Kiss the Cook
Posted 3 May, 09on:
Where to even begin? For Spanish class, C had to make a cooking video. At first, he wanted to make flan. I nixed that idea because the recipe looked too complicated. My only domestic skill is sewing. He did some research and came up with Besitos de Coco, coconut kisses. Three ingredients and three lines of instructions. Perfecto! He wrote the script, rehearsed, and planned to film this weekend, after I went shopping for the ingredients. To demonstrate the required verb conjugations, he needed a partner. The Spanish teacher gave him permission to use J as his partner since J was her student when he was in middle school. (I think it was also an excuse to her J speak Spanish again.) Perfecto! No schedules to coordinate with other families. No driving across town to meet with other students.
“Perfecto” vanished when J announced he wasn’t “feeling well.” With him, not “feeling well” means a temp of 103, sore throat, chills, body aches, etc. The poor lad could not stand up long enough to shoot a video. Never fear! We have amazing neighbors. Kat, the high school senior across the street, is taking Spanish. She is also a very talented actress, so a camera does not scare her. She graciously agreed to take over J’s role. She was adorable. The video was great, except for the actual cooking part.
If it were only on video, I would have easily thrown out the less than perfect cookies. However, part of the cooking project is to bring in the product to share with the class. Ugh.
The first step of the recipe is to boil the water and add brown sugar. There was no indication of how long to “cook the sugar.” We let it reduce some. I knew that much. Then we added the coconut. According the recipe, the mixture is then spooned onto wax paper to cool and harden. If you don’t let the sugar cook long enough, they never harden. We did not cook it nearly long enough, not nearly.
The video was “in the can,” but there was still the issue of producing an edible product. I did a little more research and discovered how to tell when the sugar was ready. It suddenly dawned on me that making these was probably a great deal like making pralines. As a child, I helped make pralines a few times. I was never “in charge,” but do remember having to stir and stir while the sugar cooked. I remember that it was “done” when the sugar could “spin a thread” from the spoon. Aha! I do know a thing or two about cooking.
The plan was for C to make a new batch this morning. I was awakened to the sound of a 60 year old chain smoker hacking up a lung, except we don’t have a 60 year old chain smoker in the house. It was C. Not only did he have a nasty cough, he had a sore throat, body aches, and chills. Ugh on several levels. Another sick boy did sound like a fun Sunday. Not only was he in no condition to be in the kitchen cooking, he would be infecting the cookies with his germs. Being the only healthy one in the house, I had to stand by the stove for almost an hour stirring the sugar as it cooked, wondering if it would ever cook. Finally, the Besitos de Coco were done.
I do not know how they taste because I am not fond of coconut. Honestly, at this point, I don’t really care how they taste. They look like cookies. They feel like cookies. I can put them in a tin and send them to school. They are done. Taste is subjective anyway.
In hindsight, it would have been easier to drive him to classmate’s house and let the other mom be the cooking tutor.