Culinary Issues

My culinary kid admitted to something by accident last night. And now I know the truth.

He started the school year in his culinary program with the basics: knife skills, chopping and cutting, and moved on to stocks, soups, salads, and sandwiches. I asked him if he got to bring anything home. “No Mom. We package it and sell it in the café,” because yes, vocational schools have cafés where teachers, students, staff, etc. can buy lunch and ready made dinners. It’s a great idea, really. Except for the fact that the culinary students don’t get to take any food home to test on their parents.

Second semester, my son moved to baking, and he has been studying the various processes involved in baking. So far, I have heard about the banana bread, the blueberry crumb cake, and the rolls. For the last two weeks, I’ve been hearing about the rolls. When I (once again) asked him if he would be bringing any of his baked goods home for sampling, he said no. Then he said, “The blueberry crumb cake wasn’t very good, anyway.” Okay then.

Last night, we were talking at the dinner table, and he started to talk about the “sculpture” he made in the middle of the school lunch table from everyone’s trash, i.e. leftover packaging. (In our house, we have a long history of making things out of—um—recyclables. That’s just the way we roll…). “First, I had a milk carton, then another milk carton, then the big bag from the rolls I brought, then another milk carton, then the ‘mushroom’ I made from my lunch bag….”

Stop. Right. There. My mind got stuck on the big bag from the rolls I brought. I didn’t hear anything else that was part of the sculpture because my mind stopped at that phrase. I realized he brought rolls from culinary.

“I’m sorry. Did you say you brought rolls to school?”

He stopped talking and looked at me with a crooked half-grin, then quickly looked away. “Yeah,” he said, fidgeting in his chair. He turned back to his siblings and continued his story, trying his best to ignore the piercing stare I was throwing directly at him. “So anyway, I offered one to my—“

“And you gave them out to your friends? At school? Without bringing any home?” Clearly, I must have misheard him.

“Yeah, Mum.”

“Why didn’t you bring one home so I could try it?” After all, I’ve only been asking since September, I wanted to say.

“Because I only brought six,” he paused here while he attempted to concoct a reason. “And I had plans for them.” And he turned back to his siblings and started talking about the people who were lucky enough to get a roll. Freshly baked. From his culinary class.

“You know what, C?” I interrupted his story.

“What, Mom?”

“I’m going to bake some cookies tomorrow, and I’m not going to give you any.” He turned to me. I looked him right in the eyes, my stare intense and unwavering. “Because I have plans for them.” I winked and smiled.

So now he knows the truth.

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