Chef Nathaniel cooked his last meal here – cookie dough crepes for breakfast. He said he looked at a standard recipe for cookies and melded it with his crepe recipe.

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Our grandson has unlimited patience when cooking, a trait I envy. He buttered the pan, poured the batter, swirled it quickly to cover the bottom, and placed chocolate chips by hand. When the crepe was cooked, he folded it in half by pulling one edge over with his bare hand! He folded it in half again with his hand and only then used the spatula to put it in the dish.

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He put the dish in the oven to keep the crepes warm until we were ready to eat. Being a simple homemaker, I would have put the dish on the table. Not the chef! He plated the crepes and drizzled chocolate sauce on top, shown in the first photo. I haven’t decided yet if they were as good as they looked or better. I think I’ll rate them much better.

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We did other things during the week that I didn’t write about. The most important for Nathaniel was touring the campus of Johnson and Wales University in downtown Charlotte. He made the appointment himself, planning this trip with GP (Grandpa), and had the enthusiastic approval of his culinary arts teacher. For his junior year in high school, he has academic classes in the morning and vocational training in the afternoon. The woman at the university went over his academic record, recommending subjects for him to take next year. She discussed steps for applying to the school and getting financial aid. Both John and Nathaniel were impressed with the campus. Being in an urban setting, it was more vertical than horizontal. About half the students are there for culinary arts. The dorm rooms seemed spacious compared to David’s at Concordia, and the kitchens were impressive. They saw students cooking thick, juicy streaks and were given samples of candy being made in another kitchen.

While the fellows were Johnson and Waling, I spent several hours with former neighbor Amy. Amy left the house next door and moved to Charlotte to be near her daughter and grandchildren. I hadn’t seen her since she moved eight months ago. She looked younger than before! She talked happily about her new friends in the neighborhood, connecting with a high school classmate, getting roped into reunion activities, and enjoying her relatives. Her condo renovations and decorations were finished, and the place was fantastic. She has more floor space now than she did in the log house next door to us.

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We spent a day at Biltmore, the largest private home in the United States built by George Vanderbilt. The family has not lived there since the 50s, but it is kept up meticulously, with cut flowers in many of the rooms on the tour. There was one thing in the gift shop that really appealed to Nathaniel. He wears a suit to school almost every day, so formal clothing is a real interest for him. He tried on the top hat and would have bought it if he had the tuxedo and money to match.

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