Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I could KICK myself!!

Seriously, where did my brain go?  I could have had a very fun blog post for you today.  But nooooo, someone (me) didn't think to take any damn pictures!

The reason for the pictures?  I taught my first cooking class today.  I had three lovely Japanese ladies over and we cooked chicken piccatta and fettucine alfredo, made a salad and also strawberry shortcake for dessert.  I could have had some great pictures!! Darn darn darn.  Next time right?  Hopefully they will take me up on another lesson in the near future.

One of my regular students, a sweet lady who looks like she is in her late forties but I suspect she is probably 10 years older than that (Japanese women do not age at all)- Yoko, told her friends that I offer cooking classes.  So our last meeting she tells me she is bringing two friends for a cooking lesson.  Of course that stumped me.  I mean- I WANTED to teach cooking, and even put that on my business card, but I hadn't actually TAUGHT a class yet!  Of course I did not tell her that, though it would have been hard to make her understand anyway.

Easy enough, we decided on chicken- which she was going to provide as I can't find any good fresh chicken breasts around here.  Today she brought me fresh chicken she picked up this morning.  She asked the meat department to remove the skin since I told her skinless, boneless.  They wrapped it up with several ice packs.  I asked if that was the norm and the ladies told me yes.  Can you imagine the big chain groceries stores in the States doing that?

Oh wait!!  I can show you some pictures!  It won't be of the class, and the cute aprons they brought with them to wear, but the goodies they left behind...


Sweetio bananas.  It sounds like someone making a poor attempt at Spanish.

I love how the orange even gets his own little foamie jacket.

My favorite- pineapple- it's really good here.

What could be in the bag?

C'est le pan! (Did I say that right?  I only took one year of French...)

Le clean up.

What I learned:
a. I need to give myself more time for a thorough scrub down of the kitchen.  I was up until midnight last night giving everything a good shine.

b. I need to be SURE I have used that recipe before.  I have a binder with recipes that I have used before.  I must have accidentally put in a recipe from Food.com for chicken picatta.  I had not actually used THAT particular recipe.  As it turns out, it was a professional chef's recipe that had been scaled down for home cooking.  Hence the 2 cups of flour were NOT needed to coat the 4 chicken breasts.  The ladies gasped audibly when I threw out the left over flour (almost 2 cups worth).  But at that point I can't keep it as it had been in contact with RAW chicken.  Also I did not need all that olive oil- big waste there as well.  The chicken didn't even turn out that great.  The sauce was delicious, but the chicken was dry.  I may have overcooked it a bit though...

c. I need to go through my Japanese etiquette book again.  I think I should have served Yoko before her friends, but where she was seated I kept getting her last.  I am not sure?  I felt like a blundering idiot.

d. Itadekimas!  It is what you say before you eat.  It means- "it's a feast".

e. Teaching cooking is FUN!  Though it doesn't go like the shows because they don't show people sitting around waiting for noodles to boil.  Seriously, it was fun setting everything up.  They loved all my American gadgets (read- my KitchenAid and my Pampered Chef tools.)  And they were fasciniated by my big oven and the fact I have a dish washer.  Man- we Americans are spoiled for the most part eh?

f. I really really really need need need a DSLR.  Think of the beautiful pictures I could have taken (unlike the iPhone pics shown above.)

g. Be prepared for LOTS of dishes afterward.  Brother came home, saw the huge mess, and asked what had I been doing??

h. Left-overs!  It's what I live for.  No cooking tonight baby!


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