Saturday, March 28, 2009

Nothing to Do with the Ozarks

Today we braved the possible snow and drove to St. Louis in time to make a 10 a.m. class at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Sue paid for me to go to a class called “Punjabi Home Cooking,” led by the mother-and-daughter team of Gurcharan and Aman Aulakh.

They are preparing a cookbook of family recipes. If the handouts we got today of recipes and cooking instructions are any indication, it will be a good cookbook to have around.

And ooooooooh boy, what a great time today, especially because it was so cold, windy, and rainy. As soon as the doors to the Kemper Center slid open, I could smell the spices.

I got a front-row seat in the classroom, which was specially designed for cooking; there’s a big mirror above the cooking area in front, angled so everyone can look down into the pots and skillets.

On the menu today: Anda Curry (curry with hard-boiled egg), Aloo Palak (potatoes and spinach), Gajar Matar (carrots with peas), Chawal (Basmati rice), Kheer (rice pudding), Chai, Cilantro-Mint Chutney, and Chapattis.

Indian cooking always tastes just right to me, but today, with the weather so raw, it was especially welcome.

It’s going to get pretty cold tonight, so Sue decided to bring in some of the bonsai trees she had already put outside for the spring. By the time she was finished and back in the house, I had a nice cup of fresh-made chai for her to hold in her hands and sip.

I love learning new things!


Unknown said...

What a lovely surprise to find this on your blog!
Best, Aman

Julianna Schroeder said...

And what a lovely surprise for you to leave a comment, Aman! I am still very grateful for the recipes and tips you shared in those cooking classes (I got on board for the last two--didn't know about them before that). I have built on it since then, using cooking videos (mainly Manjula's Kitchen, plus Vah-Chef), plus an enormous volume called "India: The Cookbook," by Pushpesh Pant. I really enjoyed the shortcuts and health-conscious modifications you suggested--the "home cooking" aspect. Are you planning any more classes? What's the status of your cookbook project? (Do you need an editor/publishing consultant?) I hope you and your family are well!

My best regards,