Meet My Sous Chef

This is my nephew, Stone. He is six and he’s been helping me cook since he was three. Here he’s got a stalk of Brussels Sprouts that we are going to roast and drizzle with a balsamic glaze for today’s Thanksgiving meal.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts: Toss Brussels Sprouts in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast until tender and the outer leaves are brown and crispy. Toss with a balsamic reduction.

We both would like to wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving and share with you one of our annual traditions. We put a place card at every seat at the table and scatter some pens about. During the beginning of the meal everyone is encouraged to write on their card the things they are grateful for this year. We save these cards so friends and family that have been coming to Thanksgiving at my home now have several cards at their setting. It is fun and poignant and sometimes sad to read what we were grateful for in past years. During dessert, we read our current card out loud and some from the past. We also cherish the cards that have been written by those who are no longer with us on this planet.
This year Stone is in first grade and his writing skills are excellent, so he made the place cards.


Gratitude from the Past
“I am grateful for big things in life: That my family can come to spend a week with me and we have such a wonderful time together, I am grateful to have two nephews and the opportunity to really spend time with them. I am grateful that my cousin Davida is on the mend and was able to make the trip to join us at Thanksgiving. I appreciate the little things: Pat’s help shucking the oysters, Bill’s excellent turkey carving skills, Linda’s delicious mashed potatoes and creamed corn which she brings year after year and everyone’s help in the kitchen.”
“The freedom we have.”
“Good friends.”
“Good health and old age.”
“Having exciting happy moments, lots of them, with my family.”
“I’m grateful for my family and friends.”
“I am grateful for my lovely daughter-in-law.”
“I’m grateful for my job and my life.”
“We are thankful for fresh air from the ocean, good earth to grow vegetables, clean water for seafood, and friends to share with.”
“I am thankful for my family, wife, health and great dinner, and I am finally thankful I am not a Yankee fan.”
“I am thankful right now to be sitting among all these lovely people.”
“Great food!”
“Thank you for yesterday, today, and tomorrow.”
“I am thankful for God.”
“I am thankful for this great opportunity to get to know a different country and new people and to be part of a traditional Thanksgiving in America.”
“I am thankful to be able to watch the kids grow.”
“I am thankful for the lives we live and all our loving friends and kin.”
Thanks to all for being so dear
And I hope to see you again next year.
The same faces have again appeared
Along with some new ones which we cheer.
With our friends and family we remain very close
As we celebrate Thanksgiving
With those we love the most.
Happy Thanksgiving!

46 thoughts on “Meet My Sous Chef”

  1. Brussel sprouts grow on a massive stalk? Who’s on the what? I’m clearly pretty ignorant about what the sprouting part actually refers to.

    I like your tradition of writing things that you are thankful for on pieces of paper. I may steal that idea next year.

    Enjoy your meal and family time!

  2. I love the brussel sprouts like that. Too bad nobody in my family likes sprouts as much as I.

    This year I got to have a very non-traditional meal. I’m thankful for my brother’s girlfriend who grew up in Thailand and made an amazing, authentic and healthy meal.

  3. Wait – is that how brussel sprouts are grown? Why didn’t I know that. I thought they may have come from a tree or something – wow, maybe I didn’t know what I though – lol.

    I have some on the fridge that I think some bacon, garlic, and shallots are going to go great with.

    -DTW
    http://www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

  4. Thank you for sharing this endearing tradition with us, such loving memories to create and cherish!
    Your nephew looks like a star chef in the making, and sooo sweet. 🙂

    I remember Christmas mornings, walking out in the snow, stepping into my parents garden, and pick the little cabbages right of their stalk. Like certain endives, they would last under the snow cover until Christmas at least.

  5. I love this blog and your food ideas literally have me wiping drool from the coner of my mouth..Thanks keep it up…I assume you are chef..if so what area do you work in?a restaurant or catering?etc…

  6. How cute! I love it when kiddos help in the kitchen. I’ve truly never seen a brussels sprout stalk like that. So cool!

    Hope your TH. was terrific!

  7. That’s a very nice Thanksgiving tradition. We do an individual verbal offering of thanks around the table. However, in the spirit of the season, I hope you won’t mind if we borrow yours next year. 🙂

  8. Not only is he a helpful sous chef but he also helps you with organizing family events. I want a nephew too, lol :D.
    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

  9. Lovely thoughts Lori!!
    I’ve found sprouts like that only at the farmers market in Union Square. I saute a bit of chopped onion and a lot of chopped Portobello mushrooms in olive oil. Then I add the par-boiled brussel sprouts=YUM!

  10. How did I miss this post? Stone is a doll! I’m happy for you that you’re surrounded by such great family and friends!

  11. Thanks for posting all the gratitude. Lovely to read.

    Stone is quite the little sous chef, and what a smile.

    Hope you had a lovely day yesterday!

  12. Thanks Psychgrad – steal away. I think your family will enjoy it.

    HI Alicia – oh how I love Thai food, I would have that any day of the year except turkey day. I bet it was great.

    HI Darius – your ingredients sound like a winner paired with Brussels Sprouts. Little Stone will always know how they grow now too.

    Hi Jenni – nice to hear from the land down under!

    Hi Stacey – likewise!

    HI Dots – thank you and same to you!

    Hi Sachin – OK, see you soon I hope!

    Hello Webhosting and Pathore!

    Hi Merisi – oh, under the snow? I didn’t know that. Cool. My little Stone is a star! Thanks for all your lovely comments.

    Welcome Villager and Zayiflama – thank you so much.

    HI Jamjar – apparently you’re not alone. Glad to have you visit.

    Hi Reishi – I got that jacket at Le Cordon Bleu. So cute on him.

    Hi Joseph – maybe I’ll post a photo of the finished product…

    Hi Jesse – thank you so much. I really enjoy reading your blog.

  13. Hi Sam Jam – thank you, and I am not a chef, just have a passion for cooking. Fortunate to have gotten to eat at some of the top restaurants, and to have taken some lessons at some neat places like Paris and Thailand.

    Thank you to Gurpreet.

    Thanks DDF – will do!

    Hi Agree – I’m glad too!

    Hi Lori – I hope yours was too. I gotta get over to see what you cooked. Been a little busy around here 🙂

    Hi FOODalogue – mind? I’d be honored!

    Thanks Lore – is it possible you’ll have one someday? I hope so for you.

    Hi Carol – are the sprouts whole or chopped when you add them? Sounds good.

    Hi Marie – I am a very fortunate women to have such wonderful family and friends. Stone left this morning on his way back to your city over there. Missing him already.

    HI Melissa – sometimes little boys don’t want to “smile for the camera” but this day I couldn’t take a bad picture of him. He was so cute in that chef’s coat.

    Hi Sarah Jane – you’re not alone either. Glad to shed some light…

    Hello Person With Letters I Cannot Read – so glad you stopped by to comment. I appreciate that a lot!

    You know it Cynthia!!

    Hi Ronell – we are a thankful bunch. And I am an especially grateful auntie to have my little sous chef helping me.

  14. What a CUTE sous chef! How lucky you are to have such amazing help in the kitchen.
    The brussels sprouts looks marvelous too…mmm….I just love, love brussels sprouts!

  15. I love brussel sprouts and have eaten them for years…without knowing that is how they grew. Wow.

    Wonderful photographs on your blog.

  16. What a great way to prepare brussel sprouts. It makes them way more interesting and quite a conversation piece. That IS a huge stock. Stone is cute and definitely has that look of mischief in his eyes 🙂

  17. I’m going to try a brussel sprouts recipe soon…I’ve never really tried it before!!! And I had nooo idea that they grew like that!

  18. Looks like I’m not the only one that didn’t know that Brussels Sprouts grew on a stalk??? that’s cool. Stone looks like a great Sous Chef!

  19. I love the IDEA of cooking. I’m 47, a hot 47 (just had to throw that in, lol), and didn’t really start cooking until my mid 30’s.

    Top Chef is one of my favorite shows. I’ve learned so much about cooking from that show, I know……it’s a shame. I don’t cook as much as I would like to still.

    I love a beautiful presentation, and the potato dish looks absolutely lovely. I am going to make it. It seems like a “can’t mess this up” kind of dish.

    Thanks, I would love new and healthy ideas. Thanks for sharing PH

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