Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cooking With Gas

Yup, it's officially fall!  Last night I started the fall session of the adult ed cooking class I take at the local high school.  My town offers a rich variety of adult education classes twice a year open to both residents and non residents.  The class I take is called The Easy Gourmet and it runs for six weeks beginning in mid September and again in March. 

For years the course catalog would arrive in the mail and I would flip through thinking it would be fun to take this class but for whatever reason would never follow through.  At some point I must have decided that getting out and meeting new people while learning something new wouldn't be such a bad thing.  So in a moment of weakness, the next time the catalog made an appearance I signed up. 

And oh I'm so glad I did!  Despite the fact that I much prefer eating over cooking I've now taken every session since Fall 2008.  Delicious food, fun people and a break in the weeknight routine make being an Easy Gourmet a win-win.    

In the two hour class we prepare an entire three or four course meal using recipes developed by the instructor, a trained culinary professional.  When the food is ready we sit down together and eat.  Chef D. chooses the menu and provides all the ingredients (we pay a materials fee in addition to the class registration fee).  The class is limited to ten people.  For this session, eight of us are "regulars".  Class is held in the high school Home Ec kitchen, not the most glamorous setting but that's part of the ambience.

Does this take anybody back or what?  Fortunately we don't get points for table scaping.

The salad and main course teams hard at work.  Yes the classes are primarily women but we do have a couple of men who know their way around a kitchen.

A roasted vegetable medley of eggplant, peppers, kalamata olives, garlic and artichokes was tossed with ziti for the main course.
The spinach salad made with mandarin oranges, fresh mozzerella and dried cranberries was tossed with a dressingof orange juice concentrate, fresh lemons and white balsamic vinegar.  Delicious! 
I had dessert duty-apple oatmeal scones-some with chocolate chips.  Honey was served on the side for dipping.  Before taking this class I considered scones to be distant relatives to hockey pucks.  Not anymore.  Scones are a dessert staple in class and every one we've made has been light, buttery and to die for.

Dinner is served!

Dinner is barely over and I'm already looking forward to next week!  Chef D. has a food budget and shops the sales so we never know the menu in advance.  So far I've yet to be disappointed.


  1. Wow! that roasted veggie/ziti looks fabu-fabu! Are you allowed to share the recipe. I'd like to fix that with the last of my home grown eggplants. Looks like a great time was had by all.

  2. I seriously need to bookmark this menu! Thanks for sharing Sue, now when you're 'off to cooking class' we'll be able to picture it.

  3. I'm with Deanne! I'd love that recipe!!! Keep 'em coming please! I'm tired of my basic 7 recipes and I'm sure DH is too!

  4. Sounds like a fun class with a great meal as well. It all looks so yummy.

  5. It all sounds yummy. Good way to socialize, learn and eat. Can't beat that.

  6. Recipe please, roasted vegetables looks wonderful, also looks like great fun. What a great idea, I wish we had something like this around here.

  7. Recipe please. The roasted vegetables looks wonderful...What fun, I wish we had something like this class around here.

  8. Looks like fun, Sue. I don't really cook, but my son likes cooking, so I have gone with him twice to a cooking class at Sur La Table in Canton.