Saturday, July 09, 2011

Summertime Blues

A long time ago, I started working on a doctorate in history, thinking that I wanted to teach college. I discovered fairly soon after starting my program that I wasn't really cut out for teaching history and that I worked better one on one with people or with small groups.

Even though I left a teaching career way behind, I've found ways to teach over the years, mainly in the kitchen. It started with my Granola Girl and the fabulous Phoenix and a handful of other wonderful and eager student assistants who wanted to learn how to cook, bake, preserve, and generally become more proficient at making their own food.

Once Local Roots opened, I was gradually persuaded to offer the occasional cooking demo, featuring either my own products (such as my pita bread, in making pita pizzas) or seasonal produce. Though I found those experiences to be less about teaching and more about cooking for an audience and answering questions, they led me to my latest venture:

Teaching a real cooking class at Today's Kitchen Store.

This came about as part of a hopeful partnership between Today's Kitchen Store and Local Roots, in which TKS wanted to support Local Roots and Local Roots folks wanted to showcase seasonal eating. Fits my bill, right? So I pondered class ideas and finally signed up to teach "Summertime Blues," a class that demonstrated the many ways you can cook with blueberries.

If you've been following this blog for a while, the menu won't come as a surprise to you, since I pulled most of the recipes from my experiments here:

--Luscious Lavender Berry Soup
--Blueberry Chutney
--Berry Blue Salad with mixed greens, blueberries, hazelnuts, bleu cheese, and blueberry vinaigrette
--Blueberry-Date Bars

Six people turned out for the class, including an enthusiastic Local Roots supporter, and we had a great time. It didn't all go smoothly -- the dough for the date bar crust turned out too soft, the date bars came out a little gloppy, and both the soup and the chutney needed a little tweaking -- but it did allow me to show how recipes can be manipulated and adapted and adjusted as needed, and everything still turned out very tasty!

Since I was busy the entire time, I didn't get to take any photos of the finished dishes, but thanks to Rick Davis and the Today's Kitchen Store Facebook page, you can get a peek at the class elsewhere online. Everyone enjoyed everything and pretty much cleaned me out!

I had a lot of fun, so I will need to think up some other class ideas and get scheduled with them.

And what better way to beat the blues -- than to cook with 'em?

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At 7/15/2011 3:04 PM, Blogger Allison at Novice Life said...

How fun! I was just pondering what to do with my blueberries!

At 7/15/2011 3:29 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Well, there are a few ideas for starters -- and the chutney would go well on grilled meats or vegetables, as well as hash browns. :-)


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