Anyone who has ever spent time around me can attest to the fact that I make an ass of myself on a regular basis. Recently, I have started making an ass of myself on a much more grand (and public) scale. By that I of course mean this blog.
I went on a bit of a tirade about a class I attended at Williams-Sonoma (aka my crack den). I was not a fan, and I was rather vocal about it, at which point the above-mentioned ass-making took place, blogger style. [I keep hoping that one day I will, miraculously, wake up having learned to hold my tongue. I'll let y'all know when that happens.]
Through the wonder that is the internet Jo, a chef, food blogger, and instructor at W-S happened upon the post. Irked by my experience and reaction (and being the kind person that she is) Jo invited me to sit in on one of her classes* at W-S.
It was such great fun! Jo is wonderfully well-spoken, fun, full of knowledge, skill, and interesting factoids. She gave the history and background of the ingredients (complete with taste tests), explained and demonstrated each step of the recipes, and offered short cuts, alternatives, and funny stories along the way.
The theme of the class was dishes that can be started one day and finished the next. In under two hours, she managed to prepare and serve five fantastic dishes, slightly tweaked following her own expertise and taste. I may be hooked.
- Pasta Rustica with chicken sausage and three cheeses – Three cheeses, melted together. ‘Nuff said.
- White Chili
- Pasta Salad with grilled tuna and roasted tomatoes
- Chicken enchiladas with tomatillo sauce – Gorgeous enchilada sauce with oven roasted chiles and tomatillos, and the most amazingly light and fresh queso fresco.
- Polenta casserole with meat sauce – Polenta layered with a red wine-heavy meat ragu, topped with cheese and baked. Brilliant!
Lesson learned: I do not live and write in a vacuum. Thoughts do well when filtered. I have lots to improve on (Snarkiness : 1, SND/Anna : Nil). I am hoping that my ass-making will decrease, if not disappear, in the time and blog posts to come.
Thank you, Jo ( and the managerial staff at the Burlington, Mass. Williams-Sonoma) for allowing me to sit in on a wonderful class. It was thoughtful and generous of you. W-S is my friend and crack den, as ever.
* As a disclaimer, cooking classes such as the ones taught by Jo are not free ($50 each). I did not know of their existence (shockingly enough). Had I known, I would have had more realistic expectations of the free technique class offered by W-S. The store is not a charity, public education is not their main occupation, nor their responsibility. It's pretty cool that they offer free classes at all.