Chef’s Practice Time

Like all artists, beginning chefs practice for hours.. When passion is involved though, you might substitute “play” for “practice”. I enjoyed watching grandson Nathaniel in my kitchen. He piped chocolate on a plate, working for skill and speed. A design like this might be used to decorate a plate on which a dessert is served. Grandson David was the designated cleaner, eating it the next day.

030119 Design on plate.JPG
This is on a small dessert plate.

I cooked poached eggs for breakfast, using silicone forms. Nathaniel had a second one, which he cooked in the classic way. He boiled water in a saucepan, added a little vinegar, swirled the water with a spoon, and gently tipped the egg in the water. He likes a runny yolk, so he took it out before the yolk solidified.

030119 Poaching egg.JPG
Poaching an egg in boiling water

Nathaniel held his phone in one hand to take a video as he cut the egg with the other hand. I was filming the same scene with my camera. We enjoyed the replay.


I requested a chocolate dessert of his choice. As he and I walked to the creek, he was planning the trifle. While chatting with neighbor Marla, he spoke of his plans and invited her to come over when it was ready. We were delayed by several things, so Connie was home from work and able to come for the spontaneous party, too.

030119 Spontaneous party N Connie Marla.JPG
Nathaniel, Connie, and Marla

Nathaniel practiced assembling the trifle in small bowls. I would have plopped the layers in with a spoon, but he did the proper thing of using a pastry bag. Each layer was even, making a pretty picture from the side. For our little group, he used a large bowl. If I knew he would settle near us after college, I’d buy a trifle bowl!



47 thoughts on “Chef’s Practice Time

    1. I hadn’t thought about the danger of being with Nathaniel too long. However, he has spent the last three summers with us, and he didn’t have time to cook a lot.

      xxx House-sized Hugs xxx


    1. I wish all of my mistakes were edible. Nathaniel doesn’t make drastic mistakes, although he did start over making a lemon cake for the eclipse of the sun. We eagerly ate the one he deemed not up to snuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Can you loan Nathaniel to us ? We could provide board, ingredients, and plane tickets. He would be the next Jamie Olivier in our parts.
    I am going to try to make poached eggs( I have never eaten any) and do it his way. What is the silicone cup way of doing poached eggs?
    Still waiting to hear or read the orange sauce recipe.


  2. I haven’t had a poached egg in ages. We used to have a small stainless steel form and cups that fit inside over boiling water in the saucepan. I think I gave it away, but now, I want a poached egg. I didn’t know it would help to add vinegar to the water…learned something from your post and Nathaniel. I think I might try poaching an egg tomorrow. The trifle looks lovely too. Thanks for the good ideas.


      1. Anne, guess what I had for breakfast??? I looked up poaching an egg on Youtube, and Alton Brown, a food network personality, had a YouTube video that was very informative on the subject. While I was making the poached egge my husband said it was a lot of work for what was just a glorified soft boiled egg, but I succeeded, and over toast…it was delicious. Thank you to you and Nathaniel for the inspiration to try something new.


      2. Oh and one other great tip on Brown’s video, he showed how you can store the poached eggs in the fridge for up to eight hours if you are using them for company or a special recipe. They can be reheated for one minute in the same temp water as they are cooked in…at least so he says.🤔


          1. Eating one is enough for me…I might do more, but there is so much goo in the water that just floats around. It is easier to keep it in check by doing just one.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Your Nathaniel is such a talented chef! And he has someone to clean up too. Even better! I love those impromptu parties that just spring up organically. Sounds like a lot of fun! So sorry I missed it.


Do you have a comment? I'd love to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s