Top chef

I’ll be the first to admit that today started off on the wrong foot because of me: I didn’t think to check the gymnastics calendar and when we got to the gym another forgetful parent informed us that there was no class. On a normal Saturday, we would have dropped off Elsa at 10:00 for 1.5 hours of cute gymnastics and then sped off to Grand Frais with Nina for the weekly shopping trip. So today the four of us went together for fresh fruit and vegetables!

The weather was not bad this morning so, naturally, you both insisted on playing at the park outside the store; never mind that this meant abandoning your dad to do the shopping alone, again. You played very well together on the structure and even on our way back to meet dad after the park.

For some reason, as we met up with dad at in line to pay, the conversation turned to Top chef and you decided today was the day you were going to cook!

For future reference: Top chef is a French cooking contest that we used to love watching together and that we’ve just recently picked up again (after having missed many seasons). Elsa is now old enough to do more things in the kitchen, at least supervised. Nina had her first Top chef experience in 2013 when dad and I let her buy some ingredients and choose what to make. It was… interesting, and we all loved it.

So we picked up a few extra things while the check-out line moved slowly and you both talked about what you needed and what you would make.

Elsa was very much focused on the arrangement and the shape of ingredients she would put on the plate. Nina was more into the recipe itself. Four years age difference will do that.

Here is what Elsa explained she would do: she would put a little circle of olive oil on the plate and, on top, something made of spinach and flour that would be first cooked in the oven; then came talk of “quadrat” pieces of avocado, pickles, mushrooms, and small tomatoes. The spinach-flour part was to look *como un puente” (you showed a rainbow shape with your hands) made up of thin rolls (like spaghetti).

Nina went for a classic: “tomates farcies” with minced tofu and sweet potato fries on the side. She also decided she needed a bit of the fresh spinach that dad had bought, at which point Elsa informed Nina that she would require all the spinach for her recipe. I wish I had taken a picture of the bag… it was huge. I laughed to myself hearing this conversation.

In fact, Elsa was being rather competitive because she wanted us to actually designate a winner at the end. It’s this same competitive spirit that makes Elsa so sad or angry when she loses (even worse when it happens repeatedly).

Anyway, you both made delicious masterpieces, and dad and I were very proud of you!




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