One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2014 is to teach my stepdaughter Gabrielle how to cook. Happily, she’s on board with the plan, and yesterday we found ourselves in the kitchen making a roast chicken. Granted, she looked at me a little warily when I told her she would actually have to touch the chicken to stuff it — “Touching raw meat is what separates the men from the boys,” I informed her — but with just a slight wriggling of her nose, she held onto the drumsticks while I shoved onion, garlic, lemons and thyme into the cavity.
This year, I have been a little disturbed my stepdaughter Gabrielle hasn’t wanted anything for Christmas. In the past, she’s been flush with wishes and so each year, her Christmas list is a big production. I require her to write her demands out on a fresh sheet of 8 x 11 and am usually given a crooked, charmingly misspelled list whose letters alternate in red and green ink.
But this year, Gabrielle Baker, 13 and three quarters in age, was stumped.