Bringing Kitchen Home

9 Mar

Traveling home on the long two-leg train ride for my 10 day spring break, I let myself breathe an ever-so-slight sigh of relief that I would have a rejuvenating respite from the first few hectic weeks of working in the Kitchen. This idea was short-lived, however, when my dad picked me up from the train station, and we drove directly to Trader Joe’s where he had left my mom and little sister to pick up goodies for the upcoming week. After learning so much from Jordan, how could I not pick up the ingredients to make some of my favorite Kitchen at Penn dishes for my family? So of course I naturally gravitated towards the semolina flour, the green beans and chicken, and obviously butter, that would allow me to re-create some of my newfound home in Philadelphia for my parents and little sister.

First came my personal favorite: chicken pot pie. Baked as usual with the pie crust bottom and biscuit topping, the simmered chicken and vegetables coated in b├ęchamel nestled beautifully (and de-virginized) my new green pie dish. The reception was positive all around, confirmed in the following days by my mom (the queen of leftovers) eating both remaining pieces for two consecutive lunches. The extra biscuit dough, in true Kitchen style, was made into tiny biscuits shaped like stars instead of hearts, and devoured by my sister as dessert… they are just that delicious.

The next day I made Turkey Burgers, on english muffins, with Jordan’s toppings minus the avocado. Having forgotten to check with Jordan about what goes into the lemon-dijon sauce, I just had to eyeball it. But, the sauce did get an approving comment from my dad who hates turkey burgers, so that says something. The other thing that I took away from Kitchen was making the entire burger ensemble so thick that it took significant effort and forethought to actually manage to fit a bite in your mouth. Excellent.

Tonight I made ravioli, which isn’t exactly on our menu, but making fresh pasta is a skill that I have picked up at Kitchen. It was a simple cheese filling, and the pasta (rolled out very thin – I know Jordan, if you have to ask if it is thin enough, it isn’t!) still managed to taste delicious. Only issue was I undercooked the pasta, worrying that the thinner parts would burst and let the cheese seep out. Despite this, my family still downed more than their fair share, and I think we might have a new Kitchen special in the making…

Not to worry, I have experimented in my “off” time with other recipes too – a caesar swordfish that makes my mouth water just thinking about it, a rectangular pizza with tuscan sauce, tomatoes, mozzarella and shredded basil, and last but not least creamed corn made with reserves from the summer harvest at our cousin’s farm. Maybe some of these will make it onto the specials section, and my kitchen at home will continue the exchange with Kitchen at Penn.

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