Friday, June 15, 2012

Jamie's in the kitchen!

Ran across this magazine while shopping for the class,
how appropriate!
Posted by Melissa Baumgart
I was determined to have the cooking lesson with Jamie last night.  Even though the gig he said was on Wednesday, turned out to be on Thursday!  The very night of our first lesson!  You know what?  He totally erased my marks on the chalkboard and wrote "Gig" in the same spot.  Oh no you don't, Jamie.  If his gig ended at 8:30pm, then our cooking lesson would begin at 9:00pm.

The lesson for "Spring Vegetable Garbure" began with Jamie reading through the recipe I had chosen.  After the first time through, he walked out of the kitchen looking bewildered.  I wan't quite sure if it was from the recipe or how late it had become.

Getting the goods.
"There were like four words that I have no idea what they are," said Jamie.  Yes, I supposed it was the recipe after all.  "Blanch, sachet, render?  What?" He shook his head.

I recommended he read it again and use to the cookbook to find out what those things meant.  The way the cookbook is set up, as many good cookbooks are, is there are notes referring you to other pages for resources or definition on what possible new terms might mean.

We started with sachet.  We found a recipe and an explanation for its use in the back of the book.
"Sachets are used to flavor cooking liquids.  A cheesecloth sachet encloses small herbs and spices such as peppercorns and cloves, and works like a tea bag.  Once the contents have added their flavors to the cooking liquid, the sachet can easily be removed and discarded."
What a good slicer!
The contents of our sachet were as follows:  1 bay leaf, 3 thyme sprigs, 10 black peppercorns, and 1 garlic clove, smashed. We made up two of those and moved onto some veggie chopping.  Keep in mind, it is around 11pm at this point.

Jamie was starting to fade, and his conviction to finish the soup before falling asleep was absent at this point.  I totally thought we could get it done, but didn't want his first lesson to wipe him out completely, so I obliged his desire to call it a night after copping the carrots and the leeks.

I demonstrated each cutting technique for the veggies; carrots thinly sliced, carrots cut obliquely and leeks chopped. Then Jamie set off to cutting.  His technique was spot on, but his slices were a little thicker than called for.  But, as I told him last night at the kitchen counter...better to have the technique down and to work on getting thinner.  That comes with practice and time.  The oblique cut was a new one for me too, and so we learned together.  The leeks went smoothly as well, I just made sure he knew that they can be quite a dirty vegetable, and you want to get all of that out so your whole soup isn't gritty and ruined.
Just look at that technique!

Before he was finished with those tasks, my younger two had awoken and need shepherded back to bed.  It almost goes without saying that I never got back up, as soon as my head hit the pillow, I was out for the night.

So, although, we will not get to Lesson Plan 2 tonight since we will be finishing Lesson 1, we will have worked in two nights of cooking class this week.  And I am very thankful for that.  I can't wait to try the finished product tonight! We only have 6 more veggies to cut and blanch and quickly get into an ice bath...not to mention assembling the whole soup and broth situation.  And I didn't forget the bread...maybe I'll go get that started for him now.

No, no, no.  That's exactly what I do, I step in to "help" and in doing so, take away his ability to learn.  I will not do that this time.  Even if we do break bread way past dinner time.

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