Who was the best cook in your family? Was it your grandmother? When I think of my grandmother, I think of home made biscuits, fried chicken, green beans from the garden, and blackberry cobbler. I often wonder what my own grandchildren will remember about my cooking. I have a feeling that McKenzie will reminisce about this past Saturday morning in my kitchen, and smile. I know I will.
For her Life Science class, known as home economics in my day, she was to prepare a dessert, from start to finish, including shopping for the ingredients and washing the pans at the end. She chose to make a pineapple upside down cake, and she chose me to be her coach. What an honor. I had made that cake for Christmas Eve dinner, using my mothers recipe, with a few alterations for convenience.
One thing I did not substitute was the iron skillet necessary to make it come out beautifully. The challenge with using this heavy pan is turning the cake out onto the serving plate. It takes some arm strength and care not to burn yourself in the process of handling the hot skillet and the serving plate at the same time. So the first thing we covered in this cooking lesson was to practice the inverting process with an empty skillet, just so she could get the feel of it. The moment of truth for a pineapple upside down cake is having it come out of the pan in tact. After we had turned out our imaginary cake onto the plate, we moved on to reading the recipe, preheating the oven, melting butter and brown sugar in the skillet, measuring the liquids, cracking the eggs, and using a hand mixer. Her dad was on hand to snap photos throughout the process, for documentation. It was one of the most pleasant 2 hours I have spent with my granddaughter, and the most constructive. I cant drive her to soccer practice or admire her art work, but just like my grandmother and my mother, I can teach her to cook.