It's Week 2 of Teenagers Tackle Dinner and this time our two blossoming chefs chose to tackle Pesto Pasta. It's definitely our family go-to dinner and our favourite meal too, so the pressure was on to perform. There was a simple green salad on the menu too - the inclusion of which was heavily influenced by me because ... I love a salad with dinner.
This time I remembered to take photos - gold star for me - and there was plenty of learning for #1 and #2 teenage sons too. Here's how it panned out.
So what did the teenagers learn?
- Division of labour works well - #1 teenage son tackled the Pesto Pasta while #2 teenage son was on salad duty. I think it got dinner on the table faster too.
- Read the recipe - The conversation went like this - #1 teenage son, 'How much pesto do I need?' Me, 'Read the recipe.' #1 teenage son, 'Do I use the whole pot of crème fraîche?' Me, 'Read the recipe.' #1 teenage son, 'When do the peas go in?' Me, 'READ THE .......' #1 teenage son, 'OK, OK.'
- Read the instructions on the packet - I suspect this may come up every week. Perhaps it's a male thing. Having said that, the only way to truly test if the pasta is ready is to taste it - even if you have read the instructions. And too 'al dente' is not a good place to be.
- Sometimes you need to be brave in the kitchen - Lardons sizzling in a frying pan get hot. Hot enough to spit and hurt if you don't move quickly. A degree of manning up goes a long way.
- Don't forget a key ingredient - I've forgotten the peas SO many times in this recipe. Safe to say that a teenager 'pea-gate' was narrowly averted.
And what did I learn?
- Revising at the same time as cooking dinner is possible - who said that guys can't multi-task?
- Kitchen etiquette is not a lesson for today - Details like not using the serving spoon to taste the pasta can come later. We're all family after all.
- Hooray for the blog - I'm loving this new way of using my blog. It's great to be able to point my two teenagers towards a reliable recipe destination. A big shout out to 'marmalade and me' ... from me.
- Feeling the love - And I'm still loving having a night off from cooking. Need I say more.
So how did dinner turn out?
#1 teenage son declared himself to be 'Gordon Ramsay. Does that mean I can swear?' and pointed out that I'm OK to retire from cooking now. Great news. I'm off then.
The Gordon Ramsay statement also prompted a re-enactment of our favourite Gordon quote. No bread was harmed in the filming of this scene.
Anyway, the salad might need a bit of a presentation 'tweak' for next time - all the good stuff was at the bottom apparently.
But what was lacking in the salad presentation was more than compensated by the presentation of the dinner table - note the addition of the house plant for that extra 'je ne sais quoi'.
But most importantly there were 5 clean plates, seconds for the eternally hungry amongst us and enough leftovers for Hella's early dinner the next day. Job done. Another great result and looking forward 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.