“Stuck” in the Kitchen With 3 Sons–How Bad Can it Be?

My son Harry is a high school senior and is applying to college. He specifically wants to go to art school. Unlike the rest of the family, he is an incredible artist. All but one of the schools he’s applying to require a portfolio of artwork. This one, Parsons School of Design in NY requires what they call, “The Parsons Challenge”. Basically, this exercise asks the applicant to observe some everyday aspect of their lives that has been overlooked and then to interpret it both visually and in written statements.

Well, it turns out that Harry is doing something that has to do with me, Challah Connection and baking—I guess. He hasn’t told me exactly what aspect of “me” he is focusing on but needless to say, I’m flattered that he feels I’m something of value that’s been unduly overlooked.

For the Challenge, he needs to take pictures of me baking challah. This past Saturday, was finally the day. However, instead of challah he approved a cinnamon bread recipe that we all really love and is much quicker then challah as it doesn’t require a sponge (45 minutes) or 2 risings and then a third after the braiding. It was a beautiful day and I wanted to go for a long walk in the frigid, but sunny weather. Being stuck in the kitchen all day hadn’t been my plan.

Well, I got the bread started and then my 2 others were beckoning me to make them French toast. It was a perfect moment to teach them how and to give them my favorite French toast recipe (key ingredients: challah, egg, milk, cinnamon, vanilla. Key cooking features: soak the challah REALLY well and saute in combination of butter and canola oil). They did a great job. Sam is now ready to go back to school and cook challah French toast for all of his housemates.

Then, the best laid plans: I took on 2 other cooking projects since I had the ingredients and wanted to use them before they went bad. Roasted root vegetables (just cut them up, place on cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, kosher salt & pepper. Roast till done.) and cabbage and noodles (in Arthur Schwartz’s Jewish Home Cooking) were next on my list. This was a great day of cooking, teaching my boys and a great walk with Sophie, the dog.

What wasn’t planned to be a cooking day turned out to be a great one!

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