Friday, November 18, 2011

Bad Highlights, Good Cooking Classes (with a note at the end for my 11/18 class participants)

First things first: I am teaching my second cooking class tonight. Yay! I'm v. excited, nearly as nervous as last time, and sad that I have terrible accidental frosty highlights and less-than-best skin right now. Living in my little hole (condo) with little ones and little interaction with adults, I have little reason to worry about my appearance most of the time. In fact, I'm lucky to shower every third day. But this opportunity has challenged me. Standing in front of 21 super attentive, semi-hungry, eager-to-be-engaged-and-educated adults is different and nerve-wracking. Hair color is a statement. Shoes are a statement. Glasses are a statement. Blemishes are awkward. Everything matters when people are looking at you for three hours - and believe me, they are too polite not to look, we are Minnesotans after all! It's super flattering and super disconcerting all at once. I've been thinking about this a lot lately and have come to realize that if I intend to engage, entertain, educate, and - hope of all hopes - inspire people (over the age of two), which of course I do, I need to be precise about what my goals are and calculated in how I accomplish them. My anything-goes, super casual, somewhat chaotic approach to daily life is not going to cut it if I want to change the way people think about food and share my knowledge credibly. I want to be taken seriously; I believe my expertise is worth the cost of registration. I don't want bad highlights to be part of the equation. I don't want anything about my appearance to be a distraction. (Except maybe shoes. I would love to wear some rockin' shoes.) Tonight I'll put my hair back and hide the frost as best as I can, but before I teach my next class (and before I go to my husband's holiday work party, for that matter), I need to fix this. First impressions matter. Especially when you need respect and trust in order for you to (calculatedly) accomplish your (precise) goals. I imagine that each time I teach a class I will realize another thing about my manner or appearance or curriculum that will need to be adjusted. It's oddly invigorating. (Also odd is the fact that I'm way more preoccupied about this as a cooking instructor than I was sitting in a courtroom all day supporting a judge - perhaps because being presentable was a given then, plus I was never a focal point in the courtroom, except for maybe when I was nine months pregnant.)

Below is a list of classes I'll be teaching through February, in case you are either interested in learning how to cook and eat local food when it's at its best, or simply curious about my frosty highlights. All classes are at Local D'Lish, in the Warehouse District/North Loop Neighborhood just outside of downtown Minneapolis. Wednesday and Friday classes are in the evening; Sunday classes are in the afternoon. Call superstars Ann, Kate, or Erika at Local D'Lish for more info!

Nov. 18 (tonight!) and Nov. 27: Eating local through winter
Dec. 7: Root vegetables
Dec. 16: Vegetarian cooking through winter
Jan. 18: Cooking for the week
Jan. 25: Heartland hot dishes
Jan. 29: Healthy meals for kids
Feb. 22: Three great winter soups

I'll be teaching 4 classes per month starting in March 2012.

Here is what I looked like on my way to teach my first class, over a month ago. There's a gynormous food processor in my bag. (And yes I digitally whitened my teeth in this picture.)

Edith's First Day of Work

Here is what I've been making a lot lately in my own kitchen, incidentally the first thing I ever blogged about at Cake and Edith. This version included edamame and sprouted chickpeas. Delicious topped with some plain yogurt and a heavy douse of (decidedly nonlocal) Cholula. Yesterday I ate four of them. I eat a lot.

mom's visit 059

For those of you who attend(ed) my class: thanks so much for your participation! I hope you enjoyed yourselves and I'd love to hear about how your locavore aspirations go this winter! Thank you so much for waiting for that final quiche to cook up. Sorry about the bad highlights.

UPDATE 11/20/11: Also, following up on the after-class discussion about Minnesota's growing season (hi, hip silver-name-tagged mamas!), the document I referred to can be found HERE, on the St. Paul Farmer's Market website. It's a great visual aid, but note how our wacky weather can really change things however. Broccoli was still being harvested last week, in mid-November, for instance, and our roots and winter squash similarly had a later season due to our extended, warm fall.

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