Lo’s Kitchen: Peach Pies and Pigs.

August 18, 2012

T drew something resembling a chubby four-legged blob on the whiteboard then turned to me and asked, “Want to play?”

I offered a hesitant, “Uhhh, yes?”

“It’s a pig!” she explained, “I’ll spin you around five times and you have to try to draw the tail on him with your eyes closed. Whoever gets the closest wins. No peeking!”

I gamely whirled an extra two spins for good measure, and I could hear T giggling as I wobbled severely. After a close call with the whirring nearby fan, I managed to place a curlicue squarely on the pig’s shoulder. T’s giggles quickly escalated to roars of laughter.

Then she went and the pig developed a coil protruding from its hind leg. As we continued taking turns, a tumor surfaced in the pig’s stomach and later what appeared to be a rogue eyelash painfully stuck out from its eye. We upped the ante and added a snout to the requirements. What ensued was a creature that resembled more a high tech robot than a swine (though dubious to begin with).

I had never seen or heard T laugh so hard, and marveled at the giddy entertainment stemming from an activity so simple. One lowly black marker and a blank slate. Ain’t it the truth that it’s the simple things in life…

After reflecting over the last seven months of cooking lessons and surveying the kids as well, that truth continued to prove dominant. Of all the fun cake recipes and “exotic” cuisines to which I have attempted to expose my little friends, egg salad sandwiches and pigs in a blanket were their favorite workshops. And the only ones they have reported replicating at home.

With this in mind, we kept it basic for the most recent class as well. Peach hand pies that require minimal ingredients (ready-made empanada wrappers, the canned peaches Paraguayans so love here, one egg, and a bit of sugar), minimal effort, and minimal bake time (not to mention minimal equipment).

That was last night. This morning at OANSA, T ran up to me and excitedly announced, “We made more of the pies when we got home because our family liked them so much and we had the ingredients in the kitchen.” And with a smile, she continued, “I can cook!”

Yup. It’s the simple things.

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