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 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.