Sous Chef(s)

Photo © smitten kitchen

“He who controls the Spice controls the universe.” ~Dune, Film (1984)
This is how you geek up a food post.

December 26 – Soul Food
What did you eat this year that you will never forget? What went into your mouth & touched your soul? (Author:
Elise Marie Collins) [The #reverb10 project.]

Three years ago I wrote a post about “catching” my two boys watching Food Network instead of their usual Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network fare. [Sidebar: I sent that post to Alton Brown’s production company. They responded by sending a signed, personalized copy of one of his cookbooks to my boys. I hid it until Christmas that year. They still talk about that Christmas present and show it to people regularly.]

Fast forward to the present and 2010 was the year they both began seriously helping in the kitchen. It is the 10-year old, however, who exhibits passion. He has, quite literally, smelled and tasted every spice in the cabinet. Just last week he was helping my cousin bake a batch of Butterscotch Thins (cookies) and I overheard this:

“Can I try a butterscotch chip? I’ve never had one before because I don’t think I like butterscotch but I can’t possibly cook with them if I don’t know what they taste like.


There is much debate between the boys as to who makes the best spaghetti… me or their father. Trust me, my ex can cook. I love that the boys try to compare the two when his is far more American traditional and I’ve taken a more healthy and organic turn with mine.

My best dish this year? Spaghetti… prepared by my boys under my tutelage.

There is something parentally satisfying about watching a 15-year old boy and a 10-year old boy stand over a pot of sauce with tasting spoons having a lively discussion about what’s missing… how it needs a little bit of this or a little bit of that.

Have they mastered spaghetti? No.
Was that batch perfect? Absolutely.


  1. Awesome. I love that you share such a great experience with your boys. It's so important to find bonds like that. They are so fortunate to have you!

  2. This was such a heartwarming post! And I have to say, there's something special about guys who know their way around the kitchen. Two of my close friends do and it's really nice being fed by my guy friends instead of having to feed them all the time, like in college. :)

  3. How fabulous is that? Someday soon, they will be cooking entire dinners for you...

  4. Cooking with children is such a joyful thing. I'm so glad that is a part of your life. What a wonderful thing to share. Thank you!

  5. My sister writes food blog posts, and her boys are usually involved. I found so much to enjoy here, but doubtful as much as you did in living it.

    Wonderful story....

  6. What went into my mouth? Baked Beans -from a can. Er not really, have been known to create tasty stuff - but who cares? Dog eats whatever i give it .. heh.

  7. Oh wow, how wonderful, Beth. I can't imagine how amazing it must feel to witness your boys create like that.

  8. My thirteen-year-old daughter has finally started helping me in the kitchen since my older daughter went away to college. Praising her creativity in the food spectrum makes her beam. I am so grateful she was finally willing to try it.

    My son started cooking with me at 6 when I homeschooled him briefly. It was one of the ways we stayed grounded and centered during a very stressful time. He still loves it, though not nearly with the passion of your sons.

    Food is a medium of art. Fantastic parenting here.

    I am grateful to have found you in my first Reverb10 reading of the day!

  9. @Shannon ~ Ah, but I am the lucky one.
    @Aba ~ It is heartwarming... and sexy, too!
    @Mrs Mediocrity ~ May that day come super soon. HA! I could use the help.
    @Muse ~ Their joy in the kitchen was a surprise though it is not unwelcome.
    @Mark ~ Thank you!
    @Davo ~ You're crazy but it's a good crazy. ;)
    @Stereo ~ It's far more satisfying than the food.
    @Julie ~ Oh, thank you! You are right... they are so proud of their kitchen accomplishment and they do beam.


"Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?" ~Walt Whitman


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