Thursday, February 23, 2012

Da Count-Da Sous Chef

Yesterday I told you how I made Fry bake for everyone.  Well, the next day, as planned and at Calypso's request, I cooked the community meal for all the interns and staff (15 people).  The menu request was curried venison stew and roti, with sides of rice and peas & carrots.  I could have managed everything myself except the roti.  To get that much done requires two people just to keep the rhythm of rolling and frying.  My assistant was this fine young man.  He joined me early and asked how he could begin helping so as I was forming dough balls for the roti I asked him to cut up the venison.  He began immediately.  

Shortly thereafter someone came in and expressed shock that he was handling raw meat due to his veganism.  I felt kind of bad but he said he really didn't mind at all.  I decided I needed to add some sort of vegan dish to the meal so he wasn't eating just rice, roti, and peas & carrots.  It wouldn't be right for him to help me all afternoon and then not get a decent meal.  I thought I'd make curried potatoes and chickpeas so he went of in search of spuds and beans.  No luck on spuds anywhere on camp property and given that they are over 30 miles from a decent store it wasn't going to happen.  We scoured cupboards for other ingredients and I wound up improvising a curried bean and tomato dish with what was on hand.  It turned out decently.  

We had some really excellent conversation as we got the meal together.  I found him to be a very humble, intelligent, thinking young man with a great sense of humor and service.  All that was a delight but as we talked he shared some of the details of his life as a foster child and how he found family after he had given up at the age of 20 (Out of respect for his privacy it's not my place to share but really, it's a story that would make the hardest heart tear up first in sadness then in happiness at the new beginning.  I thanked him for his openness and trust.).  He shared about the joys of finally finding the family he never had and the struggles of learning how to be a part of it and his perspectives on his peers who seem in such a hurry to leave the security of family.  I was deeply impressed by him. 


When it was time to fry up the roti is when he became truly invaluable.  I rolled furiously and he fried quickly and happily through so much roti I thought we'd never be done.  We talked about the finer points of the various varieties of roti and he asked questions about technique.  Seems the kid also loves to cook and wants to be able to make it again himself.  We laughed when it was over because I was covered in flour and he said as sous chef he should have wound up dirtier than I did.  I've always enjoyed cooking WITH another person who enjoys cooking because it's just such a nice way to get to know each other.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon made all the more so by having such a remarkable helper.  I wish him only the best blessings that family has to offer.

12 comments:

Bijoux said...

What a wonderful day you had! I had a friend in college who was finally adopted at age 19. She was always so proud to finally have a family, after years of being in and out of foster homes. Glad your young man's story had a happy ending as well.

Kat said...

What a wonderful experience for you both and a great story for us to read. Thank you for sharing. :) Makes me smile.

G-Man said...

TWO STRAIGHT delicious posts!!!
Looks wonderful Trini...:-)

Just Me said...

Cooking with friends is always more fun. Sounds like you found a great partner for your day.

Ranch Chimp said...

So your a Chef? Well ... I learned a lil ... jot much of a cook, but I do all my cooking these dayz for myself, since I stay on a fairly tight diet these dayz. It's psychologocally healthy for the gentleman to open up and talk like that, and to share with you.

have a good un Lime : )

Craig said...

Well, I know you appreciate the blessings of having a family. . . and so do I.

Even without the details, it's a heart-warming story. It's always a little awesome to meet someone who has managed to get beyond their own sub-optimal circumstances. We're all dealt the hand we're dealt; to meet them with joy and equanimity is his own choice, and far the richer one. . .

lime said...

bijoux, glad your friend found a true family at last too

kat, glad it spoke to you :)

gman, cooking up a storm!

just me, it really is more fun and he was a terrific partner

ranch chimp, no i'm not a real chef. i just like to cook and at least a few people like to eat what i cook

craig, yep, we play what we're dealt and he has done remarkably well. i'm glad he was finally blessed with some aces though.

Secret Agent Woman said...

That's a great story. I have an older sister who was adopted away at birth and I went in search of her when I was 28. It's nice to have her back in the family even if it did take a while.

Beach Bum said...

This made my day!

Cricket said...

Ah. These last two are great stories. I miss having time to visit, read, comment, occasionally write, at my leisure. I'm going to have to find a way to make time somehow.

Really liked these, even if they made me all hungry for stuff I can't really eat anymore.

Hilary said...

Oh what a sweetie. I can just so imagine your fine day. You two look like a great team. Sweet story.

S said...

aww, what a cool kid! If his friends ever see this, he's gonna get it! LOL