Last night both Manfriend and I were out for classes. He learned about avalanche safety...oooooooo. I used a going-away gift certificate from Spak to learn about making soups.
So there's this company, Viking, who makes awesome kitchen appliances and other things, I guess. And they have these cooking classes in a few cities around the country. They are pretty expensive ($90 for 3 hours) and my feel is that they hope to teach you to appreciate nice things and then want to buy them from them. This is a concept that I think is foolish and I never fall victim to. Until I used the peeler last night! Peeling carrots and potatoes and a butternut squash. It was like butter!
What a great class. First of all, there was only two other people there! So we're taking very one-on-one. And the head chef lady found out right away that I know basically nothing about any of these cool tools or the veggies/herbs or even rues. And so she proceeded to very slowly walk me through and explain every little detail. It was amazing: "So you see, Jamie, when zesting a lime you want to make sure not to get any of the white stuff because it is bitter." "Ok so, Jamie why don't you come look at this, you see how the onions are fairly translucent but not yet brown? That's how we want them to be. Now we will add the flour. Do you know why we cook the flour for at least 2 minutes? It's to cook out the 'flour' flavor." And she told me about wet and dry measuring cups but I did already know that. Ha!
Also I had to peel the shells off these shrimps. YUCK! And then we cooked the shells to make a shrimp broth. Gross smells! And then we threw these disgusting, gray shrimps into this beautiful, creamy soup we'd made...nasty. And wouldn't you know that turned out to be my favorite soup of them all? It was fantastic. And I didn't even mind the shrimp texture and squishiness.
We also made a butternut squash bisque. Yum. And a vegetable soup which was good but had some tough competition.
I think the real lesson that the class taught me was that soups take a really long time to make and I know Whole Foods makes great ones, so I think my soup career is going to be short-lived. But it was fun while it lasted. I did learn some basic skillz, which I'm sure will be helpful down the road. And I really do want to take their $600, 5-days-over-5-weeks, learn-all-the-basics course. So I'm gonna register for that.
Did I mention that the class was within walking distance from my home? How cool! I think in the future I would bike, but I really needed the exercise. Plus, how refreshing are those mountains as a backdrop!? But once the class and instructors found out everyone was so concerned and kept offering me rides home. Apparently it was in a "bad neighborhood." But this is the SLC and there aren't even bars on the doors/windows of homes! Somehow I survived. Plus I was carrying a bag full of warm soup, so who's gonna mess with that?
Manfriend's class was also good, I hear. Now they have two full days in the mountains this weekend to really learn how not to kill themselves. Yay. His was also a low-impact endeavor since he took two buses and a train to get himself from the main U campus to the Murray campus. He's planning to carpool with three other guys this weekend who also live in Sugarhouse and when I asked why he didn't just snag a ride home from one of them he shrugged, "I guess I didn't think about that." Silly man. I think he took 3 buses and two trains yesterday. Lucky him it's all free as a student at the U! I want a bus/train pass. Not that I have any reason to use such things now and probably not in the future either. Booooooo.