Are you tired of hearing about my weekend with the Pioneer Woman yet?
It’s only taken me a month to spit it all out.
This is the next to last installment, and I am lumping together accounts of what amounted to a treasure trove of food.
The very first night we were hit up the side of the head with her chocolate sheet cake, which we devoured warm from the oven.
For anyone who doubts the existence of this woman, let me reaffirm that we watched her whip up this cake with our own two eyes.
And she served me a piece with her own two hands.
Here, Jenna–have a piece of chocolate cake. I insist!
Why thanks, P-Dub. I think I’ll have seconds.
It was delightful for breakfast as well. I speak from experience.
The next day chefs Lia and Tiffany whipped up some toffee.
Whipped, whipped, whipped. I can’t stop using that verb, but it’s a perfect description of what these women did in the kitchen. They made it look so easy. However, just to avoid an F– on my English composition scores, I think I should come up with a synonym for ‘whipped.’ Let’s make one up. How about ‘zaboomed’ or ‘razzifrazzed’.
You can click here for the toffee recipe–you won’t be sorry.
And then Lia showed us how to make truffles.
It was all very scientific, with tons of useful facts. This woman knows her chocolate, what makes it fall apart, what makes it get that weird chalky white color sometimes, and what makes it go ‘zing.’ But all I can remember is that she tests the temperature of her tempered chocolate by touching some to the point under your lips where your chin begins. Apparently it’s a very heat-sensitive spot. Next time I’ll take notes. Though wait–there will be no next time! *weeping into sleeve* Oh well, I’ll console myself by making the truffles by myself and talking to my imaginary friend the P-Dub as if she were there. Imaginary friends totally worked when I was a kid–why not now? And why can’t one of them be exactly like Ree?
You can click here for the truffles recipe as well as a thorough step by step documentation by the P-Dub herself.
We all donned non-Laytex glove thingies, dipped our hands in chocolate, and rolled the truffles in between our palms. I would have photographed the occasion, however being covered in chocolate and holding my DSLR were not compatible states of being. So I chose the chocolate. It was an existentialist moment.
Lia also showed us how to make these chocolate designs.
You pipe ’em on a sheet of parchment paper, let ’em dry, and then stick ’em on a truffle. Or a bowl of ice cream. Or something. Gorgeous.
There’s nothing like watching a woman at her craft. Lia knows everything about chocolate, and I mean everything. High school chemistry teachers would do well to invite her to guest speak in their classrooms. That would have snapped me out of my chemistry-induced high school head fog, I’m telling you. It brings meaning and sense to a discipline that I heretoforth had seen as inapplicable to my life.
For dinner, Ree counteracted our heavy consumption of cookies, truffles, and toffee with a nice slab of beef tenderloin.
It looked more raw than I would have thought was appetizing–but it was actually melt-in-your-mouth perfect. Mark my words.
On a tangent, don’t you love Ree’s ring and bracelet?
We ate the tenderloin with a generous heap of seafood pasta and a perfect salad.
It was heavenly. I wish I had that pasta recipe . . . Lia and Tiffany razzifrazzed it up from the remains of the seafood they used for our salad lunch.
In fact, Christy couldn’t finish her pasta. So I pulled out my trademark move. “Um, are you going to finish that?”
You think I’m joking. But I’m not. Thanks for the rest of your pasta, Christy. It was awesome.
There was a second tenderloin that got abandoned on the counter, so at night I snuck back to the kitchen and had at it.
You may also think I’m joking about this . . . but I’m not. I ate a nice chunk of it, in the dark, with only my Mom as a witness. She promised to take my secret to the grave.
I also expressed my love to Ree’s knife, her famed Wüsthoff.
I’m happy to say that the Wüsthoff reciprocated and said it had a fond place in its steely heart for me, too. It was a tender moment.
Look! I’m putting my feet on the P-Dub’s coffee table!
I leave you with a quote I came across on someone’s blog. I wish I could remember whose, because I love it.
Stay busy, get plenty of exercise, and don’t drink too much. Then again, don’t drink too little. ~Herman “Jackrabbit” Smith-Johannsen