Tuesday, September 8, 2009
TWD: Chocolate Souffle
I wonder whether some of you will be offended, or at least taken aback, when I tell you that I've learned a lot about parenting by watching dog shows. (Gasp!) You know, dog obedience shows like Dog Whisperer and It's Me or the Dog. It sounds terrible to say, I know.
But really, many of the principles are the same when dealing with kids of both the smooth and the furry varieties.
Case in point. On a recent "It's me or the Dog", Victoria, the dog trainer was working with an adorable (but ill-mannered) little Pomeranian. She was trying to teach him that he needed to be quiet in order to get his toy, rather than demanding and barking. In the exercise, Victoria brought out the toys, but calmly refused to give poochy his toy until he was quiet. He was *not* happy. He yapped, and yapped, and yapped, and yapped, and yapped, and yapped, and yapped, (cue the "20 minutes later" caption) and yapped, and yapped, and yapped until FINALLY he stopped. Boom! He got the toy.
You know, the old "rewarding positive behavior" rather than negative behavior. You know, that they taught in Childrearing 101. (Oh, you missed that day too?)
Fast forward to today, as I was happily making my chocolate souffle. I had just gotten through the one-minute window in which to take pictures of the just-baked souffle, when some sort of hullabaloo erupted in the other room. There was my 10-year old, fussing, fighting with innocent bystanders, and generally acting ugly.
I promptly ushered him to the back porch and applied my new dog-training skills. I parked my chair in front of the door and told him if he wanted back inside I needed to see the right behavior. I helped by giving a few clues as to the expected behavior and I waited. And ignored. He was *not* happy. He yapped, and yapped, and yapped, and yapped, and yapped, and yapped, and yapped, (fortunately it didn't take 20 minutes). Then he was quiet. I asked if he was ready, but didn't like the snappish answer, so I waited some more. And ignored. And stayed cool as a cucumber. He yapped a while longer. Then stopped. I asked again and this time got a much calmer, nicer answer. Boom! He got back inside.
And there was this sweet little chocolate treat on the table right where I left it, waiting to be gobbled up by me. My reward for a parenting job well-done. A little chocolate atta-girl.
It had collapsed, but no matter.
It tasted wonderful. Something like a very fluffy chocolate cake. Or very fluffy chocolate pudding, I couldn't tell which.
Many thanks to Susan of She’s Becoming DoughMessTic for choosing Chocolate Souffle for this week's Tuesday's with Dorie recipe. I had neither tried nor baked a souffle before.
Baking notes: I made 1/4 of the recipe and baked it in two 5-ounce ramekins (which fit perfectly). I baked for 19 minutes at 400 degrees. I used semi-sweet chocolate (I'm a dark chocolate wuss).
You can find the recipe in Dorie Greenspan's book "Baking, From my Home to Yours", or at Susan's site above.
P.S. Bouyed by my earlier success I tried one of my new dog-training skills on the dog. And it worked! I'm two for two!