A Pair Of Gourmands

by - Story: 12222

Back to school!

She says:

When I was a kid, I was a geek. Actually, I am still a geek, but that is easier to deal with once you get past 30. As a young girl, I always dreaded the social part of school because that was the part you couldn’t study for. I was shy, and I never seemed to be in sync with the other kids and the fashions they thought were cool. The only thing I was confident about was unpacking my lunch and that was thanks to my Mom and her creativity. No sandwiches dented by apples came out of my lunch bag. I never wanted to trade because no one else’s Mom made tuna salad like mine, and I always had cookies or squares that were made from scratch.

You have to remember that this is many years ago, when much of the pre-packaged goodies that are commonplace now did not exist. Even many of the containers that they have now were not available, and so it took much more creativity to include more than a sandwich in that lunch bag.

My Mom’s secret weapon was Wacky Cake. I never knew until years later that it was a common recipe, but to this day I have never met anyone else whose Mom had her trick for sending it in a bag lunch… Wacky cake is an iced pancake, you see, and so when you wrap it conventionally, all the icing gets stuck on the wrapping and there is none left to enjoy with the cake. Mom figured out that if you pulled the cake apart in half and stuck the bottom piece on top of the icing, it became like a layer cake and you wouldn’t lose much icing at all.

So, in honour of the back-to-school season, I give you the recipe for Wacky Cake, just in case you don’t have it yet. It is easy and fun for kids to make themselves, as it is made in the pan you bake it in. And since retro stuff is in style, why not send it in a bag lunch wrapped in waxed paper? Your kids could end up being trendsetters, and wouldn’t that be cool!

That cake saved me from being a total nerd. Thanks, Mom.

He says:

Well, I was not a geek in school and still now far from it, I just did not like school overall…

When I was in school, I ate bologna sandwiches with yellow mustard 4 days a week. Ok, they were not great lunches, but my mom made the sandwiches with meat and bread, not from an instant package. Yesterday, I go to Wal-Mart to buy dog treats and Q-tips, I am waiting in line at the cash, so I started looking at the lady’s grocery in front of me. She was obviously buying lunch food for the kids back at school. 3 boxes of pizza pockets, a case of Skittles (candy), and 36 cans of highly sugared crappy juice.

Come on! Why don’t you just give them two cups of sugar and send them to school. People, you are killing your kids slowly but surely. How hard would it be to make a chicken wrap with tomato, cheese, lettuce, and mayonnaise, a real juice box and a homemade chocolate cookie? If budget is an issue, soft tortilla and homemade cookies is perfect for your wallet. If you are an extremely busy family, take whatever time it takes to cook up something good and cut somewhere else if you have too!

Have you ever heard “you are what you eat”, well, if you want your kids to do better in school, start by setting them up for success with healthy lunches. Oh ya, if you need help, you can always send me an email to get some new lunch ideas for free or you can even hire me for private cooking class in your home and that’s all I have to say about that!

Chef Martin’s Tip 29: Shopping backwards!

Take it from a Chef, it’s not easy to create meals day in day out for your loved ones. When I am un-inspired, I have developed a few tricks that help me find my mojo!

First, when you get to your usual grocery store, don’t go the same way you usually go, and I guarantee you that you will find new ingredients, I usually start backwards…

Second, change grocery store, just go to a new one preferably a specialty market, you will find new things that you have never seen before.

Third, when you watch the food network, take note for your next trip to the grocery store.

Forth, ask each family member to tell you about a favorite ingredient, this should sparks ideas in your cooking mind.

These tricks have never failed me, every time I use one of these, we end up eating something new and amazing.

“No matter what happen in the kitchen, never apologize.”
(Julia Child, 1912-2004)

The Chef in Stead - Website For Previous Chef Tips For comments or questions, you can reach Martin at 250-712-4440 or Email.

These are the stores where I shop, go visit them and tell them I sent you...

Hooked on Seafood, 1951 Harvey Ave, Kelowna 860-2541
Discover Wines, 2080 C Springfield Rd, Kelowna 868-3990
Matterhorn Bakery, 103 - 3640 Gosset Rd, Westbank 768-3302
L&D Meat, 103 - 2365 Gordon St, Kelowna 717-1997
Quality Greens, 3717 A Old Okanagan, Westbank 707-1420
Valoroso Italian Market, 1467 Sutherland Rd, Kelowna 860-3631
Kitchen Niche, Orchard Park mall, Kelowna 860-3637

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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