Whenever there's time, I say to my granddaughter, "Destinye, let's cook!"
With that, she follows me into the kitchen with a smile.
Destinye is a busy 15-year-old. She is very observant and loves to be active. When we prepare dishes together, I use the time to bond.
Sometimes we talk about her schedule and her performances. One time when she was in a production with Beaufort Little Theatre, I asked if she knew her lines. "No ma'am," she answered. When I was in high school, I participated in oratorical contests but not plays. So I told Destinye to talk to her granddaddy, who has acted before. "He can give you pointers," I told her.
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Later, when Destinye was in "My Son Pinocchio Jr." as the Blue Fairy, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. She has also appeared in "The Rocking Tale of Snow White" and "Flat Stanley." She doesn't need help learning lines anymore -- just our encouragement.
Destinye is a Wesley Kid, in other words, a member of Wesley United Methodist Church. Whatever the task, she has a smile on her face. I helped her at the table during a charity sale once, and she was just smiling away. She's fast, too. You should see her clean out my fridge.
When I heard she was trying out for varisity cheerleading and track and field, I warned her not to bite off more than she could chew. I reminded her that her education comes first.
"Yes, ma'am," she said. She still got all A's, even with cheer and play practice.
I'm not boasting, mind you. I'm just proud.
When I took Destinye and her brother Stephen to school one day, I went to turn on the radio, but Destinye stopped me. "Granny, we must do our daily devotion." I stopped the car, and she read Scripture and then her brother prayed. It's how they start each day, I was told.
She keeps me on my toes and always learning. Whenever I have an issue with an electronic device, she takes over. She fixes the problem before I know what's wrong.
She rocks. Here are a few of her favorite recipes from my files.
(1) 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed, reserved 1 tablespoon liquid from can
1 tablespoon sesame tahini
3 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
fresh ground white pepper
2 teaspoons minced parsley
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Use 1 tablespoon of reserved bean juice to moisten if needed. Process until smooth. Serve with chips or crackers.
CHICKEN TARRAGON SALAD
3 cups cooked, cubed chicken breast
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced zucchini unpeeled
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced tarragon
1 tablespoon minced parsley
fresh ground pepper to taste
Combine all salad ingredients. Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth. Toss the dressing with the salad and serve.
KIELBASA BEAN SOUP
1 large potato, peel and diced
2 carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1/3 cup celery, chopped
3 cups water
8 oz. kielbasa, thinly sliced
(1) 10 3/4-ounce can beans with bacon soup
In large saucepan, bring vegetables and water to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add kielbasa; add bean soup. Heat thoroughly.
Columnist Ervena Faulkner is a Port Royal resident and a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition.