Sunday, August 29, 2010

Cook's Warehouse, have I said I love you?

We took another class yesterday at The Cook's Warehouse. Their classes are so much fun, although grating carrots isn't the most fun I've ever had.

We took Pickling and Brining: Not Your Grandma's Pickle Pantry. After taking the class on canning earlier this summer, when I saw this class, I knew I had to take it.

We were to meet at The Cook's Warehouse in order to carpool down to the Morningside Market and get some of our ingredients. I'd never been there, although I'd driven by on a Saturday or two and thought about stopping. We'd received an email on Friday reminding us to bring cash and a cooler if we wanted to buy anything. I was planning to meet Beth afterwards, so I decided that I wouldn't worry about getting any cash. No credit cards accepted, so I was safe from spending.

Ha! Two vendors of things that could sit out in the car for a couple of hours did take credit cards. I got some locally made granola from Pure Bliss Organics, and a grab bag of soap ends from Hazelbrand Handmade. I haven't tried the granola yet, but I did open up the grab bag and smell all the soap pieces. Those only reminded me of how much I'm looking forward to my soap making class in a few weeks.

There are cooking demonstrations by local chefs also on Saturdays. We watched Chef Gary L. Mennie prepare Roasted pears with speck ham, blue cheese and arugula. Thank goodness they handed out the recipe! Although I'm not a fan of prosciutto, I thought it was delicious, and quite honestly, I'm sure I could find another meat that I'd like better. Maybe a more common ham.

Of course, I couldn't be at the Morningside Market without seeing people I know. One of the women in the class was someone I recognized from when I was working at the local yarn store. I also recognized another woman I knew from there, but as I couldn't remember her name, I let her pass me by. As I was buying the granola, I heard, "Is that Eve under that hat?" from Kim of Knitch. Funny that everyone I knew down there was knitting related!

After getting a danish and latte from Alon's, I was fortified to go back to The Cook's Warehouse and start the class in earnest. (As an aside, almost everyone in the class had ventured to Alon's at some point during our field trip.)

Before we go back to Cook's Warehouse, I should tell you a little more about the market. There are local farmers, bakers and soap makers there. Grass fed, feed range beef and pork are available. How cool is it to be able to talk to the person growing your food? I found the market to be one of those simple and wonderful pleasures. Fresh food and an overcast morning that was a few degrees cooler than it's been lately, along with a delightful danish and great coffee made it very enjoyable.
Anyway, this class was an accelerated version of brining. We honestly didn't have enough time for everything to be brined as long as it should be, but there was a corned beef that had been brining for 5 days and was pressure cooked during class. My mouth is watering thinking about it even now. The aromas being carried upon the steam shooting from the pressure cooker were sublime. I do love savory foods.
However, we do have the recipes, and I understand about brining now. It's one of those techniques I'd actually never thought about until I took the canning class, and to be honest, it was the word pickling in the class title that caught my attention.
One of my favorite quotes, which I'm sure I've shared with you before, is from Ellis Peter's Brother Cadfael. "Nothing learned is ever quite wasted." You can read this quote it The Raven in the Foregate as I don't know which page it's on.
Have a great Sunday!

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