Grill It up with Dad

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

At the Taylor house, warm weather means it's time to start grilling.

The Columbus family loves spending time outdoors and enjoys preparing food on the grill. Six-year-old AJ and his dad, Artie, do most of the cooking while Mom, Christine, tackles the prep work and dishes.

"Every time we do the grill, I help him," AJ said.

The youngster has been cooking with his dad since he was about 4 years old. The manly duo started with pancakes and waffles and moved onto dinner entrees. They still make breakfast together.

"We do it every Saturday," said Artie, who just finished his fourth year as Ohio Dominican University's men's basketball coach. "It's a tradition."

AJ enjoys chopping vegetables, adding ingredients and stirring batters and sauces.

"His favorite thing is to mix the stuff up," Christine said.

He uses those skills to make an Asian-inspired cabbage slaw, which the family makes throughout the summer.

Under careful supervision from his dad, AJ is allowed to start, clean and prep the grill.

"He tells us what the temperature (of the grill) is and when it's ready," Artie said. "He's the taste tester."

When they make turkey sliders, a family favorite, AJ carefully shapes the patties and puts them on the grill. Artie uses turkey because it's healthier than hamburger and cooks fast.

"The thing I like about turkey is it doesn't take too long," Artie said. "You don't have to wait forever." And that's useful when your sous chef is a kindergartener, he added.

Artie usually flavors the burgers with a dry rub that his father makes. He has fond memories of his own dad, who owned a restaurant and cooked Sunday dinners for friends and family.

"That's what he loved to do - sit back and watch people ooh and ahh over his food," Artie said.

Looks like the Taylor tradition of man cuisine is destined to continue.

The Taylor Turkey Slider


2 lbs. ground turkey

spicy dry rub to taste

provolone cheese

sweet dinner rolls like King's Hawaiian


Grownup: Slice open rolls

Kid: Flatten and shape meat into mini-burgers

Grownup and Kid (depending on skill level): Place burgers on preheated grill. Sprinkle burgers with dry rub. Add provolone cheese and grill until done. Serve with ketchup, mustard and pickles.

Asian-Inspired Cabbage Slaw*


For salad:

14-ounce bag of shredded cabbage

4 green onions chopped

1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds

2 tablespoons roasted sesame seeds

1 bag Ramen noodles with chicken flavoring

For dressing:

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup oil

1 teaspoon Accent

1 envelope of dried powder from noodle package

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 tablespoon rice vinegar


Grownup: Toast sesame seeds and almonds in oven at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 8 minutes.

Kid (with adult help): Chop (or cut with scissors) green onion.

Kid: Add cabbage and green onion to bowl

Kid and Grownup: Measure ingredients for the dressing into a small bowl. Whisk until blended. Pour dressing over toss and serve.

* Note: This recipe features some ingredients that have monosodium glutamate (MSG) in them (Ramen noodles and Accent). If that's an issue, substitute ingredients that you know are safe for you.