March 8, 2012 at 1:06 am , by Louise Sloan
“If you speak to me disrespectfully one more time, you will not be allowed to cook for a week,” I told my son in my best dispassionate, Dirty Harry “Go ahead, make my day” voice. His babysitter, who was on the way out the door, shot me a “WTF” look. I was threatening a 5-year-old with the terrible punishment of not being allowed to cook dinner for a week? Were we in Bizarro World?
Um, I guess so. I don’t know—it’s just the way things are these days at my house. My kindergartner has always loved to cook (check out the video of him making pancakes at age 1 and my blog post about his surprisingly good radish soup), but lately he’s become downright obsessed. And more than that, Scott’s suffering from, shall we say, a slight overabundance of self-esteem? It’s like I’ve suddenly become Bill Buford, author of the wonderful memoir Heat, which is about spending a year working in Mario Batali’s kitchen, getting schooled—and yelled at—by the famous chef. Scott, of course, is Batali.
“Most kids my age don’t know how to cook, but I’ve practiced a lot so I can,” he’ll say proudly. “That’s right,” I’ll reply, watching as he expertly cracks and scrambles eggs or slices up some potatoes with a disposable plastic knife and sautées them in olive oil with garlic, fresh herbs and a touch of freshly ground black pepper. (His idea.) But then I’ll come up against his inner Batali. I’ll give him some basic guidance or I’ll hand him an ingredient, and he’ll rebuke me: “Mom. I’M THE CHEF. Chefs don’t have people helping them!” Oh my goodness, the tone! I tell him that real chefs actually DO have lots of people helping them. And that he is not to speak that way to his mother. What I don’t tell him is that real chefs often have the same imperious attitude. They’re just a little older and wield a lot more financial power over their kitchen companions.
Night before last he had a bit of a come-uppance. Read more
January 12, 2011 at 4:46 pm , by Tara Bench
Ree Drummond (the voice and talent behind The Pioneer Woman) invited us to stay at her lodge when we visited to film LHJ‘s fantastic cooking videos (watch the first one here). The lodge — the Pioneer Woman’s second home on her ranch — is a 20-minute drive from the nearest tiny town. And if you try mailing something from there . . . well, you can’t. It’s sort of in the middle of nowhere!
Ree says she’s woken up to cows outside her door on the porch, so when I woke up at sunrise in one of the guest rooms I was hoping for just that experience. It didn’t happen, but I did look out onto a most beautiful view of the Drummonds’ Oklahoma ranch, with working barns, horses grazing and cows in the field . . . where they actually belong.
Ree is beautiful and sweet. We had a lovely time with her at the ranch and, yes, ate a lot of delicious food! Click here to see a slideshow of what went on behind the scenes. And remember to check back each month for a new cooking video from Ree!