Nancy here. You know how they say, “It goes so fast” (whoever they are)? They’re right. One minute I’m sending my only child off to kindergarten with a brightly colored lunchbox (as I wrote here), and next thing you know — Poof! — he’s blowing out of town for college.
Yep. There were plenty of tears (the dog’s a wreck!) as Nate headed north on his educational Quest, toting a cast iron skillet, an eight-inch chef’s knife, a Korean cookbook and a Chinese cleaver among his personal effects.
“Say what?” Stein gasped, when I told him the kid will have an opportunity to cook at his school, despite first year students having to sign up for a meal plan at the college cafeteria. As you might imagine, that will be a far cry from the meal plan he’s been on at home. Here, cooking from scratch is a favorite family pastime: one Nate’s been in on since he could reach the stove.
We’ve heard little from our BMOC since school began. Though he did tell me he’s sorry he didn’t bring a wok and begged me to send him our fabulous flatbread recipe. He texted a photo of his dorm mates posing with a couple of full-up, oven-ready cookie sheets, then another of classmates chowing down on a dinner they helped prepare at the dean of students' condo (see lead photo).
Meanwhile Mac and I are home alone, learning once again how to cook for two, excited for our son, but missing him big-time. What I don’t miss is the last-minute “guess who’s coming for dinner” routine. The one where I find out at 5 p.m. that two vegetarians are joining us for dinner when I planned on serving pork chops for three. Nor do I miss the inevitable eye rolling when I say, as I so often do, “We’re having roast chicken for dinner!” (I love it. Nate, not so much.)
In fact, two days into our empty nesting, I texted Nate a photo of a beautifully bronzed chicken. His response? “Better you than me.” Another month of meal plan (chicken burgers, again?!!) and I’ll bet you a Sunday dinner he’ll be pining for mom’s roast chicken.