The Kid Stays in the Kitchen: Galit Roasts the Turkey!


Welcome back to “The Kid Stays in the Kitchen.”  Each week throughout the semester, a student is assigned to cook a traditional dish with a friend or family member and document the experience in photos and words.  This week features Galit, who braved some drama to deliver a roast turkey dinner with her grandma.

“Grandma’s Turkey Dinner” has become famous in my family, and it’s an event each year. My family are Ashkenazi Jews from a smattering of countries in Europe such as Poland, Germany and Russia. But because of the Jewish tradition of kashrut, we do not consume non-kosher meat and therefore are unable to eat the turkey at the Thanksgiving dinner we attend each year. So, the need for turkey is always fulfilled when we visit our Grandma’s house in Florida each February.

As I mentioned, this dinner is quite the event for us and last year was no exception.  In addition to the ingredients and love, she also added a dose of drama to the evening! Grandma and I made the mistake of basking in the hot Florida sun that afternoon before we made our meal and it turned out the turkey was not the only item to get cooked. When Grandma was slaving away in the kitchen later that evening she collapsed next to the turkey. We called an ambulance and she was rushed to the hospital. In the end, my Grandma was fine and although she gave all of us a panic attack, she insists that we overreacted and she would have been fine if she just got up and had a glass of orange juice. Oh Grandma!

This year, making a turkey with my grandmother was thankfully less dramatic and now I can appreciate all the dedication that goes into this tradition which I hope will be continued for years to come.”


Turkey (13.8 lbs.)
Garlic Powder
Pure Ground Black Pepper
Sweet Peas
Whole Kernel Corn
Dinner Rolls
Jellied Cranberry Sauce


  1. Defrost Turkey for two days (in fridge).
  2. Pre heat oven to 325 F.
  3. Line pan with aluminum foil.
  4. Unwrap Turkey and take off extraneous feathers.
  5. Wash Turkey (inside and out!) under cold water.
  6. Remove extra fat, neck, and any loose internal organs.
  7. Place Turkey on pan.
  8. Take a handful of Margarine, and rub all over the Turkey (including under its wings and legs).
  9. Sprinkle paprika, pepper, salt, and garlic all over Turkey (about 1 tablespoon of each).
  10. With aluminum foil on pan, and more if needed, completely wrap the Turkey so that no part of it is visible.
  11. Place Turkey in oven and bake at 325 F for 25 min/ pound. When there are 30 min left, remove aluminum foil and allow Turkey to continue cooking (to brown).
  12. Remove Turkey from oven and cool for 1 hour, then carve to your liking.
  13. Wash large, plump baking potatoes and prick three times with fork.
  14. Place in oven at 350 F for one hour.
  15. Remove and mash with salt and margarine.
  16. Remove lids of cans of peas and corn, and allow water to leak from cans.
  17. Pour contents of cans into bowl and microwave each for 1 minute 30 seconds.
  18. Open can of Jellied Cranberry Sauce and pour into bowl and slice.
  19. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  20. Remove rolls from package and separate.
  21. Place on ungreased baking sheet.
  22. Bake seven to ten minutes.

The Kid Stays in the Kitchen: Sam Rocks Beef Stew!


Welcome back to “The Kid Stays in the Kitchen.” Each week throughout the semester, a student is assigned to cook a traditional dish with a friend or family member and document the experience in photos and words.  This post features Sam who teams up with his grandma Joanie to make his favorite: beef stew.

I chose to cook beef stew with my Grandma Joanie because it is one of my favorite meals and because it is something which my grandma has been cooking and serving for as long as I can remember. She knows that my mom, dad, sister and I like it so much, that when my mom goes to visit her, she will send back home frozen containers of the stew.  And anytime she asks to cook it our response is always a resounding yes!  We often share it Friday nights when my family can all sit down at the table and eat together. My great-grandparents are from Russia and Romania and my grandma started making it because her family made brisket and she wanted to improve the dish. It is a favorite meal for a two reasons:  I can never turn down a hearty meal, especially one filled with meat and potatoes and secondly, it only gets better in the following days.  It’s the meal that keeps on giving!”



  • 4lbs cubed chuck
  • 1 – 2  large onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 6 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
  • 4 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon of organic beef base
  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of sea-salt and ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 10 red bliss potatoes

Equipment other than knife, cutting board, etc.

  • Heavy duty Skillet
  • Cast iron porcelain lined pot with cover


1. Trim excess fat from beef cubes

2. Heat heavy duty skillet.

3. Place small batches of beef into pan to brown.

4. Brown meat on all sides.

5. Remove from pan and place into heavy duty pot; add salt and pepper.

6. Add one cup of water to pan and scrape brownings from bottom of pan.  Pour into the pot with meat.

8. Peel carrots and cut them into bite size rounds.  Place them into a separate bowl.

11. Peel and chop onions.

12. Heat up pan and put in oil.

13. Add onions.

14. Once translucent, add celery and salt and pepper to taste.

15. Add minced garlic and cook for a few minutes.

16. Take vegetable mix off heat and add to big pot.

17. Add about 1 1/2 cups of water to pan for drippings and add carrots to stew pot.

19. Cover on medium high heat.

20. Wash potatoes.

21. Slice potatoes to ½ inch thickness with skin on.

22. Mix into stew.

23. Add soy sauce, beef base, and bay leaf.

24. Stir and cover with lid.

25. Stew for 2-3 hours on low heat or until meat is tender.

The Kid Stays in the Kitchen: Emilie’s Arroz con Leche

emilie (step 2)
lidia pouring evaporated millk (step 3)
lidia stirring water (step 1)
step 2
step 4
step 5

Welcome back to “The Kid Stays in the Kitchen.” Each week throughout the semester, a student is assigned to cook a traditional dish with a friend or family member and document the experience in photos and words.  This post features Emilie who made rice pudding with her close family friend, Lidia.

Having a very large family, we are lucky that we always want to get together as much as possible.  We are all very close! I come from a Dominican family, and when we spend time together, it is usually more than 30 people crammed into my grandma’s tiny apartment, with her tiny little Yorkie yelping at us for some human food. My grandma is usually in the kitchen with her closest friends, Lidia and China, cooking all of the rich and fatty Hispanic foods you can think of such as pernil (pork shoulder) or moro (rice and beans).  After we’ve all had dinner, we eat arroz con leche, also known as rice pudding, made by Lidia. I love how sweet it is, and in particular I love its texture. It is so creamy and warm, served as soon as it is done cooking, and this particular version is very dense and thick. Its smell always brings me back to moments when my mom used to cook it for me when I was sick. It was my favorite food, and still is one of my favorites. Although my mother’s rice pudding recipe is pretty good, I have never tried any rice pudding better than Lidia’s.”                                                                                                                                                            – Emilie



  • 8 cups of water
  • 3 ½ cups of white rice
  • 7 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 lime’s skin peeled
  • 24 fluid ounces of evaporated milk
  • 14 fluid ounces of condensed milk
  • 3 cups of organic cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • (optional) ground cinnamon for finish

Servings: 40


1.     Add the water, cinnamon sticks, and lime peel into a pot. Heat until the water starts to boil.

2.     Pour the rice into the boiling water and cook for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

3.     While the rice is cooking, add the evaporated milk, salt, vanilla extract, and sugar into another pot and cook for about 30 minutes.

4.     Pour the milky mixture into the rice pot and cook it for 20-25 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

5.     Pour the condensed milk into the mixture, cooking it for about 10 more minutes.

Then, it’s ready to eat! Sprinkle some ground cinnamon over the rice pudding for more flavor.

The Kid Stays in the Kitchen: Zhi Ming Caramelizes Ribs!

1Bay Leaves
2Black Pepper
3Brown sugar
5Dried Tangerine Skin
6Ginger, Garlic, and Scallion Stalk
7Hondashi Fish stock
9Raw Pork Ribs
91Sesame Oil
92Soy Sauce
93Spicy Pepper
94Star Anise
Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
Step 5
Step 6
Step 8
Step 9.5

Welcome back to “The Kid Stays in the Kitchen.” Each week throughout the semester, a student is assigned to cook a traditional dish with a friend or family member and document the experience in photos and words.  This post features Zhi Ming who decided to take the reigns from his dad and cook his favorite dish: caramelized ribs.  Here’s Zhi Ming’s take:

“The main ingredient in this dish is the rib, but the method involved in cooking this dish can also be applied to many other forms of meat. My grandmother passed this recipe down using eggs or chicken feet. But it also works extremely well with potatoes and since it really sucks in all the flavors the outcome is phenomenal. This dish originates from southern China, where my family is from, and the tradition of cooking is largely influenced by the variety of spices and herbs that inhabit that part of southern China.

My father cooks this dish often and I love it. Initially, he experimented with the dish and I volunteered to try it, which I enjoyed, so from that my father cooked it almost every day of the week. Luckily I haven’t gotten sick of it and still find it terribly delicious.   In this case, the ribs will have a citrus and burnt sugary taste that permeates the flesh. The flesh can also be easily peeled off the bone if it is cooked for an even longer time. This is exceptionally nice because it takes the work out of having to chew off the meat!”


  • 1.5 teaspoons Hondashi® Fish stock
  • Two pieces of dried tangerine peels
  • Five grams of cinnamon
  • Ten grams sucrose/brown sugar
  • Three bay leaves
  • Two teaspoons of honey
  • Three teaspoons of soy sauce
  • A stalk of scallion
  • Two flat cut pieces of ginger
  • ¼ of a garlic
  • One teaspoon of sesame oil
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • Three pieces of star anise
  • Five pork ribs

1. First add sesame oil to the heat pan set to low then add all of the ingredients listed above, except for the ribs.
2. Place the ribs in a separate pan, fill with water, and boil until the flesh becomes white.
3. Slowly cook the ingredients in the pan until the sucrose, or bar of brown sugar, begins to dissolve into a viscous liquid, as well as all the other ingredients begin to permeate and mix with the dissolved sugar.
4. Once the ingredients meet the criteria in step three, slowly pick the boiled ribs and place it in the pan with all the other ingredients, slowly and individually, each rib one at a time. Then keep adding water into the pan, until the water level is to that of the meat. Do not submerge the ribs!
5. Keep cooking the meat until almost all of the water is evaporated, the meat should turn to a light golden brown color. Once the water in the pan is mostly evaporated, the meat is pretty much ready to go. The bottom of the pan should, if done correctly, have a puddle of liquid sucrose, which can also act as sauce.

Check Vis Out!

Vis Harbor

Hey Kids,

I have a story to tell you.

Two years ago I went to Vis, Croatia, a sleepy, sun-drenched island about thirty miles off the coast of Split. It’s the furthest of the Dalmatian islands and my only regret in going there was that we didn’t stay longer. We slowly scootered around — reaching a blistering 30 km per hour (I have little need for speed) — taking in many of the prerequisites that make this an Adriatic dream: rolling vineyards and olive groves, quiet whitewashed lanes, netfuls of fresh fish, quiet, oh! the quiet! … and lemon marmalade.

My mom always loved marmalade and as a kid, I could never figure out why. I remember the time I snagged a bite of her toast spread thick with the orange variety and blech! the bitter snagged back. And while I have grown up and acquired a taste for bitter, I prefer my mornings with butter and a dose of sweet instead.

But in that summer of 2011, on that very lovely island of Vis, I purchased a small glass pot of lemon sunshine, rolled it in a pair of socks and brought it back to New York where my breakfasts would never be the same. This marmalade was the perfect morning companion: bright, cheerful, even sweet; it coddled me in my first minutes of the day. But it offered tough love, too. It was acidic, tart and yes, bitter. It woke me up with a punch. I either spread too little of it hoping that small pot would last forever, or too much, making up for the other mornings. And on one sad day, it was gone.

I wrote an email to the store’s proprietor hoping to buy a case of this yellow gold and weeks later, I received a message back in Croatian. Google Translate only confused matters more so I resigned myself to the memory of it and set out to find my next great pot of sunshine. I tried some of NYC’s best food groceries and specialty shops. Every time I traveled, I picked up another darling glass jar, rolled it in my socks and dragged it back to the States with great expectations. But they never compared. The back of my refrigerator is a testament to my persistence. Finally I abandoned the cause.

And then this past September, two years after my visit to Vis, I received an email from a friendly traveler:

I am on Vis in Croatia, and they have your email from 2011 posted in their shop. I live in Manhattan, and I thought I could check and see
if you still wanted marmalade and are in NYC. They are open for another hour (til 4pm NY time) if you do. No lemon in stock, but they have lemon orange mix. Let me know, if you get this in time. 🙂

Whaat? It was 3:50pm NY time and my thumbs typed back. Yes! I want marmalade! This lovely traveler instantly became a sensation in my little world and I couldn’t wait to meet her. Two weeks later we sat in a tea shop on University Place exchanging stories of Croatia: of figs, Vis, the long drive down the coast and of course, marmalade.

I waited five days before I opened the jar. I had built up the expectations to such heights I couldn’t bear a letdown. Ridiculous, I know. It was a fruit spread. But I wondered if some of these simple, precious travel memories are best left exalted in our daydreams. After all, I not only had the memory of Vis and that marmelada, but also of the search for its replacement and now, a new friend.

So kids, I never opened the jar.

Nah, I’m just kidding. Of course I opened it! And it was FANTASTIC. Turns out their lemon-orange mix is just as good. Just as punchy and kind. And I practiced no restraint. I polished that puppy off in just three days.