Thursday, January 10, 2013

Top Chef

Tonight Conor expects to whip up a batch of what looks to be a yummy pasta dish.  This is problematic for me, as I strive to be gluten-free for my own sake, being somewhat dyspeptic.

I tell you what, though.  I am determined, determined, to teach this boy a vocational skill that will help him be independent. (Well, as independent as he can be, all things considered.)

I mean, what's seven days of a little bloating, intestinal pain, and diarrhea compared to preparing my son for a measure of independence?

You take out a student loan for college, I get diarrhea. We all make sacrifices for our kids' future, don't we?

(Yes, I know there's gluten-free pasta.  Kids with autism can be a little rigid about certain things [ya think?], and I don't anticipate my little chef wanting to substitute the penne pasta in the recipe with the gluten-free rotini I found.)

In any case, enough about me.  Conor went to the library with his dad and, without any prompting or direction, chose a Rachel Ray recipe book to bring home, called Look + Cook.

How easy can that be? You just look at it, and it practically cooks itself! My kind of cooking.

Of course, the recipe also calls for a food processor, so, naturally, I went online and ordered myself a nice little Cuisinart. (Man, I tell you, I can spend my husband's money like nobody's business. It's a talent, really. Plus, it's easy when it's all in the name of Conor becoming more independent.)

Check out this bad boy.

I didn't go for top-of-the-line, though.
My husband talks of this thing called a "budget".
What's this thing of which he speaks? I know not this word.

Conor has loved to help us cook for years.  Of course, "helping" often means grabbing a wooden spoon and stirring whatever we're cooking while simultaneously putting his little button nose right down into the pot.  A few weeks ago, he actually burned the tip of it while grilling steaks with his dad.

Poor kid.
That'll teach ya to not sniff the steaks while they're still on the grill, though. We hope.
I'm a little scared to give him a sharp knife, as you can imagine. But someday we'll have to take that plunge as well. Clearly, it is an area of interest for him, as he has always been quick to join us in baking, sautéing, simmering, grilling, and mashing.

In any case, Conor is quickly nearing his 14th birthday. (I know, 14 years old. I'm not old enough to have a 14 year-old. I was a child bride, entirely too young to get married. Quite scandalous, really.

Ok, I was 27 and begged my husband to marry me already. Sad, when I think about it.)

Ok, focus, Alisa, focus.

As Conor grows older, I worry about what he will do to earn income, maintain a measure of independence (however small), and to fill his days.  A Conor with a lot of time on his hands is usually a Conor that gets into trouble.

So this is part of my master plan. Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he sits and drinks beer all day. Wait, no, that sounds wrong.

Oh, right, other people can drink beer still.  That's why I stick with my red wine. It's gluten-free, not to mention delicious.

So... my goal is as follows: Teach Conor to fish and Alisa can drink wine all day.  Cheers!

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