Saturday, December 04, 2004

Viking Cooking School

I got to go to the Viking Cooking School for lunch on my birthday. And it was a work-related event, so even better - I got paid to go to Viking Cooking School on my birthday!

Viking Cooking School executive chef Martha Foose cooked for our group. She was wonderful and gave us lots of good cooking tips. I'm not much for watching cooking shows on TV so I wasn't sure what I would think of the school, but it is much better. You can ask questions and interact with the chef while they are cooking the meal that you are being served. And one thing I discovered about Greenwood - they serve more alcohol than New Orleans. We were greeted with a Southern Bourbon punch, served red wine with our pork and then had a great homemade eggnog (spiked with Southern Comfort) with our humble pie at dessert. (Unfortunately, I had to drive back home to Jackson so I had to decline the wine, but I couldn't resist a small cup of the punch and the eggnog.)

Another great addition was music with the cooking...we had a musician playing Christmas blues songs when she had to concentrate on what she was doing. It was a neat experience, combining two of my favorite things - cooking and the blues.

Things I learned I didn't know...
- When making apple pie, you should use different kinds of apples.
- Pomology is the study of apples.
- I really, really want a Viking range in my kitchen.
- Eggnog is easy to make - and homemade tastes much better than the store-bought thick sludge.
- Get a good garlic press and you'll never have to buy watery, store-bought minced garlic again.
- Imitation vanilla contains coal tar extract.
- There's nothing "plain" about vanilla. It's a very complicated and exotic spice.

And, later, when I unpack my car, I will share the recipes that she supplied of what she cooked for us. It was great! And I highly recommend visiting the Viking Cooking School.

Special thanks are in order to our waiter, Chris. He let me take goofy pictures with him in front of the Viking Christmas tree. And then unexpectedly sent me a birthday present at the meeting, a nut and cheese grater. Thanks so much, Chris! I will enjoy using the grater and remember celebrating my 35th birthday with you at the Viking Cooking School.

Upcoming classes...
Spectacular Holiday Desserts, Dec. 9, 6-9 p.m., $49
All About Venison, Dec. 11, 10 a.m. till 1 p.m., $49
Around the World Cookie Swap, Dec. 16, 6-9 p.m., $79
Gingerbread House, Dec. 18, 9 a.m. till 12 p.m. or 2-5 p.m., $79

The Cooking School offers a quarterly newsletter with updates of classes offered. You can sign up here. For more information, you can call the school at (662) 451-1072.

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