I had really planned on making only one entry for our cooking classes, but there’s just too much to share. And besides, it is worthy of its own entry.
Eric is a big user of Trip Advisor and found info about this cooking school & class schedule and several of the options appealed to us. This entry is about the first one he scheduled. It begins with a trip to a nearby market and then cooking a meal with your purchases. ‘Nearby’ is a loose term…….the walking is all up hill. Our teacher, Lucy shared a few tips before getting there.
There are a variety of sellers in the market and locating signs like the ones seen below indicate a closer relationship to the produce. There’s nothing wrong with purchasing from others, and that’s how retail works, but it’s always nice to support local efforts.
The produce photos seen first are items that we used for our meal. Since we both love outdoor markets, I had waaaay too many photos from the market. At the bottom of the blog I threw in lots of other photos from the market, ones that interested me but we didn’t use that produce in our cooking class.
I was able to capture Lucy and Eric during our trip through the vendors.
A few additional purchases were made for our ‘snack’ during our day of cooking. Dried sausage and cheese purchases were a must.
And then the fun began. We got back to Lucy’s teaching kitchen, unwrapped our purchases and began the prep.
Eric was in charge of washing some of the veggies and ensuring that all of the sand and soil were removed.
Lucy was very good at bringing in everyone to the class, tasking us each with duties throughout the day. One of my tasks was cutting the bread for our snack.
But the star (at least for the moment), was the actual snack! Starting upper left was the dried sausage, followed by radishes (split cross-wise at the tip, place a dab of butter into the cuts, then sprinkled with salt – OMG), green plums (green only in color, not ripeness), figs with one of our earlier cheese purchases and fresh raspberries.
Alas, I didn’t get a photo of the bread I cut and slathered with a spicy spread. Oh well, it was very tasty. So a few things to note………normally the plums, figs and raspberries were items I would have been indifferent to – OMG. They were absolutely delicious and full of flavor. Things grow better in France – just saying.
Lucy wrote our menu on her chalkboard, but I discovered later I never got a shot of our entire menu, only when she started writing it out.
Soup was the first thing we made to eat. It was composed of squash, chestnuts and mushrooms. Eric used an immersion blender for our base of the soup while the mushrooms were lightly sauted.
It was very tasty.
We roasted some small cherry & grape tomatoes that went along with…..
—–our purchase of a pork loin from the market. After searing the pork, it was put in the oven to cook, then basted with Dijon mustard before being rolled in herbs from this morning’s purchase.
I missed so many steps with my photos. 😦 We made this fabulous sauce by sautéing onions and then adding herbs (and butter of course) before blending it together, which become the base plating of our meal.
The herb-encrusted pork is sitting on fingerling potatoes, which accompanied the roasted cherries and herbed onion sauce.
What meal is complete without a dessert? Plums from that morning’s purchase turned into a lovely tart.
No French meal is complete without a cheese course, of which some were from the morning’s market purchases.
While I haven’t mentioned our cooking buddies, they were part of the overall great experience. Four ladies from Hong Kong (Jacqueline, Helen, Mandy & Margaret) took a French language course and have since planned numerous trips to France to continue their language skills.
Suffice to say, we really enjoyed the class, the meal and the company during the day while we cooked and learned more about French cuisine.
Now, here are my random photos from the market trip. First the fruits & veggies.
Which are being followed by various meat & associated products.
And of course I had to include photos of flowers.
Oh my goodness the cheeses.
It was just a really good day filled with all of the things we like best.