Now We’re Cookin’


Last week I had to go to the specialty foods section of the grocery store and buy prosciutto for my eight year old son. Not because he’s ever had it, or even knows exactly what it is, but his latest obsession is a cooking show on the food channel and that’s what they sprinkled on their macaroni and cheese, so therefore plain old ham or bacon would not suffice.

I will say, though, it was possibly the best mac and cheese I’ve ever eaten. Should’ve been, considering the grocery bill, what with three kinds of cheese and alfredo sauce. And the prosciutto, of course, paper thin slices of Italian ham made from pigs raised on a diet of caviar, champagne and truffles, judging by the price.

Once I hauled it all home, I had to assemble utensils and baking dishes that looked as much like the ones on TV as possible and divvy the ingredients up into individual bowls. Then he dumped each in with the flair of a television chef, while quoting the dialogue from the episode in question word for word, this being the child who can do all the voices and all the parts from dozens of cartoons, but wouldn’t try out for the recent children’s theater production because he was afraid he wouldn’t know what to say.

Let’s be honest, though. Is there anyone who likes to cook who hasn’t fantasized about tossing together something to die for from cute little dishes of pre-measured ingredients while pretending to be a celebrity chef? My kid just happens to have a mother who humors him because his Guy Fieri impression is worth the pile of dirty dishes. Plus I didn’t have to make dinner.

He now has his food TV show set up to auto-record on the DVR, and watches it every day to see what’s cooking. I’m a little nervous about what he’s going to latch onto next, though. I’m not sure my wallet is up to lobster bisque, and my stomach will definitely rebel at squid ink pasta. Believe it or not, though, it could get worse. One morning last week he tuned in for a quick cooking lesson before school, while waiting for me to polish off my oatmeal.

“What is that they’re frying?” his dad asked.


“Like…from an octopus?”

The boy rolled his eyes. “Of course not, Daddy. They’re from the store.”


Kari Lynn Dell – Montana for Real