In town, there is a business called “Uncork and Create“. I’ll make up some of the history but mostly, it started as a place where an artist walks a group of people through doing a painting…everyone does the same painting with their own unique touches. Wine and snacks are welcome and it’s a fairly social gathering. They have since branched out from painting into all sorts of cooking/food classes.
Emily got me a gift certificate to go to one of their classes for Christmas. I am no cook, but I do like wine and sweets, so when I saw that they were offering a class on making chocolate truffles, I decided it was a perfect opportunity to give the place a try!
My class was offered on Valentine’s Day so taking it was either a really good idea or a really bad idea. I figured that if I arrived home with a pile of homemade truffles for my Valentine, I would be off the hook.
They have a local chef prepare a few easy recipes and we dug in with ingredients and kitcheny tools and stuff needed to make our recipes. The chef was a fun woman who was easy going and clearly enjoyed what she was doing. She teased and played and taught us some tricks for proper chocolate coating. There were a number of ingredients she brought so we could customize our truffles also. Several couples attended so I was at the “singles table”. We all agreed to customize our truffles with Grand Marnier orange liqueur. We tasted it and decided it wasn’t flavorful enough so we added more…and more. Well, you get the idea.
Once the truffle ganache is mixed, we had to refrigerate it so it would set up…chef came to our table after a bit and asked us how much hooch we had added to our mix…it turns out our mix was slow to set up…ooops! It wasn’t that much was it?
We finally got everything pulled together and made some really delicious truffles. I guess they aren’t as beautiful as I had hoped but for my first go at it, I was pleased. I had a lot of fun and really enjoyed my time at the event. I won’t be able to make these things too often though or I’ll either be three sheets to the wind or overweight!
My parents were in town this weekend for a visit. They come from someplace north of the Mason-Dixon line where it’s cold and where Yankees live. We never cook at the house when we have guests…not sure why but it just never happens. Typically we eat all sorts of snacks as well and then we fall asleep on the couch – just like Thanksgiving.
Anyhow, when I do cook, one of my new traditions is to cook eggs for the kids and Emily as they prepare for school/work in the mornings. You may remember awhile back when I got Emily a frying pan for Valentines day. It seemed like a reasonable gift to me but it didn’t end well. I think I have learned my lesson though. You see, for her birthday this year, I got her a cast iron skillet. The frying pan was clearly too light and flimsy to suit her…why else would she not like my gift?
I used to cook eggs in the non-stick valentines day pan but I didn’t really like cooking in it. Is it weird to analyze what sort of pan one likes to eggs in? I thought so. Alas, it has to be done. So, I no longer use the valentines day pan for eggs. I tried cooking eggs in the cast iron the first day and it was just absolutely marvelous! It heats so evenly and I can control the temperature just right. If the President ever needed an eggs-only chef, I could do the job! Well, I could do the job if the President only ordered scrambled eggs. Anything else and I am out…
After I cook the eggs, I like to play short order chef…”eggs are up!” I holler every morning. It doesn’t matter if everyone is right beside me. I channel Mel from Mel’s diner every time. It’s cool to clean up too…I just wipe out the pan, add a dollop of butter and put it back on the heat to melt so the pan stays seasoned. The cats love to lick the butter (found that one out the hard way) so I always have to watch the pan and store it in the oven when it cools some.
Aside from the race with the cats, I really like to use Emily’s cast iron birthday pan. As long as I use it, she doesn’t feel the need to place it along-side my head!