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Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Cooking Class!

How are you? Things have been sort of out of balance here at the North Forty this week. You know the famous saying if it’s not one thing it is another.

At night I find myself waking up and the ole brain starts thinking about dozen different things and then I can not go back to sleep for hours. Mostly been thinking of you! Life for me changed when I started this online journal and never guessed I would end of with so many kind souls as friends. Now I hurt when you hurt and a lot of you are hurting and going through so many things in your lives right now and I so wish I could make things better for you. Just know my thoughts are with you and I am just an email or phone call away.
Last week I mentioned to you that I had gone to a cooking class at Festival Hill. The Chef John Reynolds was the former Executive Chef to Vice President Spiro Aqnew. This was their first time ever to have a cooking class at Festival Hill therefore with a couple of suggestions from the ladies that attended I am sure the future classes will be even more interesting and informative.

Before the chef gave his demonstration on cooking Stuffed Pork Loin he and his staff served a delicious lunch with of course the main dish being Pork Loin. My favorite side dish was a brown rice dish that had raisins, green onions, and pecans in it. It was so good that if I had been at home I would have had seconds or thirds of this. If I ever get the chance that recipe is going to be mine.

I have to admit to you that at times he totally lost me. There was a lot to this dish not anything like I imagined. I guess because he had so many different things going at one time. My hope was to leave with a hand out of this recipe but it was just everyone taking notes and to be honest I would have to borrow someone else’s notes to fix it exactly like he did. In truth while trying to write this post I can not make heads or tails of my notes. lol

Totally confusing what I am looking at to pass on to you. Sorry I had no idea my notes were so scattered.

What I do remember he started out by cutting the loin right down the center and then butter flying it where it would lay flat. His favorite knife in the kitchen is not the $300.00 one he showed us but a Dexter Knife that cost around $20.00.

He does not cook by recipes and therefore this meant no exact measurement of anything he used. A normal work day for him starts at 8am and does not plan menus ahead of time so when he gets to work then he makes the decision on what he will be serving. According to him his meals are always on time for over a hundred people, most often healthy as well as delicious. I had no idea that large group of people work, live and volunteer out there on a daily basis.

The stuffing consisted of a moose that he pureed consisting of the ends he cut from the loin, eggs, and thick cream. While this was being pureed, he sautéed onions, and mushrooms. To the onions and mushrooms he adds Sherry Wine (or you can use Brandy), tarragon, salt and pepper. If I remember correctly he mixes these two mixtures together to make the stuffing. Confused yet? After putting the stuffing on top of the loin he adds pistachios and sliced green and red peppers. Your now ready to close it up and bake at 325 for 1 ½ hours. He closes it up with wooden skewers and places in a deep pan with foil over the top.

Sorry this was a poor post about my cooking class. It was interesting to watch but with these notes I have are very confusing. If you still reading this your truly are a dear friend of mine because I would of probably left about 5 paragraphs ago. hahaha

The weather has changed in the last few days and I am already dreading ole man winter. Tonight the weather man predicted it will get down to 38 degrees tonight and I know to some of you that is nothing but to this sissy in this old house that is cold.

My plans for this winter was to have my room upstairs finished before it turned cold but it is a long way before I can sleep up there. Hopefully it will not be long. I am so wanting to hide up there this winter. lol

Before I go I encourage you to click on my friends on the side bar under followers. You will enjoy any of these sites.

I have missed doing my Temptation Mondays and was thinking I should do something like that with the holidays coming. Can you believe this is November?

Stay warm, snuggle up and sweet dreams



blueviolet said...

You are making me want to go to a cooking class, eat pork loin, and curl up under a blanket. It's cold here too!

Sue said...

I am the world's worst cook, and I would have had the same trouble at your class without being given a hand-out. But the main thing is that you had fun, right? And the rice sounds wonderful!


Home and Heart said...

Maggie you are such a thoughtful Soul. I hope to find time to have a proper "chat" with you one day soon!!

Sares said...

Your class sounds interesting. That rice DOES sound mighty yummy! Our weather is changing too. The rain heads in tomorrow I'm afraid. I do home you get your warm little nest fixed up soon!

jojo said...

I kinda get what you were telling us about the recipe...enough to give it a try at least!

I've been thinking of you a lot too. I remember this time last year you had about ten followers and look at you! I remember winning the fudge to end all fudge and if I can't win this year then I demand a Christmas gift of some fudge from you...hehe.
Take care sweetpea...I have my surgery on the 15th so keep the good thoughts you..;j

acorn hollow said...

Well it sounds like you enjoyed your class. I love to cook but my thighs show it yikes. And my husband is a bit fussy so it limitsme. He is much better than when we were first married. which was a loooooong time ago. When you cook just go for it except for baking it is all about tasted. It is raining and 40 here so we have the wood stove going. I like winter if I could stay home and snuggle in but I have to work and that means shoveling the steps and scraping the car windows yeck. Have a great day

Kim said...

At least you enjoyed yourself and got to taste some yummy food. They used to have cooking nights at a local grocery store and a gang of us always went. The Chef cooked and we ate. But then the Chef got his knickers in a twist over something and that was the end of it! Oh well!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

It is getting colder at night here to now, Maggie! I don't mind, I actually think I sleep better, but I need to start off warm when I first get in bed. In recent months I've been waking up at like 5:30-6:00, before my clock even goes off. I think I'm starting that dreaded peri-menopause!

I hope the suggestion to have a recipe handout was made. You would think they would do that since it would be very easy to forget to write someething down if you are trying to watch what he's doing and take notes.

Donna said...

My daughter just mentioned that she would like to take a cooking class. We used to go a few years ago to a neighboring town with a fabulous grocery that had them. I tried to contact them and alas, they are no longer having them. We loved going though, so I'm sure you had a great time, confusion and all! They are inspiring to create if nothing else. I am up nights sometimes too so am there with you, sister! Then the next night sleep so well, reason?? Who knows?
And am also there with you about hating winter to come too...and I see it like a locomotive. Yuck!
Well, we'll just have to think of fun things to do...hmmm, like cook!! Have a good weekend, Maggie!!

Arkansas Patti said...

They have a vegan cooking class offered here that I keep meaning to take. I am not vegan but could definintely lean more that way.
I have made a similar rice dish and I do love it.
Spiro Agnew?? Wow is that a name from the past.

Nezzy said...

Good thing Mr. Fan~Me~Now wasn't there after all, ya really wouldn't of gotten anything. Heeehehehe!

The meal and dishes sound amazing. I'm one of those people who can 'taste' a dish and duplicate it. (Please don't hate me 'cause I'm beautiful...Heehee, remember those commercials?) Would he let ya set up a camera to tape the dishes he makes? Just sayin....

I do hope your feelin' better, my prayers are with ya.

God bless and have a fantastic weekend sweetie!!!

Garden of Egan said...

Sounds like a totally fascinating class. I expect to see some fabulous dishes cooked a photoed and displayed on this site.

Garden of Egan said...

Where are they, huh?

I'm still waiting.

I hope you get your room upstairs!

Pat said...

Sounds like a wonderful class. You have the ingredients and quite a few memories of how it was put together...I say go for it. I'll bet it will all work out!

Lisalulu said...

you enjoyed the class, don't worry about explaining it... just enjoy that cooking!!! and making friends. keep warm! and the year will be over before you know it,yikes!

Susan said...

Sounds like fun. That rice dish sounds wonderful. I use nuts in just about every side dish nowadays. And currants or dried cranberries. Sounds like I'm becoming more of a squirrel than ever, eh?
I'm sure the chef is great, but he has been doing it a long time,too.
Love the picture of TB sleeping on your purse.

Tammy said...

I don't know about everyone else, but I always find with the changing of the seasons, the world seems a little off kilter, especially when November rolls around. This past week around here has been very off! One thing after another, either happening to me, or around me. Hope things are better in your corner of the world. Have a great weekend. :) Tammy

Seizing My Day said...

One day I would love to take a cooking course... not one class... a course!! must include desserts!! ha ha!~ anyway... Sounds fun!! and yummy... only the moose ... maybe not?? ;) ps Love the pick of Tinkerbell lying on her back...

My Grama's Soul said...

Hello sweet friend....I think you should track down Mr "Pool Man" and share this recipe with him! (O:(O:
38 degrees..hugh.....gads I would so love know in AZ it is always warm to hot and since I seem to always be warm to really messes with me. LOL

Oh well....good day to you,


Sharon said...

I know what you mean about taking notes. I also have trouble when I get home and try to figure them out.
I do hope you had fun and that rice does sound good also.
If you thought 38 was cold last night try 19 like it was here. We are suppose to warm up this weekend however. YAH!!!

yaya said...

Sounds like it was a fun time even if your notes aren't what you hoped! Cooking classes can be fun and I've taken a few with my friend Donna. The last one I took was a fish class and we tasted all the dishes...then I went home and threw up fish all night. To this day I have trouble thinking about eating fish! Have a good weekend and keep warm... We actually had some snow flakes today only I missed seeing them because we don't have windows in the operating room!

~The Robin's Nest~ said...

Hey Maggie,
Sounds like you are keeping as busy as ever!
Things are going great up here in Washington (thanks for asking.) I'm pretty much raising my grand daughter so she is keeping me on my toes!
I'm glad you got a chance to take a cooking class-I'd like to take a couple of photography classes myself.
Blessings to you,

Sissy said...

My word Maggie, what source of heat do you have? I always assumed Texas would be a snuggly warm place in wintertime. Not so?

Its cold here too, 39, but will drop more - below freezing. Snow, rain and even hail here all day. I don't appreciate it one bit. Age and cold don't mix well. Right?

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

Wow, Maggie, you keep taking these cooking classes and we'll have to start calling you Julia! Hope you can try your pork loins out on the Aqua Man soon (now that doesn't sound too nice, does it?!?!). Tee Hee

Happy Pink Saturday!

Big TX Hugs,
Angelic Accents

Brenda Kula said...

Yep, sure got cold quick! You have more nerve than I do. I would be all thumbs in a cooking class.

Mildred said...

Hi Maggie, Marydon sent me your way! Nice to meet you. I have never attended a cooking class but I bet it was fun.
I'm in GA and our temps have been much cooler this week. Like you, I dread winter (and it really is not so bad here!!!)
Hope you are enjoying the weekend.

Sybil said...

I once went to a cake decorating class...enjoyed it ok but I knew that in my eyes I woudl never be excellent at it so soon gave it the go by !! Like all your followers though it would be good to go to a cooking demonstration, that is where if shorthand was taught it would come in useful..But who could ever decipher these squiggles LOL
Gettig colder here in the UK as well after a really mild start to November. Frost forecast for this week...]
love sybil xx

Cherie said...

I think that it would have been interesting just to see someone butterfly a porkloin correctly.
I have many recipes that call for doing that and I try but I always know I am not doing it totally correct.
I am sure it was interesting to be there soak it all in!

Karen Whittal said...

It is so hard to thing how cold you get, we have nothing like that but number one on my things to do list is see the Northern Lights so one day........ keep warm.... do not get sick....... maybe you should come and vacation here for a month or so............ 34 degrees today.....

NitWit1 said...

I went to a Cooking School sponsored by the local newspaper. I was lost from the first "take one cup of" directions.

I never wwent to any repeat sessions.

We are having similar weather as you. it started at about 36 deg at 6 a.m. and will probably be in the mid 50s the afternoon

HOOTIN' ANNI said...

oh my dear, I do hope you mean mousse?!!! Started out with a creamed moose would take gallons of vodka to get him close to being creamed enough for the stuffing. [just kidding, but I couldn't help myself]....this sounds like a heavenly meal tho, I would've loved to attend.

Thanks for the heads up on what it really entails to make such a special meal. I don't think I'd have the energy any more...just hand ME the vodka...forget the moose/mousse

Celestina Marie Designs said...

Hi Maggie,
Oh I loved your post and it sounds like it was a lot of fun. The rice with the pork is one of my favorites too.
So nice to meet you and I have so enjoyed visiting your lovely and inspiring blog. I came this way via my dear friend Marydon, who I know is about to see you later this week. I live in Texas too, but up in North Texas.
I know you girls are going to have an amazing time. Wish I was there!! I am now a happy follower of you too.

Have a blessed day.
Big Hugs, Celestina MarieXO

Pam said...

It sounds like a great class and a lot of fun. I know exactly what you mean with the notes as sometimes I can never figure out what the heck I meant. It's chilly here too, down in the 20's a couple of nights ago. I am so ready for summer!!!

Sarah @ Sugar Bananas! said...

ehh, even if it was a bit confusing, I'm sure the food was delicious and still well worth the trip :) I'm in TX also and wondering where is this class? I couldn't imagine not having a plan and coming up with that elaborate dish. WOW!

Thanks for sharing!


Midlife Mom said...

It's getting chilly here in the north woods too. I wear my snowmobile jacket when I go walking now! Of course then I get too hot and wish I'd worn something cooler.

I've always wanted to take some cooking classes, seems like I'm always do the same ole same ole but lately I have been trying to branch out and do new things.

Wow! You sure do have lots of readers my friend! Congratulations early as I know you will hit the 500 mark!!

Cottage In The Sun said...

Hi Maggie - your cooking class sounds like fun! Brrr - it's starting to get chillier here, too. But next week should be back up to 80, yay!

Together We Save said...

Sounds like fun... I would love to take a cooking class, I cook, everyday but nothing fancy just basics, I would love to make a couple of amazing dishes.