It's Week 3 and this session of Teenagers Tackle Dinner was a bit different. I was away in London at a food blogging conference so the children were home alone with my lovely husband. He got to do lots of driving, they all got to enjoy life without salad ... (and compulsory bananas) ... oh and no quinoa either. AND according to Hella they got through more chocolate than she'd ever eaten in her life. So much for discretion ...
But both teenagers were still keen to tackle dinner and this week they opted for another pasta dish, Chorizo & Tomato Pasta + ... shock horror ... another simple salad (maybe all my brainwashing is finally starting to pay off?) And they swapped it around this time - #2 teenage son was in charge of the pasta and #1 teenage son would tackle the salad. My lovely husband was left with instructions to remember to photograph their endeavours and to make sure they didn't burn the house down. I was off to catch a plane.
So what did the teenagers learn?
- Don't wander too far from the kitchen - Particularly when there's something cooking on the hob. There was smoke - no smoke alarms - but smoke all the same.
- This was an easy dinner to tackle - pasta + a sauce is a good, simple basic dinner to have in your teenage repertoire and more impressive when the 'sauce' is not just straight from a jar. Building on the learning from last week had put them in a good place but it's always good not to get carried away with yourself.
- BEWARE that the level of spiciness in chorizo varies - Keep away from any chorizo that has EXTRA in its description. You want some spice, but here you are looking more for depth of flavour than heat. If in doubt, ask before you buy. Their chorizo turned out to be pretty hot - not enough to be a disaster but pretty close.
- Presentation always matters - #1 teenage son had some robust view on his younger brother's skills in this field.Mmmm - 'fine dining' v 'school canteen' ... indeed that's quite a comparison. Sibling rivalry is high in our kitchen. The sprinkling of parsley was a good touch, but a little more panache in the transfer from pan to plate would have gone a long way. It matters. Honestly.
- And don't forget the salad - #1 teenage son was also keen to compare his salad efforts to those of his brother last week. 'Real salad has colour', apparently. The word on the street was that it tasted good too.
And what did my lovely husband learn?
- These 2 teenagers CAN be trusted in the kitchen - Not quite enough to leave the house, and maybe not enough to wander too far away from the action - but trustworthy all the same. Maybe leave graduating on to deep-frying until later in the year.
And did the family dine with elegant sufficiency?
The dinner of Chorizo & Tomato Pasta + a (colourful) salad tasted great. My lovely husband lunched on the leftovers the next day and they reheated like a dream. Onwards and upwards to next week.
And if you (and your teenagers) fancy joining us on this culinary journey do let us know by commenting and of course be sure to snap a photo of your dinner and hashtag it #marmaladeandme. I'd love to see how it goes for you.