Deslyn Griffith is the epitome of 'cool mom'. Having known her since first form, she's always been a leader of sorts in her circles. Now we're older and she's just as I remember - she's the person who keeps in touch with friends from high school beyond liking a Facebook status, she rallies her cooking buddies when there's a challenge she thinks we can all do to improve our skill set, and she puts effort into things that matter.
Her cooking style is also no different - it's open and welcoming. She's willing to experiment with ingredients, get creative, try any kind of cooking class or test, and is always looking for the next adventure. Her favourite kitchen tools are her phone and a knife and it's such a fitting example of her style - the worldly, all-encompassing power of the internet mingling with a cooking fundamental - proper utensils. Deslyn got into cooking about two years ago after realizing that her cookbook collection was rapidly growing and the pages were sticking together because they were almost never opened. After realizing that she better start cooking all the recipes that she had earmarked to try, Deslyn created the Facebook Page "Edible Experiments" to document her, well, experiments. Since she created the page, she's hosted a few events online, including a virtual Dream Destination cooking challenge - each participant (including yours truly) got to choose a country and make a dish from that country within 2 hours. We shared our results online and got to 'visit' countries like France, Spain and Sweden through their food.
So what was Deslyn's most recent cooking adventure? Host an Avengers themed birthday party for her 5 year old son. The party was held at the popular Mario's Pizzeria in Georgetown, but Deslyn decided to go above and beyond and make Avengers themed snacks for the kids, creating a different snack for each Avenger. It was a mix of creativity, originality, and putting a new spin on old favourites. How cool is that?
Here's what she did:
Hulk: Tinted Jello & Crushed Oreos
Captain America: Fruit & Cheese Stars
Black Widow: Stuffed Eggs & Olives
Thor: Cheese Straws
Iron Man: Lasagna and Macaroni & Cheese
Needless to say, I left with all sorts of creative ideas swirling in my head and with a sincere desire to watch the Avengers movies again. One of the things I love about these snacks is how it easy everything is to make. She says that every element of the Hulk snack was clearly the most fun to put together - drawing the faces on each cup, crushing the Oreos, and tinting white jello pudding green. While Captain America is her son's favourite Avenger, she noted that removing the watermelon seeds proved to be the most difficult part of making all the snacks. Deslyn also suggests that if you're doing something like that in your own home, involve your kids in the process! It can be drawing, tasting, or even carefully pressing a star shaped cookie cutter into watermelon.
As I chatted with Deslyn, her friends sitting nearby got into the conversation, and we ended up sharing our food fantasies. Deslyn's fantasy (described while looking off dreamily into the distance) garnered the most enthusiastic response. Her dream includes sitting at a little Bistro in Paris with a view of the Eiffel Tower, consuming bottles of wine and being fed any kind of carb-y, flour-y bread or pastry by a hot French artist while he speaks to you in French. Actually understanding what he's saying isn't necessary. I mean, we do have to allow for some flexibility in our fantasies, right?
What does she dislike? When people refuse to think outside of the box. Oh, and Boulanger.
Thanks to Deslyn for a great afternoon and for sharing her cooking experiences with Hotspotgy. Being the inclusive person that she is, she also wanted to thank Terrence Campbell and the staff of Mario's for a great Birthday party. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a date with my Avengers DVDs :-)
By: Indira Mattai-Chandarpal