Searching For Ambrosia: Learning To Cook Kid-StyleJul 26th, 2013 | By Jacob | Category: Editorials
As a child, I remember my first attempt at what I considered to be cooking. I was hungry and searching for something to eat in the refrigerator when I came across a pack of unopened hot dogs. I had eaten hot dogs at home many times before, but that day I remembered my favorite way to eat them, over an open flame.
Our summers usually had at least one camping trip and cooking something over fire was an essential ritual. My dad even had special roasting sticks that looked something like a cross between a clothes hanger and a fork that, to me, made roasting hot dogs and marshmallows more cool than it already was. Only until I was older did I realize that he wasn’t the inventor of this unusual device. Sad to say that when I spotted them in the outdoors section of a local department store, I was completely overwhelmed by my childhood disillusionment. Another great memory of cooking over fire was Girl Scout camp. Instead of cool roasting forks, we found our own roasting sticks, gathered from the woods, where we whittled one end to a point before sticking our hot dogs on them and into the campfire.
That day at home, with no cool roasting fork, pointed stick, or campfire, I improvised. I took a fork out of the silverware drawer, poked a hot dog onto the tines and roasted it over the only flame available….the gas stove. (Apparently the other thing I lacked that day was adult supervision.) The hot dog flamed and sputtered until it had an almost black coating. After placing the charcoaled wiener into a bun, covering it with my (then) favorite hot dog condiments, ketchup and sweet pickle relish, I took my first bite. I was immediately and totally hooked on cooking. I was amazed at how good it tasted and how easy it was for me to create my own food. My parents were not as excited as I was with my newly found cooking skills when I had to explain to them the messy stovetop. Even with my permanent banishment from the kitchen, I still loved the idea of cooking and eventually was able to find my way to the stove again.
I was reminded of this memory because my nephew is visiting and he shared with me his grilled cheese invention. He is 13 years old and learning to create food on his own with excitement, both his and mine. He has shared his recipe with me so that I can share it with you. Watching him cook reminds me that cooking food for yourself can really be fun, that you don’t always have to follow any rules or guidelines. Preparing food for just you can be an exciting experiment that doesn’t have to turn out perfect; nobody will be there to judge, criticize, or impress. Thank you Blake.
Blake’s Grilled Cheese Rolls
Sliced American cheese
Tomato Soup (optional)
Using a rolling pin, roll pin across bread slice to flatten. Place a slice of cheese on the bread. Starting at one end, roll bread and cheese to form a tube shape; Place roll in a hot skillet with melted butter over medium heat. Turn roll to brown bread evenly.
Repeat with as many slices of bread, cheese and butter as desired.
Dip into tomato soup to eat.