"This whole family dinner thing is just a way for me to wire my childrens' bodies in a way so that they automatically show up at the dinner table to talk to me when they are teenagers. They won't have a choice in the matter. They'll just start feeling this magnetic pull to the pork chops at 6:30."
These are exactly the questions I asked when I was her age, when I wouldn't have been able to identify a Dutch oven; when I bypassed recipes because they called for an exotic ingredient called chicken stock; when I almost ordered sweetbreads thinking they were some form of pastries.
The moment the "what-are-we-cooking-for-the-Fourth?" emails from my brother, sister, mom and dad start pinging like crazy in my inbox -- usually about a week before the holiday -- I know it's time to stake my claim.