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Daughter's first dinner party

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bklynite Mar 31, 2008 08:54 AM

Can I kvell for a minute? My 12 year old daughter informed me on Thursday that she wanted to cook dinner on Saturday; she'd been thinking about what would be a good way to cook chicken and wanted to put together a meal. It would be just the two of us that night, so we thought it would be fun to invite over some very close friends (another mom with son my kid's age, whom we've known since the kids were infants).

She wanted to do boneless chicken breasts with seasoned bread crumbs (something I make a lot that she loves), but also thought that orange would make a good flavor addition. So I suggested adding some orange zest to the breading.

Veg was carrots, sliced into rounds and cooked with the chicken. I usually just use baby carrots, but she wanted to do something a little different.

Finally, she sliced some potatoes and we roasted them with olive oil and rosemary.

We have a kitchen the size of a postage stamp, and a dining room table that's not much bigger, so usually we just put out plates and everyone serves themselves from the pots 'n pans in the kitchen.

Oh no - not good enough for THIS dinner party! My daughter advised me that she planned to plate the food and serve everyone, and she proceeded to arrange each plate with chicken atop a mound of carrots, potatoes artfully circling the edge.

The plates were beautiful and the dinner was delicious. She's always been a pretty picky eater, but she's been more and more interested in cooking as she's gotten older. She doesn't always want to eat everything she's been involved in cooking, but I'm hoping her tastes will expand eventually.

Ok, thanks for the opportunity to be a proud mama!

  1. d
    dklipscomb Mar 31, 2008 10:06 AM

    Good job to her!! Thanks for sharing the story-hopefully you took photos? Have her start her own recipe collection! Enjoy and have fun!

    1. Aimi Mar 31, 2008 11:13 AM

      Outstanding!
      That's about the age I really started to cook "on my own", with my mom or dad as my assistant when I needed help.
      My dad was working the 11pm-7am shift for a while, and I would often cook breakfast for the two of us to eat before he took me to school in the mornings. One morning, he had to work late, so I left him a plate of eggs and biscuits (or was it toast?) in the fridge with a post-it note that said "yum, yum! eat 'em up!" He told me once that it was the best breakfast he ever had ;-)

      1 Reply
      1. re: Aimi
        j
        julesrules Apr 2, 2008 09:35 AM

        That is a lovely story :)

      2. LindaWhit Mar 31, 2008 12:28 PM

        Oh, this is just wonderful! And at 12yo - good for her!

        I was also at a dinner party this weekend, where I helped the guy doing the cooking with the prep and plating. I don't usually plate either - just family style from serving dishes at the table. But I love helping him do so as he has a very particular idea of how things should be, and it's always fun to see what he comes up with. I hope your daughter had as much fun as I did! :-)

        1. d
          dagwood Mar 31, 2008 07:05 PM

          This made me smile :)

          Good for her!

          1. d
            Diane in Bexley Apr 1, 2008 01:33 PM

            Mazel tov! Now you can start applying to the CIA, Johnson & Wales, etc. But, here's the real follow up question - who did the dishes? Just kidding, sounds like you got a real Ina Garten in training. If planning a Bat Mitzvah next year, make sure you let her in on planning.

            A nice gift would be for you to make a little book of your family recipes. My mother had to go to work when I was 12 (oldest child) and I learned how to cook very simple meals so our family could eat dinner at a reasonable hour. .Learned very useful tasks that translated into planning, budgeting, organizing skills for later life. Also make sure she learns how to do laundry.

            1. CindyJ Apr 1, 2008 01:38 PM

              You've earned kvelling rights. I LOVE your story! And what I especially love about your daughter is her awareness of the not-so-subtle distinction that plating adds. Why do I have a feeling that she's been raised with an appreciation for detail? Kudos to BOTH of you!

              1. e
                eatmyfood Apr 1, 2008 07:44 PM

                I started cooking around your daughter's age. My parents let me make whatever I wanted. It was all pretty simple recipes, but I loved making it myself.

                Kids seem to try different foods when they make it themselves. Hopefully this is the start of a long cooking adventure for your daughter!!

                http://www.dinnersforayear.blogspot.com

                1. r
                  rumple Apr 1, 2008 07:48 PM

                  Such a cute story! What did she serve for dessert??

                  1. f
                    foodiemommy Apr 2, 2008 05:57 AM

                    Like the other posters, I loved this story too. Congratulations, mom!
                    My one year-old has his own little set of pans and kitchen utensils and likes to sit on the kitchen floor while we're cooking and imitate us stirring. Hopefully when he's 12, he'll be making our dinner!

                    1. b
                      bklynite Apr 2, 2008 07:10 AM

                      Many thanks to you all for the nice replies! I wish we'd thought to take pictures, but alas...

                      Dessert was a cookie assortment from a good local bakery (nicely arranged, of course, on a serving dish ;-)) I didn't feel like dealing with baking and the mess it engenders, and while it was her dinner, it's still my (tiny) kitchen and she still needs my help, so I had veto power!

                      Let's indeed, hope this is the start of a beautiful future in food!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: bklynite
                        LindaWhit Apr 2, 2008 09:44 AM

                        Perhaps ask her if she'd like to cook once a month for the family and help her plan. She could be a bit more adventurous if it was just family (vs. the potential nervousness of cooking for guests) and could try new things and new flavors!

                        1. re: LindaWhit
                          b
                          bklynite Apr 2, 2008 09:47 AM

                          "New things and new flavors" - ok, everyone sing "these are a few of her least favorite things!

                          I like the idea of the once-a-month dinner though. Thanks!

                          1. re: bklynite
                            LindaWhit Apr 2, 2008 09:57 AM

                            LOL! Yes, I guess she's at that age. But maybe if she starts cooking more, and perhaps watches one of the good chefs on TFN, she *might* become interested in trying something out.

                      2. SweetPea914 Apr 2, 2008 12:31 PM

                        Love it! You should be very proud!!

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