Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cookin' with the Classy!

I could not wait to get up and going this morning, even the anticipation of the cold that would greet me on flipping back the covers did not deter me! Today is our cooking class with Cooking with Class, the same school in which I did classes with in May! I could not wait to see Pino and lean a few new things! Megan was pretty excited too, but when she decided to go for a run, I had to remind her what time we needed to leave. Her own mother is probably less bossy than I! She came back with a croissant for me, declaring the streets slick. They were indeed slush covered and slippery. The metro was packed and I love looking at the faces I see there and wondering what their life is like, are they happy, do they have a similar fascination with the States that the one I have with France. At one point we waited and waited in the Metro car until we were late! Eventually we arrived and all traipsed off to the market area after introductions! It was great to see Pino again and I learned new stuff this time too, even in the cheese shop! The vegetables were certainly different, some just not there, others packaged rather than fresh from local growers. The leeks were magnificent and the radishes lovely. Don’t EVEN ask me what accompanied the radishes in the photo, I have no idea. They do look rather phallic don’t they?

We choose to prepare, with guidance from Pino, Rabbit with vegetables on Mache (Pea Greens - some sort of lettuce) with a sauce from the braising juices for an appetizer, Followed by Scallops (coral and all) and Sander en papillote with julienne vegetables and saffron sauce. Accompanied with Veloute of Jerusalem Artichokes. I am just not a bone girl and am still feeling one of those pesky little bones in the back my throat! The stinker is that Pino let me clean the fish and check for bones, smart man! Still I did my best and it was full of tiny little needle like bones. The Scallops, veggies and Veloute were great though! Making the Veloute, I found yet another toy I think I need in my kitchen, an immersion blender! Next was the cheese course, which this school does and does well! There were about 12 kids of cheese and most of them new to me! My favorite was one flavored with Nocello! For dessert we prepared a Tart Tatain! A new one for me to cook, and it was decidedly good.

There were four other lovely ladies in our class as well, Susan, Susan, Jackie and Donna, and after class Jackie and Donna (daughter and mother) wanted to go to the cooking stores. I was on a mission, I have been fearful about using the rolling pin I inherited from my grandmother. I could just see striking the croissant dough wrong and hitting the granite counter rather than the dough! I could imagine wood splinters and my grief at destroying it. For this reason (among others) a rolling pin was a the top of my list. Also on the “List “ were chocolate sticks for Pain Au Chocolate, not my favorite but of you like it! In addition I had been toying with the idea of a copper pot. I am elated to tell you that it was a successful adventure, at least for today. The pot and chocolate are not lightweight and I am hope I am equally happy with them on the plane ride home! We had toyed with options for the evening, but after experience frozen derrieres, we decided to stay in and relax, maybe even thaw out. Retrospectively we both agree that it was an excellent idea!

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