This past Saturday, I got to cook for about 24 people at Green Gate Gourmet in Pinehurst, North Carolina. I’m not a particularly fabulous cook, but it was a lot of fun. The folks who came to the demo were all very friendly and welcoming; I told them that I’d never done anything like that before in my life…and its a really good thing I didn’t claim to be Julia Child.
I’m pretty sure Julia Child or Mario Battali or Anthony Bourdain or even the monkey in the circus with two left thumbs wouldn’t forget to bring garlic. But I did. I had to stop for garlic on my way to teach people to cook.
The second wonderful thing that happened: the spout came off my bottle of olive oil while I was making bruschetta and dumped a tanker-load of oil into the bowl. There was nothing to do but laugh and add more tomatoes. And peppers. And salt. And basil. And balsamic.
…and then I discovered that I forgot the phyllo dough cups for the herbed goat cheese in my freezer. Thankfully, Georganne and the Green Gate girls came to my rescue with crackers, so that worked out, too.
We were having so much fun in the first class, that we went half an hour over our time. And even with the extra half an hour, I still didn’t get to the brie. Amazing moment of the class: the only kiddo to come, an eleven year old beauty who sat at the end of the counter and had been my special helper all through class, wanted her picture taken with me. Me! How insane is that!? I let her hold my knife and her mom snapped the pic and I felt like a celebrity for a minute. That’s one of those moments that I don’t think will ever, ever, ever in all my life be forgotten.
…and then it was time to do dishes and get ready for the next class. The 2nd class was packed, standing room only. I did get to the brie for this class, though, and everyone was really kind. The hot chocolate was a huge success, the Grown-Up Grilled Cheese sandwiches were snarfed down as fast as I could get them from the pan…
…and I only over-cooked the crustini a little. …okay, a little more than a little. …okay, kind of a lot, but there was enough butter on them, that no one cared.
Let that be a lesson to you: butter and hot chocolate cover a multitude of culinary sins.
I wore my birthday pearls and my favorite apron and used my favorite knife and made some of my favorite things. It was magical for me. I was complimented and applauded and hugged and smiled upon and joked with and it was amazing.
And then someone from the first class beamed at me, someone who’d been to cooking school and actually knew more about what I was saying than I did. She smiled at me and said, “Julia would be proud.”