Saturday, October 20, 2007


We participated in a cooking class last night at the local L'Academie de Cuisine and it was Oktoberfest in the kitchen. Our menu consisted of onion tarts, potato pancakes, sweet and sour kraut, chicken schnitzel, bratwurst, and German chocolate cake with homemade cherry ice cream. Our instructor hails from Wisconsin and he was full of useful information and demonstrated how to dice an onion, which is something I struggle with.

We were divided into groups of three or four and then we discussed which menu item we would like to make. I decided to make the schnitzel and Mike made the potato pancakes and stuffed the bratwurst meat into the casings. Our table mates made the chocolate cake and the kraut. Because it was too time-consuming, the instructor and classroom volunteers made the rest of the menu items.

My first job was to chop the chicken into small chunks and then flatten each piece. I used the back of my fry pan to give them a good whack, but Mike took over because I wasn't hitting them hard enough. I took over his dish while he smacked my chicken around. Then I had to wait in line behind slow people who delicately dipped their chicken one piece at a time in the flour, egg, and bread crumb mixture. I thought we'd be there all night just for the chicken! I was much quicker as I dumped all my chicken into the flour and then got on with the rest of the process. I was finally able to actually cook my chicken and each piece came out with a lovely golden brown color.

The pots of cooking food gave off an amazing aroma of flavorful foods that we couldn't wait to eat. When it was finally time, we all dug in and the food was amazing. I could easily see myself replicating almost all of the dishes except the bratwurst because I don't have a sausage maker at home. The sweet and saur kraut was delicious and very different because the cranberry, chopped onion, and apple gave it a slightly sweeter taste without the sharp bite of typical sauerkraut. The schnitzel was very tasty and I ate it German-style with squeezed lemon juice on top. The potato pancakes were very good with bits of parsley and onion throughout. The best part was the cake and ice cream. It was a very good night. I'd like to take another class, but it will have to wait as most of their classes through December are already full.

I'm leaving momentarily for the Light the Night walk. It rained hard last night, but it's looking very good weather-wise for tonight. I'm looking forward to the walk and the Hard Times chili afterwards!

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