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29 April 2008

YUM!

I attended my second cooking class last night.  We're each given a hand-out with the menu and the recipes; I tend to take notes, scribble and spill all over mine.  The last word I wrote last night was: YUM.

This time we explored the Emelia Romagna region of Italy -- Parma, Bologna, and Modena!  The menu included Parmesan Dumpling Soup, Balsamic Beet Salad, Fettucine with Parmesan & Proscuitto, Rigatoni Bolognese, Pine Nut Crumb Cake, and Strawberries with Balsamic -- the strawberries served atop the cake (=YUM).

These classes let me indulge a couple of desires to a very small degree... I love the idea of someone preparing a feast for me... and if I imagine that the room is full of my family and friends... and we're outside, instead... outside in Italy... in a vineyard... or overlooking the Mediterranean... I'm almost there... the sun is shining, the air is filled with stories, laughter, happiness... the wine is flowing... the food is...

Ah, the food is... life, a gift, essential, gastronomic, colorful, earthy, rich, symbolic, everyday, smooth, crusty... delicious.

I've watched two movies in the past few months that featured feasts -- the wonderful, festive sharing; Mostly Martha and Antonia's Line.  I'm interested in others... suggestions, anyone?

I think the Balsamic Beet Salad will be my contribution to our Mother's Day celebration this year.  I won't be able to survive much longer without the crumb cake and strawberries, though, so maybe that, too.  Pictures shall soon follow.

Balsamic Beet Salad

2 lbs. fresh beets with greens
1 red onion, slivered
4 oz. gorgonzola cheese, cubed
2 oz. fresh basil, chiffonade*
1 cup balsamic vinegar (not balsamic-flavored vinegar)
salt & white pepper, as needed
1 lb. baby lettuce or mixed greens

Leave a bit of the tops on the beets and boil them in their skins until cooked, approx. 20 minutes.  Drain; rinse in cold water until cool enough to handle, or allow to cool slowly.  Trim the beets, rub skins and peel.  Slice for salad.  Add red onion, gorgonzola, basil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.  Serve atop a small bit of the lettuce.

*What isn't on the internet?  Chiffonade a la YouTube:

P.S.  The cotton knitting on huge needles is killing my arm.  I've been taking some breaks, trying not to over do it.  I must start Mack's sweater with the truck on it -- maybe mixing it up with some cotton knitting on smaller needles will work.  Let us hope.

Comments

Now I'm hungry for lunch. I think I have a hankering for pasta. I wonder why?

Oh, that sounds yummy! I make a roasted beet salad, with balsamic and goat cheese- one of my favorite combos ever! Toss on some very ripe pears... delish!

I spent my honeymoon in Italy, and had a few very memorable meals under the stars... heavenly!

Movie-feast recs- Big Night, Chocolat, Like Water for Chocolate, and Under the Tuscan Sun.

I owe you an email - or better yet - hopefully we'll talk tomorrow. Glad to hear the weekend went well!

And of course Babette's Feast.
Big Night made me want to try Timpano, which I have bookwmarked but haven't made yet.
It all sounds delicious!

I was going to recommend Babette's Feast and I wanted to ask for the beet salad...thanks for that. The other recipe I'd love is the pine nut crumb cake...oh my! Yum, indeed!

God that sounds so yummy! This class sounds like a great treat for you.

I agree with Big Night, Chocolat and Like Water for Chocolate although I have to say one of my all time feast movies (and visually gorgeous) is Eat Drink Man Woman - GREAT flick.

Will have to try your salad - I LOVE beets and with gorgonzola....wow!

I highly recommend the movie "chocolat" for the Birthday feast (not to mention Johnny Dep, Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, and Alfred Moline together in one fantastic film)

between your cooking classes and the food blogs I stalk I'm getting mighty hungry for a decent meal.

I can't wait to make that salad. Thanks!

That does sound good! I usually just slice the cooked beets and toss them with a bit of raspberry vinegar and some olive oil, but this sounds better.

I have made a similar beet salad... it is so yummy!

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