Congratulations are in order. I managed to successfully cook my family a tasty, healthy meal last night without any major mishaps.
Of course, there were a few minor bumps along the road. To start with, I didn't actually have a recipe for the salmon. I was so focused on marinating the salmon in Alma's famous maple soy dressing, that I neglected to consider how I planned to cook it.
"Well, you could broil it," Avo said. "Do you know what broiling is?"
"Um, not really," I confessed.
"It means the flame is on the top. The trick is not to over-cook things, which is easy to do."
Avo suggested that I place the salmon on tinfoil and then on a pan in the oven (2nd rack from the top).
"You need to crumple up the tinfoil first so there air gets in."
I asked him to demonstrate (always a good way to get out of doing something yourself).
"It should resemble the surface of the moon. It should have lots of craters," he said as he crumpled up the tinfoil.
The thing I like about broiling is that I don't need to worry about oven temperature. But since I'm not following a recipe, I'm not sure how long to cook the salmon.
Avo suggests four minutes for each side. After eight minutes, I remove my creation from the oven and -- what do you know? -- it's perfectly done.
My Aunt Sheila's Sesame Noodle recipe was a snap. One of the easiest and tastiest dishes I've made (which, granted, doesn't mean much considering my lack of experience, but still...).
For the vegetable dish, I opted for a simple salad -- using the salad mix from the Park Slope Food Coop, topped with crunchy sprouts and tomatoes.
"I made the whole dinner," I proudly announced as I placed the dishes on the table.
"You made the salmon?" Jesse asked, a look of shock on her face. "That looks hard!" Even at seven, she can appreciate how far her mom has come.
Ruby, a salty food fiend, quickly gobbled up the salmon and the noodles.
"You're a better cook than me!" she declared.
Even Avo was impressed.
"I think you're getting the hang of it, honey. I'd like to see you keep this up for a month."
Uh oh. What have I gotten myself into?
"To be honest, I must admit I feel threatened," said Avo.
"Really? Are you serious? I thought you'd be thrilled I'd be taking over on some of the kitchen."
"Well, it's just that this was an area where I was in charge."
"You'll still have the grill."
"Yeah, but every guy grills."
"Don't worry, honey, I'll still need you."
In fact, I might even ask Avo to cook tonight.
UPDATE: Next time I make the sesame noodles, I think I'll try adding soy or chicken to make it a complete dinner.