Last Saturday was a good day. The test kitchen welcomed three OneRoastChicken subscribers for a very successful cooking class. We made (and ate) lots of yummy food: Roast chicken with a spice rub, tinfoil carrots, homemade chicken broth, vegetable corn chowder, trout with fruit salsa, and Dutch apple pie. The house smelled amazing for hours, even with the apple pie boiling over into the sparkling clean oven.
All the food set out … apples for pie far left in blue bowl, pineapple for salsa, celery in a big pot for chicken stock, carrots to be baked in tinfoil, and at the very far right cans of creamed corn for the vegetable soup
As Jessica and Jennifer and Suzanne peeled apples, measured spices, stirred and baked, we chatted about the dinners you can get away with when you’re single and young (microwave popcorn, entire bags of kettle chips, toast and peanut butter, crackers and cheese). But now as everyone’s getting older, lives have shifted, and old patterns of eating just don’t work anymore. You can no longer get by on a chocolate bar for breakfast. People get married, have kids, need to stop eating take out, need to pack lunches. If you’re me, you discover that having a captive audience (husband) who’ll eat just about anything (André will), means that I’m more likely to experiment, make new things, be brave, try a new recipe, to make falafels at home even though they involve deep frying in a pot of boiling oil (scary).
Yesterday, while we were making soup, we talked about how to use up leftover fresh lasagne sheets (why not cut them into strips and boil like fettuccini?), how to use up leftover lime (beer, lemonade, cranberry juice), and about how I feel no guilt asking the produce guy at the grocery store to take apart this lovely tray of jalapeno peppers wrapped in cellophane and just wrap up one single pepper for me, no thanks, I don’t need six, I just need one. It cost 46¢.
The “student chickens” – as André calls all subscribers “your chickens” – well, the student chickens had lots of ideas for new classes and new cookbooks. How about a November cooking class where we work though a dinner party, from start to finish – a nice appetizer, Caesar salad, garlic bread, lasagne, chocolate cake – complete with how to get the timing right, grocery list, planning. One student chicken says that even though she’s often invited out to her friends’ places for dinner, she doesn’t feel confident enough to invite people back to her place. “And that’s bad karma,” she says.
When I suggested having a December cooking class where we did a whole bunch of Christmas baking (easy shortbreads, light fruit cake, cranberry chocolate bars, spicy ginger snaps) – everyone thought that was a great idea, especially if they got to take all the baking home at the end of the class. Sure, why not.
As it was, all three student chickens left with many plastic containers of leftover soup, chicken, fish with salsa, and pie. Did I mention the pie? I had shared some with them when we had our shared meal, but I finished off the rest once they had gone home, and André and I opened more wine. I was tired but very happy. And pie with wine is a good way to end any day 🙂
As always, I’d love to hear your feedback.
You can always reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks and bon appetit!
Shelley MacDonald Beaulieu, Owner & Head Chef
PS/ The next cooking class
The next Roast Chicken and Apple Pie cooking class is coming up next weekend, Saturday, November 10th, from 1 pm to 6 pm. The class will take place in Montreal, in the fully equipped One Roast Chicken test kitchen. To register, visit here. It’s not very often that you get the chance to take part in a small cooking class like this one with *only 3 students* and lots of one-on-one instruction.
I also received a few questions, which I would like to answer now:
Q. Is this a demonstration class or a participation class?
A. I believe in hands-on training. This will NOT be a demonstration class where you just watch me cook and you stand around for hours. No way! Sure, you’ll watch me a bit, but then you’ll leap in there and you’ll be prepping and cooking and chopping and baking and EATING.
Q. What recipes will we be making?
A. Together, we are going to be busy cooking for the entire 5 hours. You’re going to make a Spicy Roast Chicken (called Grant’s Chicken) with tinfoil baked carrots with thyme. After that, we’re going to make chicken broth from scratch. And because I get so many emails asking me about cooking fish (like, “how do you know when it’s ready?”), you’re also going to make Trout with Fruit Salsa. Next you’re going to make a lovely Corn Chowder with red and green pepper. And finally, for dessert, how about Dutch Apple Pie with two kinds of seasonal apples and a sweet crunchy topping.
I enjoyed [the class] a lot! It gave me the confidence to try it on my own. Now that I know what [the pie] would look like, it ain’t complicated to make and is delicious … I’ll be sure to make 1 of the recipes 1 day this week. I admit, the minute I got home, even though I was full, I had to take another bite of the pie. — Jennifer
Q. What is included in the course registration fee?
A. Everything is included. Your registration fee of $169 CDN includes everything you’ll need for the class. There are no supplies for you to buy. No groceries for you to bring. You don’t have to bring anything! You just have to show up with smile on your face, ready to learn … and we’re going to have a great time.
Here’s what’s included:
— Included: Five hours of instruction in a small group limited to 3 people.
— Included: All of the fabulous fresh ingredients and groceries that you’ll need to cook all afternoon.
— Included: Tasting and enjoying all the food that you’ve just learned to make.
Q. If I don’t get into this November 10th class, when is the next one?
A. I haven’t scheduled the classes for the new year yet, as I’m waiting to see what my travel schedule will be (I’m trying to book space for cooking classes in British Columbia for January); but probably this Roast Chicken / Apple Pie class won’t be offered again in Montreal until February 2008 at the earliest.
Q. How can I register?
You can go here and fill out a simple registration form, then you’ll be whisked away to Paypal so you can pay 🙂
PPS/ If you’re unable to attend this class, you might be interested in the illustrated cooking lessons available in “Successful Home Cooking.” Valerie from Washington calls it her Home Cooking School.