CHEF CHARLOTTE’S DEBUT
It was a pretty remarkable accomplishment for someone who was not quite 10 years old! In July, 2017, Charlotte and I came up with the idea for her to prepare a company dinner (with Grandmama as her assistant). We had quite a few planning sessions. First, she decided on a menu. Most items were favorites that she’d eaten often at my house—the salmon patties, deviled eggs, mashed potatoes, and spoon rolls. We found recipes in my cookbooks for a strawberry-spinach salad and an Edelweiss pie for dessert. She found a cherry-limeade beverage recipe online that she wanted to have with the fruit-cheese appetizers.
Next we made our grocery shopping list and she went with me to Kroger’s to buy everything we’d need. We also bought fresh flowers for the table centerpiece. She made invitations for her guests—her parents and friends Mark and Lisa.
The day before the dinner she came over to begin preparations. We set the table with linens, china, crystal and silverware—and she made a flower centerpiece. For each recipe, I reviewed the steps and techniques with her in advance. We made the deviled eggs, prepped the salad ingredients, made the cherry limeade and mixed the batter for spoon rolls that afternoon.
The afternoon of the dinner we prepared the other menu items. Paul, Heather, Mark and Lisa were duly impressed by the tasty and colorful dinner. Charlotte was quite proud of herself—and I presented her with her own apron at the end of the meal.