Learning to cook

As someone who has been an expert at eating all my life, I finally decided I may as well learn to cook.  The local community college now has a culinary program, so I talked one of my quilting buddies into taking the classes with me.  In Spring 2013, we donned our chef hats and jackets and signed up for the baking class taught by pastry chef Maryann Kleinot.

Our first 3 weeks were spent studying food safety and sanitation.  That was an eye opener; with all the dangers lurking around food, it’s amazing that humans are still on the planet.  

Then we were on to the fun stuff in the kitchen.  Every week we made new breads and pastries, all of which were delicious.  Remember the ‘freshman five?’  Well, in this class, it’s more like fifteen.  Both DH and I put on a bit this semester.

We all learned a lot, and I really enjoyed doing my special project;  that’s sort of a baked  term paper.  We each chose our subject, and my choice was to recreate the Bohemain kolaces that Grandma used to make.  After many trials, I finally nailed it.  Now the kolaces abound on a regular basis.

My quilting buddy Carolyn and I decided to continue practicing our skills, so we bake together one day a week, just as we did during the semester.  Last week, we made James Beard’s French Style bread and used Carolyn’s new baguette pan.  Right out of the oven, we were afraid they were going to be rock hard, but as the bread cooled and we sampled it, it was alright after all.  Last Friday we made quiche and James Beard’s Refrigerator Potato Bread, which required an overnight cool rise and baking on Saturday.  The dough was very wet and soft on Friday, but after adding a bit more flour during the kneading, the dough became more stable.  We finished it on Saturday, and the bread turned out a nice soft sandwich bread.

 Next week, it’s sweet treats from the CIA.

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~ by k9dancer on May 26, 2013.

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