Our Chef is Back!

Grandson Nathaniel arrived in the wee hours to spend his 10-day Spring break with us. He had a class until 7 pm, and John had a meeting in Asheville. That gave grandson David time to finish work in Waynesville and drive to meet John, so the two of them could go together to Charlotte to fetch the chef-in-training. I didn’t see Nathaniel until morning. He was ready for the day and eager to get a haircut. Barber’s fees are high in Charlotte, so he was quite shaggy. I suggested we do the ritual of the mirror, and then we asked him to do a tall job – freeing a flag that was snagged on the gutter.

Over breakfast I warned Nathaniel to sift the baking powder here before using it. I had gotten a little clump of bitterness in a biscuit a few days ago and knew it was the leavening agent. He launched into a quick explanation, listing the three main ingredients, and the fact that it tends to clump when damp. I was very impressed with the things he already knows.

After lunch Nathaniel served dessert that he had made in school, raspberry sorbet. It survived the three-hour trip and was refrozen. The taste was as intense as the color. Superb! We also tasted the ice cream he brought – Elf’s Eggnog. He not only made the ice cream, but he also designed and printed the labels for it.

Neighbor Logan (8) came over after school. He and Nathaniel had a rousing game of tag. There were shrieks, heavy footsteps, silence as the one who was “it” changed direction, followed by more shouts and running. Once Logan scooted under a chair to evade Nathaniel’s long arm. At the end, they continued the chase, only on their knees. Nate must have been happy that John broke in to ask Logan to read to him. The house was very quiet after Logan left.

38 thoughts on “Our Chef is Back!

  1. I am wondering how Nathaniel brought the Sorbet and icecream all the way from school till home without them making a mess. The cover of the icecream is beautiful- perhaps he could market it ?
    Logan and Nathaniel worked out a lot of energy.
    Wish you had a video.
    Susie

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    1. The sorbet and ice cream slowly melted, so he refroze them here at home. If John had known Nathaniel was bringing these goodies, he could have taken a cooler with ice.

      Logan’s game of tag was too wild to video. I’ve learned how to trim a video at either end, but I don’t have the apps to string a few together.

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    1. I hadn’t thought about it, but elves, by definition, are tiny. You nailed it.

      You have more appreciation than anyone else for the mirror ritual. We should probably get you to choreograph it for us. Nathaniel said he was with a student whose uniform always looked 100% better than that of others. The chefs commented on it, and she said her dad ironed everything for her. He had been an honor guard in one of the services.

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  2. Family visits are to be celebrated. And a chef? Wow. Lucky you. I was certified to do haircuts when my kids were little. Soon, however, my expertise was simply not enough! The beauty salon for our daughter and the razor for our son to shave his head. I adore sorbet. Pomegranate is my favorite. Very creative label for the ice cream. Impressive, Anne. Have fun with the visit!

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    1. Nathaniel has wanted to cook for many years. He is in his first year at Johnson & Wales for a culinary degree, majoring in baking and pastry. The first two terms he did labs, and this term he will have academics. It’s wonderful that he enjoys it so much.

      Along with everything else, you were certified to do haircuts???? I cut John’s hair for a number of years, but I think I took too long. He could go to town, get a haircut, and come home before I could finish a cut.

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      1. Tongue in cheek, I was “certified” to cut hair. I bought a kit. I watched my mother cut my father’s hair (bald on top, mind you) so I figured I could do this too. Not too bad with different size attachments. Our daughter allowed me until she became a teen. After that – no more. I did my husband’s hair as well but life intervened so he found it more convenient to simply go around the corner and get it done. Somewhere I still have the kit. It’s a fun pastime. Maybe on your grandchildren?

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      2. Haha. I learned if I scattered the hair after cutting, it kept the deer away. Also Irish Spring soap hung from tree branches especially apple trees. It seems there was always a rush to eat our apples. One of the neighbors reported, however, that a couple of young neighborhood boys had been picking apples off the tree and throwing them at one another or squishing them under bicycle tires. This neighbor scolded the boys. It seems that every other year, we have a bumper crop. Those that fall on the ground are consumed by squirrels. Never a dull moment in paradise.

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      3. We had no deer sightings on Long Island until the last ten years we lived there. Construction at the university and new developments disturbed their habitat. I was glad they used our property as a road and didn’t stop to nibble the plants.

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      4. Not yet. Our daughter’s hospital in Southampton combined with SUNY Stony Brook where she will receive her NP degree in a couple years. She sometimes has a seminar or two there. How neat you lived nearby.

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      5. We were never involved with the university. John’s sister got her doctorate in linguistics there, and she oversaw testing of teaching assistants. They had to show their ability to communicate in English. She and her husband are on campus a lot now that they are both retired. They take courses about very interesting things, so it’s always fun to talk with them.

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      6. We are fans of lifelong learning too. So glad to hear others. Yes, those make for interesting conversations. As a Fulbrighter in Germany twice, I taught all levels of English as a Foreign Language. It was great fun but hard work at times. Our school schedules were similar to college schedules so it was challenging to keep my schedule straight along with our children in elementary school. Each day had a different start and end time. I had to rely on others to walk my children to their neighborhood school and back when I was still teaching. We had no car the year I taught in Berlin. Public transportation was wonderful too.

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      7. I read almost everything including instructions on how to use things. I also have a habit of correcting that which is wrong when I read. Spelling errors galore in the local newspaper makes me wonder about proofreading today. My husband had a history major as an undergraduate. So much of value to be learned from history. Now if only we had all the hours to read!

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      8. Oh my. Just too funny. I had a librarian friend who read a program for an organ recital and said that there was a typo in line 12. She seemed to always find the errors. And I thought I was the only one. I recall arguments with my mother about spellings such as “inclose” or “enclose.”

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      9. Haha, Anne. Same with assembling anything made there. It is a laughing matter. I leave the blogs alone. I think we all try to read what was intended. After all, when I respond in French or German, there must be errors from time to time. Hugs.

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