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Monday, 20 August 2012

XMAS PRESENT IN AUGUST

My sisters and BILs gave DJ and me a voucher for The Arches Cookery School for Xmas. We eventually got there yesterday. As you can see from the picture, it's a renovated barn on a farm in the North York Moors. There we are, all eight of us in the group, gathered over coffee and cute cream scones before we started. There was much amazement that DJ would actually come and be the only man. Try keeping him at home!
Our tutor was Sarah Muir. She has a website here.
The routine was a demo of cooking luncheon courses and then eating them along with wine and coffee. Great!
It's so refreshing to watch someone else cook simple things which taste great and use knacks and methods which you haven't even thought of. She left the end of the onion on and then cut it into wedges to roast. The end held the wedges together. A light bulb moment for me. All the herbs and many veggies were from the kitchen and herb garden at the farm and grown by her mother.
Another great part was that she did all the washing up while we ate the food upstairs in the dining room. We were going to eat outside but the rain started just as the table had been laid and it had to be rushed indoors.
Those of you down south might like to know that NOT all of Britain had a heat wave over the weekend. In fact the term heatwave is superfluous to the english language up here.
Anyway today DJ and I tried to recreate the vegetable fritters for our lunch. They tasted just as good as hers, looked as good as hers, had the same ingredients as hers and smelled divine. They were limp. Not sure why. Never mind we'll try again till we get them right. The next lot of guests chez nous, are getting the chicken breast stuffed with spinach, chopped dates, red onion, cumin and coriander and baked in a sprinkle of cumin and a drizzle of maple syrup and oil.
Sarah Says... chefs don't use olive oil for cooking; they use a blend. She used half olive oil and half rapeseed oil. So we shall do that too.
Sarah Says... don't put the stuff in the frying pan till the oil is hot enough to sizzle it or it will just soak it up. So we shall do that too etc
I just love learning new stuff.

There's no room for any more new stuff in this house. The new painting easel means something has to go. This is my Nagy spinning wheel. It spins better than my Ashford but I can use the Ashford with my eyes shut and this needs a refresher course every time I get it out. Someone less set in their ways will love it. I'll see how it goes on ebay. I set it up to take pics and got it started with some tops and it took me a while to remember the process but once I had it going it was lovely.
Cheers for now Gillian

3 comments:

heideho said...

The cooking lessons sound delightful and delicious. I hope your wheel finds a new home quickly. I've had one for sale for a couple of weeks with little to no interest. Cheers!

Sue said...

Wow cooking school sounds like great fun. Maybe they were limp depending on the oil. They sound delicious though and I am sure you will perfect it with all your cooking knowledge. Hope your wheel finds a loving owner.

carol said...

What a lovely thing to do - a cooking class together.Thanks for the tips.

My ex has done a few cooking classes since his retirement, his present wife not being an enthusiast for the kitchen. He has perfected Tiramisu, Baklava and some delicious Indian curry's. I was evidently holding him back!!