Edible Schoolwork

November 10, 2008

Parents like to display schoolwork the kids bring home. At our house we put it in on the dining table and eat it.

To be precise, Daniel isn’t our kid. He’s my nephew and twenty-three. But he’s living with my wife and me for now. With increasing frequency he’s bringing home what he prepares at school — delicious food cooked at the Oregon Culinary Institute.

He lugs the food in plastic bags tucked in his pack. Slung over the pack in a case are his wicked-looking chef knives. All this arrives home after train and bike rides.

Tonight we dined on chicken cooked with sake and other Japanese ingredients, accompanied by a spicy mix of rice, shittake mushrooms, and asparagus. A few nights earlier, it was chicken Kiev. Over dinner we discuss how he made each dish, comment on the flavors, and learn what skills he’s perfecting.

Soon the curriculuum shifts to pork and seafood. I’m in no hurry for Daniel to find his own place.