keep the tart pans?”
In spite of the fact his grandmother thought he was way too young to be makin’ a tart, I think his tart was a real work of art. I’m including the link for the recipe, and if you need to borrow a tart pan, you know where to find us. You are just dying to know what we have up our sleeves for Superbowl Sunday, aren’t you??
Glad you were in my Odd neighborhood. Feel free to drop by any time. Odd Loves Company and odd loves you and you and you!! I would love to hear from you in the comment section of this blog, or on Facebook or Twitter!