Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cooking, Paul Simon, jam-in-the-hole and hair cut honesty

Julie and I recently saw some sort of write-up about age appropriate tasks kids should be doing. One thing we realized is that we have not promoted the kitchen as much as we should. The kids clear and set the table, but cooking had been mostly non-existent. Ginny likes to help bake every once in a while, but that's about it. 

So now that I'm home, Jorja has been stepping up and learning some things. Our first endeavor was pancakes. I realized she had never actually cracked and egg before. She tap-tap-tapped in gingerly on the side of a bowl. A bit harder, I told her. Tap tap tap. A bit harder yet. Bam! We had to use an extra egg. Oh well, no worries. I got that cleaned up and we were off. The frying pan was heated and sizzling nicely. She out the batter in and even flipped them. They all turned out. A successful first attempt!

Next up: chicken noodle soup. She put the water on and got bored waiting for it to boil. She walked away. Whoa whoa whoa, I said. You're doing this now, if it boils over, that's on you. She rolled her eyes and came back. She periodically tasted the noodles until they were just the right texture. She took the job very seriously. And the noodles were excellent. 

Today it was time for cookies.  The first step was to put on some music. May as well make this educational on several level. I had already unpacked the record player I received for Father's Day and today I had found the box of LPs. 

I selected Paul Simon's Graceland - one of my all time favorite albums. (I can see Julie rolling her eyes as she reads this.)  Jorja was a bit skeptical - she told me she couldn't trust my musical judgement. But, she didn't hate it, so we've got someplace to start. 

The cookie recipe I selected was 'jam-in-the-hole' cookies.  I'm sure these cookies had a real name at some point, but when we were kids, that was what we called them.  You roll the batter into balls, make a hole in the top and fill it with jam.  Voila! Jam-in-the-hole-cookies!  The name became more than just a childhood nickname when Mom's church women's group made a cookbook.  This was in the early eighties.  Pre-Microsoft word, pre-computer.  It was the typewriter age.  Mom got my sister Candace to type up some recipes, so Candace typed it up as we always said it.  So now, the name shall live on forever in the 'Koinonia Cookery' (greek for friendship or something like that if I recall correctly).  

Jorja did a good job.  There was one poof of flour to the face but other than that, there were no incidents.  Once we figured out how to read recipe abbreviations that is.  She said, 'where are the tablespoons? I need some salt.'  That got my attention.  You need how much?!  'A tablespoon.  It says right here - one slash two tsp.'  We went through the fractions and the abbreviations and we were set after that.  It would have taken a loving parent to choke down one of those with a smile I think.

Half way through, Ginny came in and wanted to make cookies too.  So she made a batch as well.  Then CeCe came in and wanted to make a batch.  She made peanut butter chocolate chip.  So now we have three batches of cookies in the house.  It's funny, but as the afternoon went on and we went from one child to the next, the amount of work I had to do kept going up.  I'm not usually a binge baker.  Usually one batch of cookies is all I do in a day.  By the time this was over, I was spent.  It was chicken fingers and fries for supper. 

After all that baking, I needed a shower.  But my hair was getting kind of shaggy (long enough to have bed-head) so I decided to buzz it off first.  Usually I get Julie to check the back and see if I missed anything.  Today she was still at work, so I asked Jorja to check for me.  I knelt down in front of her (with no shirt on) and asked her if she saw any long hairs.  I guess I should have specified on my head, because after surveying the situation, she said, 'Yup, right here,' and put both her hands on my back just below my shoulder blades.  'I meant on my head!' I replied.  ' you're all good there.'  Sheesh.  There's some honesty for you.  Later. 

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