Sunday, July 26, 2009


FarmgirlCyn teaching "COOKING ON A DIME".

It's over.
Since asked in March to teach a cooking class at the farm where I have a CSA share, I have been planning, thinking, going over favorite recipes, making lists, sub-lists, crossing things off my lists,...... you name it, I was agonizing over it.
It all came to a head yesterday when I actually got to DO all that I had been detailing.

On Thursday I went to the weekly farm pick-up and got everything they had available for my recipes.
Lots of basil, green onions, kale, cukes, halapenos, green beans, and parsley.
Then I hit the grocers for all the additional ingredients I would need.
The general idea for the class was to use the produce from the farm to create cheap, nourishing, and most of all, tasty meals, adding ingredients from the grocers when necessary.
Because we have had little heat and not so much sun, the farm is not yet producing what we had expected for this time of year.
Virtually no tomatoes are ready yet, and the red peppers are not near ready for picking.
So, we improvised.
The farmers wife, Anja, had bags of frozen heirloom tomatoes that she dug out for our Gazpacho, and we had to get red peppers from the market.

I taught the gals how to roast your own peppers over a gas grill, and we made
Roasted Red Pepper Dip.
I made a hot soup, Minestra, which has 3 bunches of fresh escarole and cannellini beans, with homemade chicken stock.
Gazpacho from the frozen tomatoes and additional ingredients from the grocers.
Homemade mini pizzas with homemade oven roasted tomatoes, roasted peppers, feta, and fresh mozzarella.
Basil Pesto.
Fresh Green Sauce for fish. (especially good over cooked salmon)
Green Beans with Feta.
Kale with Cannellini Beans in a white wine reduction.
And I brought 2 loaves of homemade New York Times No Knead bread.
After all the demonstrations and cooking was over, we all got to sit down and enjoy the fruits of my labor.

There were lots of questions from the 15 gals who signed up, and everyone walked away learning something new. (or so they said!)
(I learned that big block of feta cheese from Costco CAN be frozen in smaller portions, or kept in a salt water brine to stay fresh longer)
I didn't burn anything.
Everything tasted the way it was supposed to.
And it sounded like everyone walked away full and satisfied.
One gal asked if I would teach classes in my home!
(she's never seen my small kitchen!)

I would do it again next year in a heartbeat!

PS I had a huge amount of help from a dear friend, Jenny, who graciously agreed to be my legs for the day. She is the one who was busy at the grill roasting the peppers, watching over the pizzas, and peeling cooled peppers. Whatever I needed, she jumped right in.
With the knee and foot problems I have been having this past year, I don't think I could have done all this w/o some serious help.
Thanks Jenny!

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Carrie of Farming On Faith said...

Oh it sounds like a wonderful day. I think you need to put your feet up!
Happy Lord's Day~

Old Centennial Farmhouse said...

Gosh, Cindy, it all sounds wonderful! And you look SO CUTE in your apron with your pretty beaded jewelry! Sounds like a fun day but I bet you are so relieved to be done with it!

Maria said...

Wow! I would eat everything on the menu! You must be a great cook, Cyn! How rewarding to have all your planning turn out so well.
I agree with Joni... You're definitely sooooo cute in your apron and fabulous jewelry! *Love the necklace*
It sounds like you not only *looked the part* of teacher... You performed the role to a 'T'

Pam said...

What a fun class and delicious food. Everything sounds great.

cityfarmer said...

you may have found your calling....wanna see more pictures, please

Any chances for more classes this fall?

it's so darn hard to balance summer and blogging ...I'm out to change that today!!!!

Faith said...

Oh, your class sounds like terrific fun and that everyone learned a lot. I love times of sharing what we all know.

Who knows, maybe someday it will be hip to toss out our cell phones and IPODS and get back out in the fields with our neighbors?

....... well, a girl can dream, right? LOL

I second the 'more pictures' request. :)


Catherine Anne said...

Great Post

A Big Bowl Of Cherries said...

You are so funny. I just gave a you a hand now and then. You were wonderful! Move over Rachel ray! And I made my family those pizzas Sunday, too. They asked if we could have those on Friday's instead of ordering out :)

Aunt Jenny said...

How fun!! I bet you did a wonderful job. I am sure the farmer was thrilled with your class. And those dishes sound yummy!!!!

More than Survival said...

Way Cool!! I would LOVE to take your class... too bad we aren't closer!!! I just had my FIRST garden tomato yesterday, so I know what ya mean.....
Thanks for your kind and encouraging words.. Thank you!!!

Lori said...

Oh, I would have had a ball at a cooking class! :)
I'm so glad you commented on my I could find yours. :) I thoroughly enjoyed visiting and looking at your pictures. Michigan Lake sounded like loads of fun.