Posted by: zhak39 | September 26, 2005

Like Mother. Like Son

He never ceases to amaze me.

We have some guidelines in our house about education and life’s lessons. My children will not officially reach adulthood until they know how to

  1. do their own laundry (including putting it away)
  2. clean the bathroom
  3. cook and serve 5 balanced meals

The oldest is still working on boiling water but she makes an excellent fruit salad. The youngest can park himself behind a loaf of bread with jars of peanutbutter and jelly handy and he is always willing to stir the pots. It’s Chris though, the middle child who shines in the kitchen.

It didn’t take Chris very long to figure out the ins and outs of the microwave. His school has one and it gives him a real kick to bring in soups or burrito makings to wow (show off in front of) his friends. On the weekends we decide what ingredients he will need to throw together a real cafeteria lunch. But it’s not this part of the meal that has captured his imagine. It’s….


Chris makes the most amazing chocolate cake, usually using his great-grandmother’s (“Grammy’s Man’s Cake”) handwritten recipe. He is equally comfortable with cocoa powder and chocolate squares and is very particular about the vanilla. He also makes great frosting–right now he’s on a lemon kick. Recently I had some friends over, immigrants from Vietnam. In their honor, Chris whipped up a colossal cake and was making the frosting when they arrived. They were fascinated! Not only were they interested in ‘American style cooking,’ they were delighted to see a guy in the kitchen.

“This is what we came to America for,” said one. “This is equality.”

Chris’s latest creation comes from two recipes that he really favors. He loves chocolate pudding pie with a graham cracker crust but it’s too messy for him to take to school. He also is a brownie fanatic (did I say like mother like son?) So what would be better than baking brownies in a graham cracker crust? He of course started with real butter, melted. Had a blast crunching up the graham crackers and tossing in some extra sugar when I wasn’t looking. Pressed that into a pie tin and then poured in a brownie batter fortified with chocolate chips. When it was done it could be sliced like a pie, popped in a baggie and taken off to school.

There was nothing leftover.


  1. Ok, now that you have me totalling drooling, does he ship cakes to Oklahoma? lol

  2. For you my dear? He just might. Incidentally, he has come up with a great variation on cupcakes to bring to school. When transporting, the frosting always ends up inside the baggy instead of on top of the cupcake. Chris slices the cupcakes and sandwiches the frosting in between the layers. Some kid, huh?

  3. Cute…also, pour cake batter into flat bottom ice cream cones and stand in muffin tins to bake. Fill 2/3 and they rise to top of cone…then ice đŸ™‚

  4. He’ll love that–thanks for the suggestion.

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