As we look back on summer, my son has learned a lot of things. His greatest accomplishments have come in his swimming--he went from refusing to put his head underwater in May to being able to dive in and swim the length of the pool with free style or backstroke, and is working on breast stroke and butterfly. Granted, his form could still use some work, but still, he has really come so far this summer that it is really impressive.
He's also created his own book of poetry, completed several small books on dividing a fraction by a fraction, tried some calligraphy, and learned the difference between the three major periods of classical music and whose music exemplifies the trend in each.
But then there is one think he learned that may be more useful than all of those. For this summer, we learned to make....gnocchi.
It all began when we got some potatoes from our friend, Maria Droujkova of Natural Math, and my son decided we should use them in "The Great Potato Cookoff." The idea of this grand event was to invite some people over and have everyone cook a different potato dish. The purity of his vision was muddied by his mother, who insisted we include at least a couple of other things, like maybe VEGETABLES and PROTEIN, but the mainstays of the meal was potato, potato, and potato.
We were so lucky, however, because one of our friends had an Italian grandmother who had shown her how to make gnocchi, the Italian potato dumpling. So she came over and showed us. The secret, at least according to the Italian grandmother, is that the gnocchi must be formed with a SILVER fork--not stainless steel. So I pulled out the silver, and we went to town.
It was really fun, and the gnocchi turned out so well!
Meanwhile, my son, who is a soup lover, made some creamy potato soup, not, alas, from an ancient relative's recipe, but from some site he found on the Internet. However, he did a good job with it, and it tasted really good, even if it it didn't have that personal family connection.
We preceded the meal with an outside fire (a frequent occurrence at our house) made by my husband, over which we brewed some tea:
Here is our final assortment of dishes. The bowl by the silver water bottle has potatoes from the grill (and we also grilled some vegetables and chicken and pork sausages), plus gnocchi with tomato sauce, gnocchi with pesto sauce, and the potato soup.
Just one of the many happy memories we have of the Summer of 2011!