Monday, June 12, 2006

My first cooking class!

Geez, you'd think someone like me would have been taking cooking classes all along. For some reason, I just haven't made the time. But I am now! I signed up for a six week course on "preserving." That means sausages, smoking, pickles, cheeses, jams, etc. The first class was on Saturday, and we were making sausages for smoking/drying. Eight students, and an entire pig! It had already been broken down, but we were using incredibly fresh, organic pork to make saucisson sec, spanish chorizo, salted air-dried ham, molasses-cured ham, lamb bresaola, and duck prosciutto (among other things). I was elbow-deep in pork fat for quite some time. It was a blast, though because everyone else had taken classes with Culinary Communion before, I felt a little outside the circle. I'm sure that will change over the course of the course. What surprised me the most was that as part of the five-hour session, we also cooked ourselves lunch -- roasted leg of lamb with a honey/garlic/cream sauce, braised artichokes, blanched asparagus and garlic curls, with pre-prepped ratatouille and mushroom/fennel/artichoke salad. So after about five hours of sausage talking and making, we all sat down to a substantial meal. Wow! It was energizing and exhausting.

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