Saturday, August 29, 2009

Round 1: The Good Cook vs The Fourteen Year Old: Battle of the Bouef Bourguignon

I come from a rather large family (by today's standards). One of six children, third in line to the family throne, #2 of four girls.

I speak with one of my sisters at least several times a week. Sometimes more in times of great need, crisis or glad tidings.

The other day I was speaking to sister #3 and as so often happens, the topic of "what's for dinner" came up.

I told #3 I was on my way to the store to buy ingredients for Boeuf Bourguignon* and she casually mentioned that her 14 year old son Wes had made that very dish in June.

*from here on in known as BB


It seems #3 and her merry band have a once a month family tradition of choosing a country, researching the cuisine of that country and then making a dish for the rest of the family.

June was Wes's month and he choose France. Imagine that.

So off Wes went to the library and checked out the following book:


"Yes", said M. "And that's not all. He made BB AND cream puffs from the book.

"Ohhhh REEEALLY, I replied. And how did it taste?"

"Oh, it was wonderful" she assured me.


"Can I speak with Wes?" I asked.

Soon Wes was on the phone and I was peppering him with questions.

What kind of beef did you use?
Did you dry the beef?
What kind of wine did you use?
Did you use the recipe for brown braised onions like Julia Child said to?
Did you pan saute the mushrooms separately?
What sides did you make?
Do you have photographic proof of this kitchen escapade?

Wes answered all my questions thoughtfully and knowledgeably. But I wanted proof that he had indeed mastered this difficult recipe.

Did you dad take pictures? Will you send them to me?

Herewith photographic evidence of Wes's culinary fete. His mom, serving as Sous Chef, did the knife work for him.

This is Wes's BB:

This is Wes and his mom. Wes is taste testing a cream puff.

I am so proud of him.

I am so proud of my younger sister for teaching her sons to cook.

Does your family have any kitchen traditions? Any budding culinary stars? Any favorite meals that you all cook together?

AND this question is for Wes,

Are You Ready for a Throwdown?

Oh, and for the record, here is my BB: In The Pot

And plated:


  1. Yum! Having acquired the recipe I also am dreaming of making this dish. How to avoid using mushrooms is my only question. Not a one of us like them.

    I am so impressed that your sister has taught her boys the skill of cooking. All of my kids know they will be learning to cook little by little as they grow older.

    Your dish looks fabulous, hope you all enjoyed it!

  2. As sister #4, I feel like a slacker. I need to whip my two little ones into shape and have them make some culinary surprises!

  3. Oh Linda! I can't wait to make Beef Bourguignon! I can comment on your blog today because I'm not reading from work! LOL :) Cheers my friend.

  4. Tamis,
    Just don't use the mushrooms. They are not cooked with the meat. Everything is cooked separately. That's the genius and underlying flavor of this dish. Each ingredient stands on its own. You can definitely make it without the rooms!


    Abby is well on her way to becoming a petite chef! Now Connor is another story!


    This dish should sooo be on your to-do list. But be sure to wear your Good Cook apron when you make it... and take pics and post about it!!

  5. September is Wes' month again. I will let you know what country and dishes he chooses. We are having a lot of fun with it.

  6. Hi Cook

    the cooking genes are in the family then...what a good start for your nephew...

    Happy days

  7. French cooking intimidates me!
    Your BB is beautiful.

  8. It all looks lovely. I so wish my Mum had taught me to cook, I am bloody useless!! No excuse now I am in my thirties of course ... but, it is just so much easier to blame her ;0))

  9. Oh gob, WHY am I trying to eat less meat again? WHY!? Oh I love beef!

    I have not even ATTEMPTED anything Julia Child yet.. but I WILL! It just looks and sounds so delicious...Mmmm..

    By the way, your sister and nephew are extremely good looking! Good stock you have there! :o) Is that weird to say??

  10. Mary - have to let me know what he picks - sounds like a throwdown to me!

    Delwyn - I think the EATING genes are in my family! LOL.. since we are all pretty independent guess the cooking just follows naturally.

    Debbie - don't let it intimidate you! You just need a lot of butter.

    Eternally - nope. no more excuses. You've got to start somewhere...

    Jeninacide, Oh my - you love beef but don't eat it??? Not even once a month??? I think sis and nephew (and rest of her family) are a good looking bunch too. Of course I am prejudiced and think they all get their good looks from my side of the family! LOL...

  11. that is so cool, what a treasure that boy will be to his wife someday!

  12. Jan - that's what I thought... my sister is training her boys to be good husbands!!!


Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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