Class turned out to be both more and less than I expected* Recovering from the initial anxiety, I showed up at a stranger's home and read my piece, Consider Chopped, out loud. Six pairs of eyes stared at me blankly. No one, it seemed, had ever watched the show.
At least there was wine.
But then, despite their evident confusion and concern about why I was stifling a case of the giggles as I spoke, they gave me feedback that made my work better**.
I think it was kind of like that for everyone. The range of sensibilities in the small room was huge, and it was an effortful thing, the writing about food. Talking about food, though, was easy.
It makes perfect sense then, that almost as soon as class ended, someone planned a five course dinner party reunion.
Jess' spectacular cool, creamy and spicy avocado soup (recipe below)
Amelia's light and summery Arugula Salad with Parmesan, heirloom tomatoes, homemade croutons, and lemon vinaigrette.
Keitha's meltingly tender Pan-Seared Salmon in a Sorrel Cream Sauce (recipe, from Daniel Boulud's Cafe Boulud Cookbook, is here)
Catie's marvelous cheese course
We may never write together again, but I sure hope we get together again.
* More earnest reading about oysters and making dinner out of weeds, and a lot less snacks. I did enjoy Consider the Lobster, by David Foster Wallace, and the one week we had cake. The best part for me was the directed short in-class writing time. Most of Cherry Blossom Picnics was written during a 15 minute exercise on food memories.
** You can read it here.
*** Keitha, our hostess and a wine aficionado herself, invited a fellow wine expert Alexander, of The Maverick Palate, to do pairings with the meal. Words like "chalky" and "zingy" were used by many people (Not me. I used, "yummy"). Alexander has posted the wine list, some great photos, and notes on the evening here.