HIgh summer. Some fog, some heat, some more fog. Fantastic fruits and vegetables in the market, from our warmer neighbors a bit farther inland. Fun classes and a very special event on our calendar. Summer camp heading into it’s final two week session. A busy time, but we have lots going on to pique your interest!
We are happy to offer lots of classes taught by our summer camp teachers and regular instructors. Every year, our camp parents express a wistful desire to come to camp too, so we’ve arranged these classes to allow parents and the public a chance to work with our talented camp staff.
Cheryl Beere, who is currently co-teaching our Restaurant Cook! camp has a special International Vegetarian Cooking class this Thursday night — there are still some spots in the class, and it’s menu includes selections spanning the globe, from Mexico to Bali to Spain, Turkey, Morocco and India. Cheryl’s vegetarian dishes are so good, they might convert you.
Shy Leong will share his expertise with his native cuisine. Cuisines of Malaysia is scheduled for Wednesday, the 15th of August. Savoring the Fresh Catch on the Straits of Malacca, the next Wednesday, the 22nd. Shy has extensive experience as an executive chef and a teacher, and his food is simply delicious, and very different from what you’ll find in restaurants.
Amie Bailey, who taught our Advanced Baking camp and expertly coached the kids through such subjects as custards, sauces, cakes, and laminated doughs (croissants, Danish), is offering two classes as well. Happy Birthday to You on Sunday, August 19th, will take participants step by step though the production of their own gorgeous, delicious, decorated cake. Savory Baking on September 9th concentrates on dishes “more main dish than second fiddle,” working with the wonderful September harvest to make dinner-party worthy dishes.
We’re welcoming a new teacher as well, sushi chef Kaz Matsune, who will teach you everything you want to know about making and eating sushi on Sunday, August 26th. I’ve had many requests for a sushi class, so this is your opportunity!
Our quarterly knife sharpening class on September 10th is also a sure winner, as the first step to becoming a good cook is learning how to keep your knives sharp, and Eric E. Weiss is just the guy to teach you!
Rosetta Costantino is back from Italy, and presenting new classes as well. Most are already sold out, but Homemade Pasta from Calabria on Friday, August 24th, still has some space.
We’re into week seven of our eight-week summer, and rather than a lot of words, I thought a few wonderful pictures of our happy cooks would let you know exactly how camp is going.
In the Market
We say a fond good-bye to local cherries and apricots, although you can get luscious ones from Washington in the stores. The northern cherries at least will stretch on into the month before they are finished. Tomatoes are fantastic right now, and will only get better as the summer moves towards autumn, and peppers like the little Padrone, delicious sauteed in a little olive oil and salted, are all over the markets as well. Try my Hungarian Style Stuffed Pepper recipe sometime, they’re a treat made with the thin-walled yellow Hungarian peppers you’ll also find; the red lipstick peppers are just starting to show up, too. There’s so much produce, I’m not going to list it all, you’ll have to go to a market and try some bites of Armenian cucumbers, early Red Flame grapes, juicy stone fruit, crunchy green beans. Some of the more interesting items I’ve recently found are fresh black eyed peas, which take only a few minutes to cook (after, of course, you’ve zipped them out of their shells), fresh cannellini beans, which take a bit longer, maybe 10 minutes or so, and rhubarb. Beware, if you’re baking with rhubarb, that leaves must be discarded, as they are quite toxic.
Tomato Farm Tour
If you’d like to visit a farm, Bradley Gates’ Wild Boar Farms is hosting three separate tomato tour and tasting days, complete with catered gourmet lunches, on August 12th, 19th and 26th. The farm has an astounding variety of tomatoes, with over 12,000 organic plants. Visit their stand at the Saturday Grand Lake Market for some inspiring tastes.
Recipe of the Month
It’s definitely melon season. The farmer’s market stands are handing out ambrosial tastes of an astounding variety of melons. Just keeping the names straight, or guessing what color the inside will be based on the skin, can be tough. I have a new favorite every time I taste, and I’d encourage you to branch out from the store-bought cantaloupes and honeydews, and try a few. One of the simplest and most elegant dishes using melons is to pair the fruit with a few shavings of good Parma prosciutto or Serrano ham. It’s a classic, but I like to venture just a bit further and garnish it a bit. Try my take on this light but elegant and complex salad, and see what you think!