... especially the dessert cook, especially when she's this cute!
Sophie is becoming a highly motivated and highly competent dessert chef. I'd always allowed her to be included in whatever cooking I was doing, and once in a while I'd try to actually teach her something, but it was apparent that this wasn't what she wanted. Cooking with me was pretty boring, more like housework than adventure. She wanted free rein in the kitchen, and she didn't want any help. And she especially wanted to make desserts!
Well, this is a family of people who like to eat desserts, so that worked out pretty well. I'm amazed at how she is just figuring this stuff out on her own, without any help. She figures out what size or type of bowl, pan or utensil to use. She understands all those cooking terms like sauté, fold in, mix, whip, simmer and cut in. She doesn't need to ask "how 'gradually' do they mean?" or "should I just put all these in at the same time?" She seems to be able to figure all this out on her own, and she's not worried about messing things up. She's adventurous, but logical and organized. Lately she experiments a little now that she's learning how ingredients interact and what their respective roles are.
Last night for example she was making flapjacks/oatcakes. After they were in the oven she told me "I used about 25 grams less butter. You said that recipe was really buttery, and there was a hunk of butter that was just a little smaller than they asked for, so that was all I used. The oats were sticky enough to hold together, so I just tried it that way." They were delicious, and not too greasy. Better than when I made them.
A couple of weeks ago we bought the Williams Sonoma Dessert Cookbook, and I am spending some ridiculous amount of the grocery budget on chocolate, butter and sugar. This is not an inexpensive interest. But Sophie is having a blast, and we are all reaping the benefits. Vanilla cheesecake with fruit topping. Amazing rich chewy brownies. Chocolate torte to die for. Not to mention the many other recipes she's become competent at, like the Nanaimo bars we all love.