Monday, April 16, 2012

My Adventures Learning to Cook Japanese

Posted By on Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Yesterday I took another cooking class at the Foundation for Inter-Cultural Dialogue. This time it was Japanese food.
I have to hand it to the instructor – sadly I didn’t get her name – but she had to step in at the last minute because the original instructor’s kids were sick. She did a fine job. First she made an earthy mushroom soup. Then she did a shrimp curry and finally a noodle dish with vegetables and chicken. All were prepared in propane burners which was an amazing feat. There was a cadre of helpers, including a videographer who made sure we could see all the stirring and bubbling and brewing.

We got to eat the results of course. Everything was great, especially the soup.

Then the women of the Foundation served up a wonderful meal of Turkish food. There was a fantastic mixed bean salad and another salad with carrots and yogurt (yogurti havoc slatasi) and yet another salad with tender bites of potato and greens. The couscous was absolutely delicious. There were breads – one was a buttery roll wrapped around potatoes mashed with red pepper. Another was called – I believe ramazan pidesi - that was filled with a mild cheese and topped with nigella and sesame seeds. Desserts were wonderful as well. One was a take on baklava but rolled in small cigar shapes. The other was what I thought was lemon squares but turned out to be a moist, moist light spongy cake.

There were others as well including a creamy pudding.

I did research on the names with no luck. Is there anyone out there that can help?

But the best part was the camaraderie and sense of community afterwards. The crowd was a mixed bag of mostly women. All ages, all backgrounds. It was pretty neat. Everyone hung out afterward and ate and chatted about food and family and life.

These classes are pretty simple events, nothing like you’d see out of a professional kitchen, but they are a great time. You learn something, you get to eat great food, and you meet wonderful people. I recommend them highly. The next class is rumored to be Filipino food and a date hasn’t been set but if you contact the Foundation they’ll put you on the list and will let you know when the date. They like to take a head count, of course.

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