Wish you were here

Hi ladies and gents!

I’m just stopping in quickly to say that I’m so thankful for the friendship, encouragement, kind comments, and constructive criticism you all have offered me over the past few months! The blogging experience has been full of surprises for me, and the network of people that regularly read and comment and engage in conversation with me is simply amazing. If I think about it too much, my brain starts to hurt. With a good kind of pain.

Today is going to be a whirlwind of fun and frolicking: I’m cutting out of work early today, and will soon be making a massive grocery store trip with Cassia to get all the supplies for our cooking class tonight. Mr. Dominick’s, beware! A 2-woman tornado will soon be touching ground at your store! And if there happens to be a cheese-sampling station, watch out–I stalk those things. It’s my version of smoking behind the barn.

With our groceries (and skillets and knives and Dutch ovens and microplane) loaded into Cassia’s car, we’ll be heading to Traci’s house, where our mission is to cook and photograph the Roasted Red Pepper soup and Fruit Pizza components (to be assembled later) before everyone arrives at 6:30 pm.

Here’s a peak at our practice run from last Saturday–Cassia is about to put together the Fruit Pizza.

Isn’t it beautiful?

So let’s be honest–the Fruit Pizza gets a little ugly once the red syrup goes on.

But as long as it’s delicious, who cares?

The Roasted Red Pepper soup is so creamy and satisfying . . .

It’s topped with lime cilantro sour cream and broiled corn. Oh joy. And I promise to photograph it again in a non-yellow bowl. Maybe even a non-chipped non-yellow bowl–but let’s not go hog-wild here, folks.

Part of the process we’ll be teaching people tonight is how to beat up a chicken.

But this chicken was really asking for it, so it’s okay. See all those bruises? They’re an intrinsic part of the roasting process.

Just kidding! It’s an olive tapenade, rubbed under the skin. Hideous, but oh-so-good. I’ll have to find a photogenic way to present it when I officially share the recipe with all y’all. Because as it is, looking at that picture is actually subtracting from my hunger quotient.

Oooh, a new weight-loss technique! Whenever you get hungry, just look at that ugly olive chicken picture and you’ll never feel like eating again. Hunh. I stand to make millions.

Anyway, once we get to Traci’s, we should probably lay out groupings of ingredients and the implements needed for each dish in advance so that I’m not scavenging in the fridge for a sprig of rosemary at the last minute while everyone looks down at my crouched and contorted form, doing earnest battle with the crisper drawer with one hand and tugging at the back of my jeans so that they remain appropriately hitched up with the other. It’s these new cuts of jeans, people! Sometimes they don’t stay up all by themselves! Does anyone else have this problem? Bueller?

Knives and cutting boards will be laid out, snack food and drinks both available and out of the way, recipe packets ready to be handed to each lady–we are going to be ready.

I can’t wait to create this creamy polenta . . .

Okay, I’m hungry again.

Hi Cassia! Can’t wait to see you in a couple hours! And thanks for doing so many dishes at my house! Maybe you should come over more often.

Anyway, friends, I just want to add that I wouldn’t be teaching this class if it weren’t for this blog that chronicles my cooking adventures . . . and I wouldn’t be writing this blog if it weren’t for your presence, support, and kindness. So–thank you! To each and every one of you–my silent readers and my regular commenters and my sporadic commenters and that weird person who ended up on my blog after googling “wrestling mud twinks.”

To that weird person: I hope you enjoyed the pictures of my mother wrestling a pig in the mud–and I also hope you find whatever it is you’re truly looking for.

I wish you all were here in Chicago for our shindig this evening–and if you decide to magically travel through time and space, appearing on Traci’s doorstep in a whirlwind of pink and purple sparks, I promise to feed you delectable treats and roasted chickens up the wazoo.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend–and Monday the first cooking class recipe (the Shredded Brussel Sprouts) will be up and running!

30 thoughts on “Wish you were here

    1. Jenna

      If you and Vessie you instantaneously appear, seriously, that would be amazing. Can you quickly get in touch with Harry Potter and learn a couple spells or something?

  1. Sarah K.

    I can’t wait for tonight! I’ve been looking forward to it all week. Don’t worry, Sarah R., I’ll make sure that there will be heckling. I do it out of love, Jenna. Heckling helps one stay at the top of one’s game. 🙂

      1. Sarah K.

        Shoot! I was so busy eating that I totally forgot to heckle!! hmmph. That just means you’ll have to do another class. 🙂

      2. Jenna

        Haha, you’re right–there was a complete absence of heckling! (yesssss!) And I think you should do a baking class and I’ll take up the mantle of heckling.

  2. Joanne

    Oh yay! I didn’t realize you were teaching a cooking class, but that is SO awesome! you picked some fantabulous recipes. That polenta alone has me drooling.

  3. Carol Ann Hoel

    Enjoy your cooking class. You should be good at it. You’ve been doing it on your blog for a while. I always learn from your cooking posts.

    That wrestling pig in mud thing was amazing! AMAZING!


  4. erica

    yum. i am salivating, and calculating the hour difference from alaska to see if it would be possible to eat these things tonight. i think not. but they look so good!! and i’ve been craving polenta and made a horrible batch before coming here that only left me craving good polenta more!!! whatever shall i do????

  5. Veronica

    Aw, I’m glad to be one of your readers! You are, seriously, the best blog writers b/c you’re always entertaining, no matter what your subject, and you are able to draw the reader in to care about things that happen in your life, even if we don’t know you. You don’t go on too long, and you punctuate the posts with lots of beautiful pics so that we’re always eager to come back for more! You’ve got a gift, girl, and I’m glad you share it with us! Have fun tonight!

  6. Mads

    Do we have to be in the cooking class to get a recipe for that soup? It looks delicious and I just bought some peppers.
    Seriously, I’m even drooling despite the chicken 😉


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *