When people find out I have a teenage daughter, their first response to me is "My condolences." Then they go on to tell me all the things I'm in for as a parent, and that the next few years will be the hardest of my life. Maybe I'm delusional, or a "Polyanna" but my daughter Kate and I have a good relationship, and I don't feel, as a parent, that I need sympathy for living with a teen. To be perfectly honest, yes, Kate sometimes rolls her eyes at something I say, and yes, I sometimes nag her to death, but most of the time we like talking to each other and doing things together. We both like food, clothes, traveling, running, and we even like some of the same rock bands. And we like writing. So we started writing this blog together and we hope it will help us continue to communicate -- not just during the teen years, but later, when Kate's off to college and I'm off on a world cruise -- and to have some fun together.
First, the genesis of our title. Kate and I were having a mother/daughter date yesterday and we were out to lunch before going to see the Glee concert at Radio City Music Hall. (Note: having a teenage daughter gives her Mom an excuse to scream when cute teenage drummers are on stage!) While enjoying a really yummy lunch at Il Corso (we found it on www.opentable.com), we talked about our passion for food and we thought it would be fun to write a book called 1000 Places to Eat Before You Diet. Then we did the math -- and the calorie count -- and decided that 1000 was a bigger bite than we could chew, so may 100, or 50, and maybe just in NY...but it didn't have the same ring to it. So we settled on writing a blog that would be about some of our favorite eating experiences, but we'd also talk about food, travel, and our mother-daughter relationship. So here we are!
On food. Yes, it is necessary for our survival, but boy, can it be fun! I'm a working mom, and my travel schedule takes me away from my family pretty frequently, but I always try to be home on the weekends. I found that Sunday afternoons were a fun time to cook with my children (I also have an 11 year old son.) When my children were younger, we often baked bread or a variation of it, like focaccia or cinnamon rolls. One summer we made apple crisp every Sunday because we got 5-10 pounds of apples several weeks in a row from our food co-op. (To learn more, go to www.localharvest.org.) A few years ago, Kate decided that she wanted to be a pastry chef, so I didn't what any parent would do -- I signed her up for cooking classes at the Institute of Culinary Education. Admittedly, she was a little bored by the Harry Potter Cooking Class, but we took a caramel class together that was a lot of fun. My husband, Glen, and I also gave her fancy cookbooks by Martha Stewart and Thomas Keller, and we choose restaurants by the selection of pastries offered. One day, I came home from work and Kate was making almond macaroon sandwiches with buttercream filling from the Bouchon Bakery cookbook. I knew then that she far surpassed me in her skills, and it makes me a little sad to know that baking a loaf of bread with me will no longer be as interesting to her as piping pastry cream, but I am proud of her for finding what she says is "her passion."
I know that Kate will change her mind and "her passions" will change, but I am happy to be on this journey together with her. We hope you'll enjoy the journey with us.