Best and most Fun Assistant

September 23, 2015
Best and most Fun Assistant

My niece turned 40 today. I can remember everything about her birth and childhood. She is my older sister’s first child and the first baby I really ever met. I was crazy about her and tried to get my sister to let her spend as much time as possible with me. We loved messing around in my kitchen. I have a picture of her as a baby sitting in one of my mixing bowls. I posed her with a wooden spoon in her hand. When she would spend the night at my apartment I used to think

of feeding her things that would delight her. One time I decided to turn milk into magic by placing a few drops of blue food coloring into it. Yes, Erin loved it. Food with Erin was always fun.

I never thought she was too young to do anything in the kitchen. When she was 6 years old I instructed her in professional knife holding techniques so she could seriously help me with tasks like cutting the ends off of green beans. She learned quickly. I took her seriously.

As the pastry chef at Edwards Restaurant in the 70’s, I would also make all the pasta from scratch. The fettuccine was extruded from a machine and the long ribbons were hung on a wooden rack. Occasionally Erin would visit me and hang the noodles for me. Breaking dozens

of eggs , no problem, measuring accurately, absolutely. The best and most fun assistant I ever had YES YES YES!!

When I spoke to her today to wish her a Happy Birthday I asked her if her two

daughters, ages six and three, had made her a cake. Her joyful answer was that the process

had been started last night and all that was needed to be done today was the frosting and 40

candles.. Food can be a language of love. The thread of doing things together in our kitchens

holds us together. Forty years later I long to cook with her.