Through the Kitchen Window

As I sit here typing, or I guess I should say “entering”, my new column, my youngest son, Anthony, is in his room taking apart his bed. You see, he’s finished his first year of university. His last exam was today, so he’s moving out of residence. But he’s not moving back home for the summer. Instead, like his brother Vincent before him, he’s moving into an apartment with his sister Marina and her partner Victoria. I guess that’s his way of having the best of both worlds. Good home cooking, but a measure of independence as well.

It’s amazing to me that my children should get along so well. But they do, and I’m glad. They have fun together, look out for each other, and collectively take care of me too!!!

This is the month that Anthony, my baby, turns twenty. The last of my babies to ever be a teen. It’s been a long time coming in a lot of ways, and I’ve had plenty of time to get used to it; but I have to say, it’s sad none the less. He’s moving ahead and making his way. I’m looking forward to seeing how far he will go.

But lots of other exciting things are happening too!!! Marina is in her second year of working her craft, making magic with fabric and doing well. Most importantly, she’s happy and loving it. She has a beautiful sunny, airy workshop where she spends, just ask Victoria, almost 24 hours a day seven days a week. She’s cipolla, and you’ll see her creations at Sewn Fresh Daily. Well worth a visit.

Matthew is at Odette’s in Primrose Hill, London, UK (that’s Matt on the first page of The Kitchen link in the beard) and he has just been promoted to chef de partie!!! Though I had to ask him what it meant (one step below sous chef), I’m so very proud, even if it means that he’ll be staying in England much longer than we’d originally thought.

Vincent is taking a break, after his third year of aerospace engineering, to take a sixteen month internship with a well known aerospace company. He’ll go back to finish his fourth year when the internship is done. We had dinner last night in celebration of the new job and his new apartment, which he and his partner, Jamie, have just barely finished moving into. While he’s researching the tasks his department sets before him, she’ll be continuing in the study of her craft, Theatre Performance. They’ll both go far!!!

Today, as I was helping Anthony move his things into his new place, he asked me how it felt to not have teenagers in the house any more. It’s odd. Feels like a rite of passage, really. But maybe more than leaving his teen years behind, it’s about seeing him go off into the world and make a place for himself that isn’t only about being someone’s son. They’ve all done that, one at a time. And while I don’t wish it to be any different, I am a bit nostalgic for the days when they were all clamouring for my attention and all still living at home.

This weekend was my designated “washing down the siding and windows” weekend. The kids joined in the fun and there were plenty of cool beverages on hand and a fired up grill for some mouthwatering treats to make the day more special.

Two of the things we grilled were pork loin chops that I had marinated in dark soy, chopped fresh cilantro and sesame seed oil, and a raft of boneless chicken breasts, seasoned simply with balsamic vinegar, chopped fresh parsley and lots of cracked pepper. And because the “boys” like them, we did some baby back ribs as well. I steamed them for 30 minutes before coating them with Vincent’s bbq sauce (maple syrup – 1 part, jerk seasoning – 2 parts, teriyaki sauce – 2 parts and balsamic vinegar – 1 part) and then grilling them to perfection.

No bbq at our place is complete without red peppers blackened on the grill, peeled and then seasoned with an abundance of garlic, parsley, salt and virgin olive oil. Add a few potatoes, scrubbed, rubbed with olive oil and sprinkled with coarse salt which we baked in their jackets, and we had a perfect way to end a busy hard-working day.

But you don’t need to scrub siding to enjoy a day eating al fresco. Just a great, sunny weekend and some good company to make their way through the food.

Enjoy the weather, it’s been a long hard winter and I, for one, intend to enjoy every last drop of sunshine this summer brings!!!


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