Cooking with Pepper

Posted by mrssmythe on September 20, 2016 in Cooking, Homeschool, iPhone photography |

Pepper is taking a cooking course this semester – The Everyday Gourmet, offered through The Great Courses. She just completed lesson three, which means she’s spent the past two weeks studying two things – kitchen equipment and cutting techniques. Her first “assignment” was to make a vegetable bean soup. That was last week. This week, she made Ratatouille – that vegetable casserole made famous by the cooking rat. Pepper said the entire time she was prepping the vegetables, she was thinking about that movie and wondering where her little rat helper was.

She certainly could have used one. Both weeks, she’s spent a lot of time chopping vegetables. Which makes sense – that’s what the lessons have been about. But, for someone who isn’t a vegetable fan and who hasn’t done a lot of work with kitchen knives, I’m sure it’s been a bit tedious.


She’s kept her sense of humor, though. She thought that these peppers looked like Greek drama masks.


I can see it.

So here is the ratatouille just before Pepper put a lid on it to simmer.


Colorful, joyful, “a celebration of the bounty of the summer garden” (which is what the chef who teaches Pepper’s course called the dish).


And, here is the same photo with the Prisma App.


(You knew I was going to squeeze that in somehow, right?)

And, here is the ratatouille on a plate, served with French bread and a fried egg – the way the chef suggested we present it.


The verdict? Weeellllll….maybe I’m not the one to ask. I really liked it, but then I like vegetables. I think I could develop a taste for this dish if I had it more often. The rest of the family, though, wasn’t sold on the whole “vegetable stew” thing. They were game to give it a try and said that it tasted decent for what it was (stewed vegetables), but then they spent the rest of the meal filling up on eggs and bread.

Pepper is looking forward to next week, when she will leave vegetable chopping behind and learn something about cooking chicken.

In the meantime, I’ll be eating ratatouille for lunch for the rest of the week.

From the dining room table, still not sure what to think about eggplant,

Mrs. Smythe

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