Friday, April 11, 2008

Things to Do on a Rainy Night!

And the rain came! It has rained close to 3' in the last couple of days. There are flash flood warning out for low lying areas and along streams and rivers. Thankfully we don't have to worry as we are in a safe area. The thing I do have to keep an eye on is our sump pump in the basement. So far, bless it's heart, it is keeping up!

Thursday evening, my daughter to me to my very first Italian Cooking Class. She signed us up a couple of months ago through the continuing education program in Champaign, IL. Wow! We had so much fun.

The 'chef' greeted us at the door with a traditional kiss on both cheeks. the other greeting...wonderful aromas. You probably don't know this about me, but I could eat pasta 3 times a day, 7 days a week! So this was like heaven.

We were split into little groups, each one making a course. We were in the cake making group. The cake, Cornmeal Rosemary Cake with Balsamic Syrup, was very easy to put together. I'll admit I was a little wary. The fresh rosemary smells wonderful, so different from the dried I use. Other groups made Ricotta Crostini, an appetizer with anchovy fillets. This was pretty good, although very spicy, and when Carlo (the chef) tasted it, he quickly checked the recipe! Seems there was a typo and 3 tablespoons of pepper was listed instead of 3 teaspoons! After drinking lots of water, our taste buds returned to normal!

Other groups made Pasta Al Forno a baked dish, and Farfalle with Prosciutto and Green Peas. We call the pasta bow tie, but in Italian Farfalle means Butterfly. There was also Arugula with Red Wine and Mustard Vinaigrette, and another desert Orange and Nut Squares made with package sugar cookie dough.

Carlo put together a booklet filled with information from knives and how to use them to emergency substitutions, to Italian words and how they are translated. He told us of his love for cooking, "cooking, like love should be entered with abandon or not at all!" and "a table is like the street, always room for one more!".

We loved the food, the company we were in and of course the Chef! The 3 hours flew by, and we were sorry to end it. At the end, we all received our diploma. The good news is, he does one of these 3 times a year and always changes his menu. We are definitely going back for more classes.

Cucina Amore!!


Lisa at Greenbow said...

This sounds like a blast Beckie. Wish I could go with you sometime. I love Italian food.

Nancy J. Bond said...

Sounds like a great way to spend an evening.

beckie said...

Lisa, Any time! We'd love to have you.

Nancy, it was fun made so even more by getting to spend time with my daughter!

Beth said...

What fun! and so nice to have shared it with your daughter. Eating yummy Italian food is a good way to pass the rainy days. Stay dry.

beckie said...

Beth, you are so right about spending time with my daughter. She is so busy with work and family and all though she lives fairly close, we don't get a lot of alone time. It has quit raining for now but more is expected. That's okay, I'd rather have rain than a drought!

Rose said...

My eyes must be tired--when I first saw the photo I thought you were in the emergency room! I'm glad you were having fun instead. Sounds like you had a great time, except for the 3 T. of pepper.

bec said...

Mama Mia! What a great class that must have been. My 12 year old son would love to eat pasta for EVERY meal too. Sorry to hear about the pepper though.
also... glad to hear your basement is staying dry. We are expecting some rain here tonight... I'm hoping our sump pump keeps running. One time it burned out and we had to form a bucket brigade. It was NOT fun.

Mary said...

Oh, gosh, Beckie. My husband is Italian and the cuisine is too tempting. Just tonight, I sat at the dinner table and said, "I need to stop eating. Period. I've outgrown my elastic waiste pants."

And then you talk about pasta.

Thanks a lot!



jodi said...

Sounds like a perfect project for a rainy night. I hope the sumppump is holding and the rains have settled--that's a situation I"m familiar with. And Beckie, thank you for your kind words about the week I've had. It's getting better, thanks in part to my kind blogging buddies.

Cheryl said...

Hi Beckie....Have been trying to get thru to you since last playing up!!!
I love pasta to it is one of my favourites. What a lovely three hours spent, aren't you the lucky one.
I love cooking so can understand your enthusiasm.
If I lived next door you could have as many fresh herbs as you want, I grow loads. You would have to give me a piece of banana loaf in exchange though!!!

Amy said...

What fun! I love Italian food.

WiseAcre said...

I'm glad you had fun. I've had a preview what happens when they come to visit and turn on the cooking channel. I swear they will look for anything that lists at least 3 ingredients that I don't like before they decide to try a recipe. If they can't find one they'll make one up. I'm left making a sandwich and then get to clean up the diaster area when they leave.

The good news is they cook up a great holiday feast at their homes and afterwards wheel me out to the car in the wheelbarrow.

beckie said...

Rose, no ER this time! But fun-yes!

Bec, hope your sump pump holds out and the rain stops!

Mary, I know what you mean about clothes, even my sweat pants have shrunk!

Jodi, we could all do with less rain and more sun right now. Hope your week will be better.

Cheryl, I have decided to make an herb garden(of sorts) in a big pot by my back door. Those fresh herbs are wonderful! Thank you for the offer.

Amy, we pasta lovers should get together for a feast!

Wiseacre, I'm glad you like their holiday meals. But new foods are such an adventure