cook learnin'

ooh goodness me it's been a while...

so i went to france and learned a thing or two from a canadian-born niçoise with my little mama who was in the process of setting europe aflame. we started in the marketplace and checked out the local produce. lip-smackingly good, i tells ya. oh for a real marketplace.

then we went back to rosa's little maisonette and cooked up a storm. everything was very regional and fresh and lovely and fun. we made:

1. pissadière: caramelised onions on cakey eggy pizza dough, strewn with little black olives and anchovies ('pissala' is a nissarte anchovy paste).

2. les petits farcis, for which the course is named: roasted baby vegetables stuffed with veal and parmesan.

3. ricotta and lemon cake with a slosh of marc de provence grappa and a strawberry and mint salad.

and a pair of lovely rosés, of course.

that was a coupla weeks ago. we arrived home to a wintry dresden a week ago and mama left shortly after that. chris returned home this weekend, just in time for our much-anticipated bean & beluga preserving course. it was very very interesting in more ways than you can imagine, and embraced the following themes:

1. these people know how to run a restaurant. the service was so stupidly good that i forgot i was in dresden. bubbly pear wine flowed freely throughout the course, and the three-course lunch that followed was tended to by as many staff as there were guests.

2. but for the ring on his left hand, our herr hermann is quite the ladies' man. the women who joined us in the course had all been to multiple courses and seemed to have only a passing interest the food side of things. very amusing indeed. we never hang out with real live dresdners.

3. i am really quite shy in german.

at the end of the show = cooking six different preserves; touring the restaurant and kitchens; wandering through the forest to see the site of his upcoming outdoor project; and filling our bellies with yum...

... we all took home a package filled with lovely jams & chutneys. very cool indeed. now we are fully stocked for winter with fig & olive confiture, caramelised plum compote, green tomato chutney, pickled pumpkin, elderberry confiture and loganberry compote.