We gathered on a brilliant early fall day, a little apprehensive, truth be told. We left two and a half hours later declaring, “This was SO much FUN! See you next week!”
In between we exchanged stories and tips, washed veggies and knives, stirred and tasted and sat around a table and shared a meal we had just prepared.
This first time we talked for over an hour before we started cooking as we told each other how and when we cooked, planned our next sessions, made shopping lists of spices and thought about how to use the two boxes of vegetables from Tomato Mountain CSA we were going to tackle this Friday morning.
As might be expected we didn’t get to everything. The glowingly fresh Wisconsin grown vegetables looked great and we got to work around the dining room table passing around chopping boards, bowls, knives and ideas. I am very sure everyone learned something new – adding water to salsa and cumin to salad dressing were just two of the things mentioned.
S was a great hostess, full of ideas and warmth and flexibility. We blossomed under her smiles and thoughtfulness. Her insistence that we sit and eat together, however short the time, was pure genius. The stories and thoughts came pouring out as the food filled us up.
We roasted a great big pan of peppers, onions and tomatoes, made a wonderful salsa, and an enormous salad to share. We packed up some salsa and roasted veggies, jalapeños, lettuce, onions, tomatoes and tomatillos to take home with us.
I ended up using the tomatillos and salsa for a delicious chicken stew on Sunday. The tomatoes and onions were baked into a pasta sauce and the lettuce went under some egg salad for Saturday lunch. I simmered two sliced jalapeños in about a cup of olive oil, let it cool in the pan and put the spicy-hot fragrant oil into a squeeze bottle to flavor food in the future. L sent in pictures of pickled hot peppers and tomato pizza she made. She used the salsa in grilled veggie enchiladas. I am looking forward to hearing what everyone else did with their take home packs!
And I am definitely looking forward to gathering in R’s house this coming Friday!
by Lali W.
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