Yes, you read that right.
As part of my Creative Endeavor Year of 2012, I am pursuing my passions for teaching, guiding, cooking and travel... by offering cooking courses!
I have been ever so excited about this since January, but managed to keep mum as I planned, prepared, and conducted two trial runs, one with friends, one with friends-of-friends whom I didn't know (I hosted strangers!).
Both trial runs went very well, and my lovely guinea pigs gave me great feedback for how to tweak this or that aspect, which I have incorporated into my menu and planning process. I am SO READY.
a little obsessed with it last year? Well, it didn't go away. Apparently I'm marked for life.
And it's not just Scotland. While I had a marvelous time pouring over books of Scottish cultural history and traditional receipt-books, I am just as excited to do the same for other locales I have visited and have some connection with, such as Turkey, Ireland, France, and let's not forget... Italy! (coming soon)
But for now, it's Scotland. The menu reflected traditional peasant cuisine, with some shortcuts for practicality and taste.
Vegetable Accompaniments: 'Neeps and Tatties,' Fresh Green Salad
Main Course: Herring Sauteed in Oatmeal
Dessert: Millionaire's Shortbread
The shortcuts, you will observe, involve the toppings for the oatcakes, and the millionaire's shortbread (a bit of an anachronism when considered in context with the other dishes, but I didn't hear anyone complaining).
I was aiming for good, peasant food that used some different ingredients and techniques than the ones we are used to here in the U.S.
I searched out local, seasonal, organic ingredients, and got most of the way there on most of the dishes (let me know when the eastern U.S. gets back in the sugar business, though). All in all, it's been a thrilling and rewarding experience to be able to pass on some knowledge learned about a place I love and a cuisine I am very much interested in. Win-Win, all the way.
And so, I am putting out the good vibes to all you who may stop to read here from time to time. Do you know people who live in D.C. that are interested in cooking and travel? Do you live in D.C? Are you looking for something to do on a weeknight other than go out to eat or get Thai take-out?
I would love to host you and your friends, or you and your soon-to-be friends, for an evening of cooking, baking, learning, and of course... EATING! Because let's not forget the primacy of the eating experience, and that it is what brings us together so often, in so many ways. Mangia!
If you're interested, email me at Margaret's email or twitterpate me at @tastelifetwice where I like to pass on others' great content on food, life, and travel as well.
See you here (subscribe by feed / email) & there (Twitter)!