A couple of summers ago (before I had the idea of the Fake Gourmet), I got a phone call in the middle of the day from my then-12 year old daughter.
DD: Mom, can I make a cobbler?
Me: (knowing the answer to this question, but asking anyway) Umm…do you know how?
DD: Yes, Mom. I’ve seen you do it like a million times. And [Big Brother #2] is here to make sure I don’t catch anything on fire. (He was 16, and also didn’t really cook.)
Me: Well…ummm…I guess so. Please don’t burn the house down.
DD: Ok. So now how do you do it?
After discussing how to make a cobbler (the real kind, with dumplings, not the kind where you spoon batter into it), and discussing all the ways she should avoid burning down the house, we hung up.
When I got home later that afternoon, there was a slight burnt odor in the air. Not good.
Me: Where’s the cobbler?
DD: Oh, I had to throw it out.
DD: I kinda burned it. I don’t know about the pan. I saved it for you, but it’s pretty black on the bottom.
(I finally threw it out after scrubbing it several times without removing ANY of the blackened residue on the bottom.)
I didn’t really get mad at her, though. I was pretty impressed that she was confident enough to try a cobbler for the first time completely on her own with NO written instructions. Before that, her biggest cooking accomplishment was making an omelette in a baggie. (Don’t ask. It involves a high school sponsored kids cooking class.)
A couple of weeks later, she tried again (with me in the kitchen with her) and made a really good blackberry cobbler, without burning anything. And if a 12 year old can cook, I bet you can, too!