Friday, May 15, 2009

Another Season of Cooking Classes Comes to an End

This week marked the end of my scheduled classes for the season, although I'm still booked up for a couple months for custom cooking classes. This past week I ran the African class, where we prepared a dish from North, East, South & West Africa. We also attempted a 'replica' injera, the sour-ish, crepelike thin pancake bread used as the eating vessel for the wonderful curries. It is a replica recipe because true injera is made from 'teff' flour.

Teff is a tiny, millet-like (or maybe just a tiny millet grain?) grain, not grown in North Amercia. It is mixed into a batter & allowed to ferment, thus, giving it its characteristic sour flavour. It is cooked up like a crepe, yielding a soft, spongy thin pancake. The replica, although similar in appearance, tasted nothing like the true injera (surprised?); we used whole wheat/rye flour mixed with unbleached flour, with baking soda as the leavening. I had previously made a Nalysnyky recipe where the texture of the crepe was very similar to injera, & it had used baking powder as the leavening. So, for the 2nd class, I thought it would better to use b. powder, & use a little buttermilk in place of the liquid (club soda). Baking is truly chemistry - it turns out the presence of eggs was critical in the Nalysnyky recipe, which I did not use for the Injera. Let's just say...........culinary disaster. I quickly whipped up the original version & we finally had some injera to eat!

Anyway, the injera moment, & the 1st occurence of a married couple each cutting themselves (& bleeding) within about 10 minutes of each other, marked the highlights of the last class.

I've already got the Fall's class listings sketched out (sorry, no hints!). Because the classes have been filling up so rapidly, I will be offering less types of classes, but with more sessions of each class to sign up for.

The other difference you will see is that the classes will be prepaid electronically upon registration. If people are unable to attend a class that they've registered for, an alternate person could be sent in their place, or they could place their name on another class list.

So, with that, thank you to everyone who attended my classes this past year - I truly enjoy doing them, & your feedback and many repeated attendances always reassure me that I have chosen the right path in my life! :) I look forward to seeing you all again in the Fall. Come by my stall & say 'hi' if you're at the Market over the summer!

Michelle Zimmer
Wild SerendipityFoods

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